Monday, June 18, 2007

294. ZZ Top - Tres Hombres (1973)

Track Listing

1. Waitin' For The Bus
2. Jesus Just Left Chicago
3. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
4. Master Of Sparks
5. Hot, Blue And Righteous
6. Move Me On Down The Line
7. Precious and Grace
8. La Grange
9. Sheik
10. Have You Heard?


You might be thinking ZZ Top in 1973, isn't that a bit early? The truth is my friends, no, it is not early, this is actually their third album. It is also a very interesting stuff to listen too, particularly if you have nothing more than a passing interest in ZZ Top.

This phase of ZZ Top is very much a down and dirty Blues phase, not the electronic blues of later days of Sharp Dressed Man and Legs. This album sounds like what it is, an album done by a dirty Texas bar band who loves the blues. And that is a good thing. The best track here is definitely La Grange, while it can be argued that it is lifted form Johnny Lee Hooker's Boogie Chillin', the truth is that it stands up by itself so well that even if it is the same guitar riff I don't give a shit. It ends up being a different song and ZZ should have credited Hooker, sure. But let's not get hung up on that.

Unfortunately La Grange isn't representative of the whole album, the other songs are much more standard stuff, like a harder CCR but not as good unfortunately. If only all songs were like La Grange this would be a truly terrific album. This way it isn't bad, it is a collection of quite witty bluesy tracks, and it is heavy enough to actually sound like something some 10 years ahead of it's time. It does sound more like mid-80's rock than early 70's, even so it is good. You should get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. La Grange
2. Master Of Sparks
3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
4. Hot, Blue and Righteous

Final Grade


From Wikipedia:

"La Grange" is a song by the rock group ZZ Top from their album Tres Hombres, released in 1973. A one-chord blues, it is one of their most successful songs. It was released in 1973 and received extensive radio play, rising to #41 in the Billboard Pop Singles list in 1974. The song refers to a country brothel on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas (later notoriously known as the "Chicken Ranch"). This brothel is also the subject of the Broadway play and film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the latter starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.

The initial groove of the song is based on the song "Shake Your Hips" by Slim Harpo, later covered by the Rolling Stones. The chords were also based on "Boogie Chillen" by John Lee Hooker and also has elements of other Hooker songs. This song itself was subsequently covered by Crazy Backwards Alphabet on their lone album.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "La Grange" at number 92 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks

La Grange:

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