Saturday, June 11, 2011

The #60 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "Eliminator" by ZZ Top

Some albums go like gangbusters at the time they are out and then die off.  Others are like fine wine.  This one has aged well.

 The #60 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era* is Eliminator from ZZ Top.  ZZ Top had been around for 12 years and put forth seven previous albums before Eliminator.  As most know, the Texas group is into their cars, and Eliminator was named after Billy Gibbon's customized 1933 Ford Coupe.
The album only reached #9 at the time and spent four weeks in the Top 10.  However, it was tough to knock this one off--it spent 183 weeks (3 1/2 years) on the album chart and has to date sold 10 million albums.  It has a solid track rating of 8.94; not the best of the 100 by any means but not the worst either.  ZZ Top scored with "Legs", their biggest career hit, "Gimme' All Your Lovin'" and "Sharp Dressed Man".  "TV Dinners" and "Got Me Under Pressure" received airplay on album rock stations.  Those same stations missed the boat by not playing"If I Could Only Flag Her Down"; it's another super cut.  The album got additional exposure in 2008 when "Thug" was featured as the background music for the video game "Grand Theft Auto IV.

"Legs" won an MTV Music Award for Best Group Video; "Sharp Dressed Man" was also nominated for that same award.  ZZ Top was nominated for Best Rock Vocal Group at the Grammies and Eliminator was nominated for International Album of the Year at the Juno Awards.  All of these are factored into the formula that decided The Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era*.

(All songs by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.)
1.    "Gimme All Your Lovin'" --4:03
2.    "Got Me Under Pressure" --4:02
3.    "Sharp Dressed Man" --4:12
4.    "I Need You Tonight" --6:13
5.    "I Got the Six" --2:53
6.    "Legs" --4:33
7.    "Thug" --4:19
8.    "TV Dinners" --3:50
9.    "Dirty Dog" --4:06
10.  "If I Could Only Flag Her Down" --3:39
11.  "Bad Girl" --3:13

ZZ Top is another band like Rush--you listen and wonder how that great sound could come from three musicians?  They are, in fact, a three-piece.  Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill are the bearded guitarists who put on quite a show at concerts.  Billy plays guitar while Dusty bops along with bass and occasionally will play keyboards.  Frank Beard plays drums and percussion.

Eliminator was recorded during 1982 and produced by Bill Ham.  Terry Manning was the Engineer while Bob Ludwig mastered it.  The album was released March 23, 1983 on Warner Brothers Records.

It's the finest of their career--Eliminator from ZZ Top at #60.

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