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The little band from Texas that could, ZZ Top is a long-running blues rock band from Houston composed of guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. Formed in 1969, they are the longest-running rock band with the same lineup (with Golden Earring and then Rush close behind them).
People most likely know them for three things. One of them would be their actual music, which is made up of Epic Riff-driven, frequently humorous Blues Rock tunes in The Seventies, and Epic Riff-driven frequently humorous Blues Rock tunes with synths and electronics in The Eighties. The other two would be their distinctive appearance - sunglasses plus chest-length beards (except for Beard, who just has a mustache) -, or their videos in The Eighties, which always involved hot chicks and Cool Cars, most notably the Eliminator.
They're really Better Than It Sounds though. Honest.
- ZZ Top's First Album (1971)
- Rio Grande Mud (1972)
- Tres Hombres (1973) - The One With... "La Grange"
- Fandango! (1974) - half live, half studio album
- Tejas (1977)
- Degüello (1979)
- El Loco (1981) - The One Where they start experimenting with New Wave and synths.
- Eliminator (1983) - The One With... "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs".
- Afterburner (1985)
- Recycler (1990)
- Antenna (1994)
- Rhythmeen (1996)
- XXX (1999)
- Mescalero (2003)
ZZ Top is the Trope Namer for:
They also provide examples of
- As Himself: Billy Gibbons has a recurring role as himself on Bones. He's Angela's father, and Hodgins' worst nightmare.
- All three appeared in an episode of King of the Hill that shows Hank to be Dusty's cousin, as well as being the band's favorite prank victim (though at the end of the episode they say that they like Hank and don't mean any harm).
- Badass Beard: All three. Billy and Dusty have beards; Frank is Beard. In the mid-1980s, the Gillette Company reportedly offered Billy and Dusty $1 million each to shave off their beards for an advert, only to turn down the offer, saying, "we're too ugly without 'em."
- Badass Moustache: Beard makes up for his lack of a Gandalf Beard with one of these.
- Bawdy Song
- The Cameo: The band at the Hill Valley 1885 festival in Back to the Future Part III.
- Chronological Album Title - ZZ Top's First Album
- Cool Shades
- Cover Version: Rare, but it's there - "Jailhouse Rock", "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", and "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis Presley, "Dust My Broom" by Robert Johnson, "I Thank You" by Isaac Hayes, "As Time Goes By" from the movie Casablanca (hidden track no less).
- I Call It Vera: Pearly Gates.
- Intercourse with You: So. Goddamn. Many. "La Grange", "Mexican Blackbird", "Tube Snake Boogie", "Pearl Necklace", "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "I Got the Six", "If I Could Only Flag Her Down", "Bad Girl", "Sleeping Bag", "Planet of Women", "Love Thing"
- Long Runner Lineup: 40+ years, over a dozen albums, dozens of songs--one line-up.
- The Pete Best: There were two previous lineups: Gibbons, Lanier Greig, and Dan Mitchell, and later Gibbons, Bill Ethridge, and Mitchell. However, it's arguable if they count; as That Other Wiki doesn't list Ethridge, Greig, and Mitchell as members at all and the band apparently became ZZ Top after the classic lineup was formed; certainly, these three never appeared on an album or in a gig (though the Gibbons/Greig/Mitchell lineup did release one single: "Salt Lick".) The two previous lineups put together lasted less than a year.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In The Eighties - synthy-spacey-New Wave-electro-Blues Rock!
- Record Producer: Bill Ham, from 1969 up until 2003.
- Recycled in Space: The cover of Afterburner.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Doubleback", which had an Old West version played in the above mentioned cameo in Back to The Future Part III, and plays over the credits. It even received a Video Full of Film Clips.
- Rock Trio
- Something Blues: "Blue Jean Blues", "Pan Am Highway Blues", "2000 Blues", "Vincent Price Blues".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: "Dipping Low (in the Lap of Luxury)" is a blatant rewrite of "Gimme All Your Lovin'".
- The Eighties: It is utterly impossible to watch the video of Rough Boy without instantly identifying the decade in which it was made.
- Updated Rerelease: The first CD versions of their 70s albums feature 80s drum machines added instead of the original drumming, marketed as the ZZ Top Six Pack.