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1. I Thank You
2. She Loves My Automobile
3. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
4. A Fool For Your Stockings
5. Manic Mechanic
6. Dust My Broom
7. Lowdown In The Street
8. Hi-Fi Mama
9. Cheap Sunglasses
10. Esther Be The One
Producer: Bill Ham
ZZ Top are:
Billy Gibbons- Vocals, Guitar, Baritone Sax
Dusty Hill- Vocals, Bass, Tenor Sax
Frank Beard- Drums, Percussion, Alto Sax
This is a review of the C.D
Some of ZZ Top's classic 70s albums such as 'First Album' and 'Rio Grande Mud' have been slightly ruined on C.D by an annoying 80s re-mastering production which puts terrible 'synth' type drums over the original recordings, wrecking the earthy feel of the originals. Until there are new remasters available they are not very satisfactory purchases, 'Deguello' does not suffer from that problem as it appears to use the original master.
'Deguello' is a fabulous blues-rock album showcasing the real ZZ Top sound better than the more well known 80s albums 'Eliminator' and 'Afterburner', Its a personal favourite of mine as it combines the bands love of off kilter humour with ferocious musicianship. Guitarist Billy Gibbons was highly regarded by no lesser mortal than Jimi Hendrix himself.
'I Thank You' is a cover of a song by Isaac Hayes, and ZZ Top do their slow blues thang with it, a great laid back start. This is followed by the equally impressive blues workout 'She Loves My Automobile', with the first of some very impressive blues solos from Billy Gibbons.
Track 3 is a total classic, the awesome 'I'm Bad I'm Nationwide', which perhaps best displays their sense of humour, great lyrics and some jaw dropping blues crunching from Billy. This is one of my favourite EVER songs, let alone on the album! "With My New York brim and my gold tooth displayed......nobody give me trouble cause they know I've got it made!".
'Fool For Your Stockings' is a more 'traditional' slow blues track, again the prizes go to Gibbons with several emotive solos. 'Manic Mechanic' is probably the weakest track on the album as it embraces a 'late 70s' sound and has the vocals going through a weird processer thing making Billy Gibbons sound like a robot, a bit naff overall, but that's what the skip button is for!....it's certainly quirky!.
'Dust My Broom' is an Elmore James Blues 'standard' and ZZ Top make a good job of it, a fine throaty vocal from Billy Gibbons. I've heard Eric Clapton cover this track, and this is up there with that version. I think at this point, ZZ Top's original material was a lot more interesting than the covers, so whilst this is a good version, it does feel slightly disposable.
This is proved by the next track 'Lowdown In The Street' which is an original, but holds its own well next to the blues standard. 'Hi-Fi Mama' is superb, Bass player Dusty Hill takes lead vocals and shows why the band often saved him for 'special' occasions as he's probably a more formidable singer than Gibbons. A high octane classic.
'Cheap Sunglasses' is like 'Nationwide', despite being 30 years old it's still as fresh as the day it was recorded, a reason to buy this album. 'Esther Be The One' is a slight dip in quality, but rounds out the album nicely if not quite as 'bluesy' as the rest of the album, a great thumping bass line from Dusty Hill.
The old addage of a three piece band is that you have to be good as there's nowhere to hide, ZZ Top are a good example of this, everyone pulls their weight to produce a great 'band' album. There are band credits on songs where in the past Gibbons had tended to write with producer Bill Ham or alone. I would say that along with 'Tres Hombres', 'Deguello' represents ZZ Top's 70s sound excellently. If you prefer the 80s 'globe trouncing' ZZ Top then progress directly to 'Eliminator' which convincingly, if only briefly, updated their sound for the arenas.
'Deguello' is 34 minutes long and has no 'extra tracks'......my kind of release!, I'm hoping they're going to remaster all the 70s albums as they have with 'Tres Hombres' and 'Fandango!', get rid of the crummy 80s versions released in the wake of the success of 'Eliminator'.
This C.D can be picked up for a very reasonable price on Amazon UK [under £5] and is well worth that amount, its one of the classic rock albums of its time. The band are doing a brief tour of England at the end of October for anyone that fancies it!.
This is some classic zz top crusty rock!! if you like a good bit of gutterel blues rock then this is the album for you! it still has that familiar zz top beard rocking sound to it but with a slighty more muture feel.There is some great tracks on this album including "dust my broom" which makes you feel like you are sat on a porch with a cold beer somewhere in the deep south listen to a old man strum his steel guitar and tell you his woes. Then on the other hand you have a track like lay down in the street which is alot more up beat and great music for driving to on a summers day i might add! all in all this is a great album that does exactly what every good rock album should... Makes you feel like you are rocking out main stage at woodstock!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Thank You
2 She Loves My Automobile
3 I'm Bad I'm Nationwide
4 Fool For Your Stockings
5 Manic Mechanic
6 Dust My Broom
7 Lowdown In The Street
8 Hi Fi Mama
9 Cheap Sunglasses
10 Esther Be The One