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Music: ZZ Top
Dusty, Billy and Frank
Every girl's crazy bout a sharp dressed man

The little band from Texas that could, ZZ Top is a long-running Blues Rock band from Houston composed of guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard (who, ironically, has the shortest beard). Formed in 1969, they are the longest-running rock band with the same lineup (with Golden Earring and then Rush close behind them).

People most likely know them for three things. One of them would be their actual music, which is made up of Epic Riff-driven, frequently humorous Blues Rock tunes in The Seventies, Epic Riff-driven frequently humorous Blues Rock tunes with synths and electronics in The Eighties, and a compromise between the two since The Nineties. The other two would be their distinctive appearance - sunglasses plus chest-length beards (except for Beard, who just has a mustache) - and their videos in The Eighties, which always involved hot chicks and Cool Cars, most notably the Eliminator.

Discography:
  • ZZ Top's First Album (1971)
  • Rio Grande Mud (1972)
  • Tres Hombres (1973) - The One With "La Grange"
  • Fandango! (1974) - half live, half studio album
  • Tejas (1977)
  • Degüello (1979)
  • El Loco (1981) - The One Where they start experimenting with New Wave and synths.
  • Eliminator (1983) - The One With "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs".
  • Afterburner (1985)
  • Recycler (1990)
  • Antenna (1994)
  • Rhythmeen (1996)
  • XXX (1999)
  • Mescalero (2003)
  • Texicali [EP] (2012) - digital release
  • La Futura (2012)

ZZ Top is the Trope Namer for:

"Those little old tropes from Texas":

