When ZZ Top became a band way back in 1969 — yes, it’s sort of hard to believe ZZ Top have been together for over 40 years! — they were a Texas Blues band. Here is the album cover for one of their first efforts — “One Foot in the Blues” — a funky and cool Blues creation of grinding harmonics and driving rhythms.
Here are the boys as they were:
Here are ZZ Top today!
Can you match up the old faces with the new facades?
ZZ Top are just as relevant today as they were four decades ago. How
did they create such staying power? They stuck around because their
music — in the spirit of its base — is still wrought out of the sounds and
stories of the early Blues.
So many current rock superstars got their inspiration for creation from The Blues and, if you listen closely enough, you can still hear those colorful tritones in their new music now.
When you visualize ZZ Top today, you probably think of Billy Gibbons and his killer African hat, and you feel historic, gravelly, music that still pierces your bones.
If, however, you step back in time with an ear on “One Foot in the
Blues” — you will find the musical roots of the boys that blossomed
into the men of today — and who all set a whole new standard for The
Blues by playing with dirt in their boots and Texas in their soul.
When I think of ZZ Top I think of the early 1980s videos where they performed feats of greatness using nothing but their guitars and ZZ Top car keys. Their musical is as enjoyable today as it was then and they haven’t stopped recording — which makes it even better.
Yes, the car and “the wave” are the icons of their mainstream success. They’ve still continued to expand and grow beyond the 80’s, though. They are relevant today because they are still based in, and blessed by, their use of universal Blues.