ZZ Top: A Rarity in the World of Rock
Recently I saw a Facebook post that stated that ZZ Top have been together for more than 47 years without a lineup change since about 1969. I thought that's amazing, what other rock band can make that same statement?
Infusing boogie, heavy metal, southern rock and hard rock with humor, attitude and sexual innuendo, this Houston, Texas, band released their first album, simply titled ZZ Top, back in November 1971. The only single to be released from their freshman effort, "(Somebody Else Been) Shakin' Your Tree," failed to hit the charts and the album managed to make it to No. 201 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Their next album, Rio Grande Mud, climbed a little higher on the charts to reach No. 102 on Billboard 200 and spawned their first charting single, the rollicking "Francine," appropriately at No. 69 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 1973 they released their third studio release, Tre Hombres, and finally saw their first commercial success with the album breaking into the Top 10 at No. 8 and their single "La Grange" reaching No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. A few other tracks worth mentioning from that same record include "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" and classic rock radio favorite combo song made up of tracks 1 & 2, "Waitin' for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago."
They dropped Fandango on their growing fanbase in 1975 with its top 20 hit "Tush," which charted exactly at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Half of this record was made up of new studio songs and the rest were tracks culled from their live performances.
Their popularity continued to grow with each record release, culminating with 1983's Eliminator and it's follow up Afterburner, which hit the stores in 1985.
They have continued to be a popular live act and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2004. In all this time I have never heard of any scandal or fighting within the group that I can recall. That's a rarity in this day and age in the world of entertainment.