  • As Himself: Billy Gibbons has a recurring role as himself on Bones. He's Angela's father, and Hodgins' worst nightmare.
    • All three appeared in an episode of King of the Hill that shows Hank to be Dusty's cousin, as well as being the band's favorite prank victim (though at the end of the episode they say that they like Hank and don't mean any harm).
  • Auto-Tune: Some egregious use of it on Mescalero, especially on "What Would You Do", "Qué Lastima" and "As Time Goes By".
  • Badass Beard: All three. Billy and Dusty have beards; Frank is Beard. In the mid-1980s, the Gillette Company reportedly offered Billy and Dusty $1 million each to shave off their beards for an advert, only to turn down the offer, saying, "we're too ugly without 'em."
  • Badass Moustache: Beard makes up for his lack of a Gandalf Beard with one of these.
  • Bawdy Song
  • Big Applesauce: From "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide":
    "With my New York brim and my gold tooth displayed"
  • Big Name Fan: Not of ZZ Top, directly, but Jimi Hendrix praised Billy Gibbons' guitar skills, back when he was still a member of The Moving Sidewalks. There's even a photo of them together!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many album titles are actually Spanish, e.g. "Tres Hombres" (meaning Three Men), "Degüello" (Beheading) or "El Loco" (The Crazy One). Not all that surprising considering the band is from Texas.
    • They even recorded two songs in Spanish on Mescalero, "Mescalero" and "Qué Lastima".
  • The Cameo: The band at the Hill Valley 1885 festival in Back to the Future: Part III.
  • Chronological Album Title - ZZ Top's First Album
  • Cool Car: The Eliminator, that customized 1933 Ford coupe with a Corvette engine.
  • Cool Shades
  • Cover Version: Rare, but it's there - "Jailhouse Rock", "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", and "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis Presley, "Dust My Broom" by Robert Johnson, "I Thank You" by Isaac Hayes, "Tramp" by Lowell Fulson (popularised by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas), "As Time Goes By" from the movie Casablanca (hidden track on Mescalero). Their latest album's "I Gotsta Get Paid" is a blues-rock cover of DJ DMD's "25 Lighters".
  • Demoted to Extra: This happened to Dusty and Frank on Eliminator: despite them being credited on the album sleeve, Dusty's bass being replaced by keyboardsnote  and Frank by drum machines. For all intents and purposes, Eliminator is a Billy solo album (excepting Dusty's lead vocals on "I Got The Six" and "Bad Girl") with contributions by pre-production engineer Linden Hudson, who contributed drum machine programming and keyboard sequencing, and was alleged to have co-written most of the material, to the point that the band got into a legal conflict that was settled with him being granted the copyright to "Thug". Hudson had also showed Billy some research he'd done previously that most popular rock songs used the tempo of 120 beats per minute, which influenced Billy to write most of the album's songs at that tempo. And when the combination of blues guitar and incongruously synthesised backing tracks sent the album to diamond status, the formula was repeated on Afterburner and Recycler, and even led to the infamous rereleases of the band's past albums that replaced Frank's drums with drum machines. While the band continued using electronic loops and synth elements, Dusty's bass and Frank's actual drums returned to prominence starting with Antenna and Rhythmeen.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: People who picked up their earlier albums after hearing Eliminator tended to be a bit confused.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Fanservice aside, the message of the "Legs" video seems to be, "Be nice to people or ZZ Top and three hot women will magically show up and rescue those people you mistreated and make you pay for the bad things you did to them."
  • Gold Tooth: From "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide":
    "With my New York brim and my gold tooth displayed"
  • I Call It Vera: Pearly Gates.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In response to some fans noticing that Eliminator was the first album since ZZ Top's First Album to not have Spanish in its title, Billy joked that it could be read as El Iminator instead.
  • Intercourse with You: "La Grange", "Mexican Blackbird", "Tube Snake Boogie", "Pearl Necklace", "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "I Got the Six", "If I Could Only Flag Her Down", "Bad Girl", "Sleeping Bag", "Planet of Women", "Love Thing", "Penthouse Eyes", "My Head's in Mississippi", "Girl in a T-Shirt", "Bang Bang", "Buck Nekkid"... you know what, we should stop before we end up accidentally listing all of their songs.
  • Irony: Frank Beard is the only member of the band without a Badass Beard.
  • Long Runner Line Up: In rock, the longest. 40+ years, over a dozen albums, dozens of songs—one line-up.
    • The Pete Best: There were two previous lineups: Gibbons, Lanier Greig, and Dan Mitchell, and later Gibbons, Bill Ethridge, and Mitchell. However, it's arguable if they count; as That Other Wiki doesn't list Ethridge, Greig, and Mitchell as members at all and the band apparently became ZZ Top after the classic lineup was formed; certainly, these three never appeared on an album or in a gig (though the Gibbons/Greig/Mitchell lineup did release one single: "Salt Lick".) The two previous lineups put together lasted less than a year.
      • Billy Gibbons has said that the now standard lineup of ZZ Top kept the name out of convenience, the band that recorded Salt Lick and the band from First Album to the present day are for all intents and purposes different bands. Salt Lick and Millers Farm are closer in style to Gibbons' garage rock days in Moving Sidewalks rather than the blues and hard rock of ZZ Top.
  • Meaningful Name: The titles of Afterburner and Recycler imply that they are trying to copy Eliminator but less successfully, which many agree with. The band either self-deprecatingly or intentionally set themselves up for reviews that would bring up the irony of the album titles.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In The Eighties - synthy-spacey-New Wave-electro-Blues Rock!
  • Record Producer: Bill Ham, from 1969 up until 2003. He also co-wrote a lot of their songs.
  • Record of Loudness War: Mescalero is an infamous example, with static and distortion very audible due to the amount of clipping and overuse of treble.
    • La Futura is also pretty bad, but not quite as bad as Mescalero. It was, like many loudness war albums, produced by Rick Rubin.
  • Recycled INSPACE: The cover of Afterburner.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Doubleback", which had an Old West version played in the above mentioned cameo in Back To The Future Part III, and plays over the credits. It even received a Video Full Of Film Clips.
  • Rock Trio
  • Siamese Twin Songs: One of the more famous examples is "Waitin' for the Bus"/"Jesus Just Left Chicago" from Tres Hombres.
  • Something Blues: "Blue Jean Blues", "Pan Am Highway Blues", "2000 Blues", "Vincent Price Blues".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Rough Boy" is a very 80s sounding radio power ballad, but it was a big hit, hence it seems incongruous on Greatest Hits compilations. The band had done ballads before ("Hot Blue And Righteous" and "Leila" being two), but "Rough Boy" is considered by some as too much of a deviation from their sound.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: "Dipping Low (in the Lap of Luxury)" is a blatant rewrite of "Gimme All Your Lovin'".
    • "Gimme All Your Lovin'" is itself a rewrite of "Francine".
    • The riff in the solo breakdown of "I Got The Six" is very reminiscent of the coda of "Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings".
    • "Planet of Women" copies the chorus riff from "Got Me Under Pressure" during its verses and has a similarly driving sound.
    • "Decision or Collision" sounds like even more of a recycling of "Got Me Under Pressure" and "Bad Girl" (which already sounded similar enough in tempo and feel).
      • "Rough Boy" is arguably a rewrite of "Leila" with mid 80s production.
  • The Eighties: It is utterly impossible to watch the video of "Rough Boy" without instantly identifying the decade in which it was made.
    • Same can be said for the videos for "TV Dinners", "Sharp Dressed Man", and "Velcro Fly".
  • Updated Re-release: The CD versions of their 70s albums feature 80s drum machines added instead of the original drumming, marketed as the ZZ Top Six Pack.
    • These versions were later sold as separate albums, and inexplicably remained the only versions available until the reissues of Tres Hombres and Fandango in 2006. The other albums all followed as HD Tracks downloads, and then finally made their appearance on CD in 2013, as part of the box set The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Gibbons' Guttural Growler vocals (for instance, "Sharp Dressed Man") and Hill's shriller rock'n'roll voice ("Tush") complement each other nicely. "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" being definitive proof.

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alternative title(s): ZZ Top
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