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Tres Hombres - ZZ Top

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: ZZ Top / Original recording remastered / Audio CD released 2006-02-27 at Wea

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      25.04.2013 02:19
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      Great album.

      **Introduction**

      In the last couple of years I have become a big fan of ZZ Top after seeing them perform at Eric Clapton's prestigious Crossroads festival and seeing the live concert in Texas on TV. I love many kinds of music and one of the reasons I like ZZ Top is they are quite diverse with their music combining Blues, Southern Rock, Boogie and Country to create and define their sound. They have released a total of fifteen studio albums and recently I went back into their back catalogue to hear what they were doing when they first made their name. I have reviewed some of their albums recently and this review is another one of their early albums.

      **Tres Hombres**

      Translating as three men this album is the third studio release from ZZ Top. The album was recorded at Brian Studios & Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Tres Hombres was released on 26th July 1973. It's one of their highest rated albums and features two of their biggest tracks "Jesus Just left Chicago" and "Waitin for the Bus" which are big live songs when they perform.

      1.) Waitin for the Bus

      This is a dynamic opener with some fantastic riffs from guitarist Billy Gibbons, The drumming from Frank Beard is excellent and combines well with Dusty's bass guitar. This is one of the catchiest ZZ Top tracks you'll find. The dynamic guitar melodies are great to listen to and when Billy slips into one of his great solos you are left in no doubt about the ability of the man. It has one of the most recognisable riffs in Rock guitar. It leads well into the next track.

      2.) Jesus just left Chicago

      This is another excellent track which is another one of their trademark tracks. It's melodic and has some great gentle guitar strums backed by a relentless bass hook from Dusty Hill's bass. I love the way the track progresses and when Billy Gibbons lets loose on his guitar he takes the track to the next level. It's an excellent track all round. Great Musicianship on show here. It's the first of four tracks from the album written by all three.

      3.) Beer drinkers and hell raisers

      This is another catchy track which features punchy drums from Frank Beard, melodic bass riffs from Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons usual guitar melodies. The three combine well vocally on this one in particular. There's some fine guitar work from Gibbons and the track has a Lynyrd Skynyrd type flavour which really works well. If you're familiar with Lynyrd Skynyrd's early sound then you'll know what I mean. This track has a real Rock pep to it. Good stuff.

      4.) Master of Sparks

      This is an excellent track which showcases the talents of drummer Frank Beard with some nice varied beats and Gibbons relaxed slide guitar works really well alongside his distinctive vocals. I like the way this one develops and the guitar melodies progress. There's a slight breakdown in the middle of the track where the hooks come in and then Billy Gibbons goes off on a terrific guitar solo which takes the track to a higher level and just tops things off well.

      5.) Hot, Blue and Righteous

      This is a beautifully laid back ballad which showcases the Bluesy sound of the trio. Billy's vocals are tender and heartfelt on this lovely track. The vocal melodies are well performed and I love the way the song develops. It shows a different more gentle & relaxed side to the band which I wholeheartedly endorse. The guitar solo comes in at just the right time and is a beautiful touch. This is a lovely relaxed song. One of the best tracks on the album for sure.

      6.) Move on down the line

      This is not one of the best tracks on the album and sounds a little like the Rolling Stones. The vocals are better though and whilst they are not the usual quality of ZZ Top they do the job. The song is less than three minutes and there's a nice guitar solo which redeems things a little. Not one of the best tracks on the album but the guitar work raises the level.

      7.) Precious and grace

      This has some excellent combined riffs from Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill and the drums from Frank Beard are well performed. This is the third song on the album which features songwriting credits from all three of the band. There's some excellent guitar work again which reminds me a little of Lynyrd Skynyrd's early sound although interestingly some of the riffs sound a little like Black Sabbath. There's some excellent slide guitar from Billy Gibbons which tops things off nicely.

      8.) La Grange

      This is a very catchy track, It's initial groove is based on a traditional boogie blues rhythm used by John Lee Hooker in his "Boogie Chillen" and Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips". The song has been used extensively on TV and film. There's some excellent bass and guitar riffs and the drumming from Frank Beard underpins things well. Billy Gibbons bluesy notes top things off well. It's a very good track indeed that has some great stop start boogie blues.

      9.) Sheik

      This is a catchy track which has some excellent melodies and riffs. The way that Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill blend together on excellent guitar and bass guitar is excellent. Gibbons shows off with some excellent guitar work which reminds me a little of wah wah Jimi Hendrix. This track shows the range of Gibbons playing and also the band as a whole. It's an excellent melodic track.

      10.) Have you heard?

      This is a fine track to end on, It's a lovely Blues Rock ballad with some delightful vocal harmonies and some excellent guitar work backed wonderfully by Frank Beard on drums. Billy Gibbons guitar work is again terrific. This is one of the finest examples of how well they work together as a trio. Gibbons slide guitar just tops things off wonderfully. It's an excellent track and a fine end to the album.

      **Overall**

      ZZ Top are still making great music today which is a credit to the talent of the trio. Tres Hombres is an excellent third album from the band. It features several memorable songs which have stood the test of time. This is undoubtedly one of their best albums and deserves it's importance in their back catalogue. It's rightly mentioned in several Greatest album lists of all time. Rolling Stone mentioned it in two of their Top 500 albums of all time and with good reason. It's an excellent album.

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    • More +
      08.06.2009 10:30
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      Wanted to give it 2.5 stars which I think would be fair

      Tres Hombres is ZZ Top's 3rd album and is considered to be the one where the band really made a name for themselves, personally I prefer their later rockier albums and whilst I find their brand of blues to be enjoyable, it's all a bit mediocre on here apart from pockets of amazing guitar in particular slide guitar.

      This is less catchier than other albums and looks quite paltry in comparison to Eliminator for example. It seems to be more instrumental and when there is singing it seems to have less of a presence than you'd expect. Of course it isn't all bad, there is the excellent "La Grange" and the rather upbeat "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" which I always associate with bikers for some reason.

      There's one song though that really epitomises the worst parts of the album and that is "Hot, blue and righteous" which sounds way too soulful for these bearded characters and comes out embarrassingly gooey like Lionel Ritchie. "Have you heard" is another let down, plodding along like a mediocre gospel tune.

      I am a big ZZ Top fan but find this distinctly middle of the road and can't quite understand the plaudits it attracts.

      1 Waitin' For The Bus
      2 Jesus Just Left Chicago
      3 Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
      4 Master Of Sparks
      5 Hot, Blue And Righteous
      6 Move Me On Down The Line
      7 Precious And Grace
      8 La Grange
      9 Sheik
      10 Have You Heard?
      11 Waitin' For The Bus (Live Version Previously Unissued)
      12 Jesus Just Left Chicago (Live Version Previously Unissued)
      13 La Grange (Live Version Previously Unissued)

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Waitin' For The Bus
    2 Jesus Just Left Chicago
    3 Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
    4 Master Of Sparks
    5 Hot, Blue And Righteous
    6 Move Me On Down The Line
    7 Precious And Grace
    8 La Grange
    9 Sheik
    10 Have You Heard?
    11 Waitin' For The Bus (Live Version Previously Unissued)
    12 Jesus Just Left Chicago (Live Version Previously Unissued)
    13 La Grange (Live Version Previously Unissued)