ZZ Top

Live Around The World

(Suretone Records/Warners)

I expect that if you’re a follower of the Texas trio, you’d like to know exactly what’s on this new live release, so here you go folks:

1. Got Me Under Pressure (Live from New York)

2. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers (Live from Las Vegas)

3. Cheap Sunglasses (Live from Paris)

4. Waitin For The Bus (Live from Nashville)

5. Jesus Just Left Chicago (Live from Nashville)

6. Legs (Live from Sao Paolo)

7. Sharp Dressed Man (Live from Los Angeles)

8. Rough Boy (feat. Jeff Beck) [Live from London]

9. Pincushion (Live from Berlin)

10. La Grange (Live from Dallas)

11. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide (Live from Vancouver)

12. Tube Snake Boogie (Live from Rome)

13. Gimme All Your Lovin (Live from Houston)

14. Tush (Live from Chicago)

15. Sixteen Tons (feat. Jeff Beck) [Live from London]

ZZ Top


I discussed the album content and much more with Mr Billy F Gibbons and we will give you the link below, but I can tell you that this set hits hard and covers many but not all of the styles this combo can pull off. Like the mighty Blue Oyster Cult, it’s that dark sense of humour showing through every now and again that sets this group apart from the pack. Beard is an excellent group drummer in the sense that Charlie Watts is a great skinsman – everything is played to help the song other than prove any points about skill or prowess, which he if course has. Dusty’s voice is to die for, authoritative and insistent and his bass playing always a lesson in trio bottom line perfection. Gibbons of course can play anything BUT eschews fast and flashy to play the right notes in the right places. There are some exceptional bursts of excitement throughout these selections but if you just listen to what he plays behind guest Jeff Beck’s contributions his mastery of the group dynamic is more than evident. Plus he is a really nice, polite man.

On the songs…well You Got Me Under Pressure has a meaty rock sound, solid warm bass and biting solo’s whilst Beer Drinkers goes for a whacking beat and alternating lead vocal lines making for a mighty big sound for three players. The choppy beat of Cheap Sunglasses brings in a cool take on a camp classic.

ZZ Top


James Harman’s harp adds a new colour to Waiting For The Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago; Legs I believe is about Billy’s niece and the shuddering beat makes this one rock. The stomping Sharp Dressed Man gets the crowd roaring whilst at the start of the tender Rough Boy, Gibbons cries out that ‘JB is in the house !’ and Jeff Beck gets a solo, bringing in his low bends and trills to the fore. Delight of delights – the chattering groove of Pin Cushion is here. A somewhat overlooked song and played to perfection here, in Berlin. The Dallas version of La Grange hits that amphetamined John Lee Hooker strut to great effect and then the tricksy I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide is played before a percussive start to Tube Snake Boogie takes us into that tempo.

ZZ Top


The collection wraps up with Gimme All Your Lovin’ and the breezy Tush before Beck returns for a short chug through 16 Tons, hints of I Ain’t Superstitious thrown in for good measure.

A set for fans OR one that may just remind others how often these cats’ songs hit 180.

Pete Sargeant

ZZ Top ‘Live Around The World’ is released on Suretone Records/Warners on Friday 9th September 2016. 

For Pete’s chat with Billy Gibbons, head here: http://bit.ly/2blHNqH

(Thanks Andy and colleagues at Warners London)