Release Date: July 26, 1973
I'm not real familiar with ZZ Top, but I have heard a couple of their hits on classic rock radio over the years. They also made an appearance on The Simpsons, when Bart runs into them and says, "Hey, you're ZZ Top! You guys rock!" One of the band members replies, "Eh, maybe a little."
"Hot, Blue and Righteous," the last track on the front side, is the first ballad. It is a typical, pedestrian ballad, and at just over three minutes, is not given nearly enough to develop like a ballad properly should.
The back side starts well, with "Move Me On Down The Line." This is a driving rock song, with an excellent lead guitar part and the type of riffs you would expect from a good 70s hard rock song. Again, at two and a half minutes, this song could have been so much more.
The overall sound of this album is a bit too muddy for my tastes. The vocals are fairly low in the mix, and the rhythm guitar has a very low tone, muddled tone. This seems to be fairly common in this type of music.
The middle track on the back, "La Grange," is an excellent track, and one of the aforementioned hits. This song never had much of a melody, but it does have excellent drumming, and, in my opinion, one of the greatest riffs in rock music. You know the one: bahda da da da da d daah daah....
The album ends with "Sheik," a lighter song with a fairly loose feel and a little bit of jamming, and a straight-up blues song, "Have You Heard?"
This is a record that I consider very listenable, but unessential. They are a very typical blues rock band, without any major innovation or creative genius. The singing is nothing to write home about, but they have proven that they can come up with some great riffs. The back side is far superior to the front, so if you check it out, focus your energy on that.
|1||Waitin' for the Bus||2:59|
|2||Jesus Just Left Chicago||3:29|
|3||Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers||3:23|
|4||Master of Sparks||3:33|
|5||Hot, Blue and Righteous||3:14|
|6||Move Me on Down the Line||2:30|
|7||Precious and Grace||3:09|
|10||Have You Heard?||3:14|
Two stars. I am really temped to give them an extra star or two, just because of those awesome beards.