Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ZZ Top, The #100 Artist of the Seventies*

We are underway with a great music special that will take us into the new year.  Each day for the next 100 days, Inside The Rock Era will feature one artist until we reach #1!  The Seventies were a great decade, and we have the stories and music of The Top 100 Artists*--let's get started!

ZZ Top formed in Houston, Texas in 1969 with guitarist and lead singer Billy Gibbons, organist Lanier Greig, and drummer Dan Mitchell.  Bill Ham became the group's manager.  Bassist Billy Ethridge soon replaced Greig, and Frank Beard took over as drummer for the group.  But Etheridge left shortly afterwards, with Dusty Hill moving in to replace him.
ZZ Top signed a recording contract with London Records in 1970, and performed their first show together in Beaumont, Texas in February.  The band released their debut, ZZ Top's First Album, in 1971.  They followed that up with Rio Grande Mud, but neither did well.  Nevertheless, a song from the latter has become known as one of the group's best, a perfect marriage of Texas blues and rock & roll--"Just Got Paid".


In 1973, ZZ Top released the album Tres Hombres.  Although the single "La Grange" only reached #41, it is generally considered a rock staple today.

"Waitin' For The Bus"/"Jesus Just Left Chicago" also received significant airplay from the release, and helped it reach #8 on the Album chart.
ZZ Top began to sell out concerts in the U.S. thanks to Tres Hombres, which went Gold.  The shows were recorded for their live album Fandango!, which also went Gold.  The single "Tush" made it to #20 in 1975.


ZZ Top released the studio album Tejas the following year, which gave the group three consecutive Gold albums.  In 1977, ZZ Top released their Greatest Hits album, which has now sold over two million copies.  The band released Deguello in 1979, their first studio release in three years.  Their remake of the Sam & Dave song "I Thank You" peaked at #34.

Deguello went Platinum, and set them up for success in the 80's.  "Cheap Sunglasses" stalled at #89, but it is another favorite among their fans.

We close out the salute to The #100 Artist of the Seventies* with another solid track on the album--"Fool For Your Stockings".

ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.  They sold over 4.5 million albums in the decade.

Join us tomorrow for the next artist in this very special countdown on Inside The Rock Era!

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