ZZ Top

Cinco No.2: The Second Five LPs (Vinyl)

(Warners)

Here is the second box of vinyl treasures from the hard-rockin’ trio. A great way to own five proper classic albums, each of which rings the changes and entertains. The records are also an educational exercise for anyone learning guitar bass or drums.

The group has two fine lead singers who are gimmick-free and earthy. Plus a drummer who can handle and enhance any mood or tempo. The music world has given us many fine trio’s but few with as much international appeal or that generate as much affection as respect. Turn up that volume control!

DEGÜELLO (1979)

Side One 1. “Thank You” – the Sam & Dave gem rolled in the dirt, booming out as a refreshed song

2. “She Loves My Automobile” – a growly and persistent tale of a lass who likes to get behind the wheel

3. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” – a fascinating rock-blues full of time-tricks 4. “A Fool For Your Stockings “ – a steady and pumping ache of a blues

5. “Manic Mechanic “ – a bubbling trippy workout about auto racing over splayed chording

Side Two

1. “Dust My Broom” – yep, the Elmore James tune, played straight

2. “Lowdown On The Street” – snappy chugging stuff with a soul swagger

3. “Hi Fi Mama” – surely the spirit of Little Richard inhabits this frantic rocker ?

4. “Cheap Sunglasses” – in which inexpensive sun protection lenses are worn with pride on a choppy and catchy number

5. “Esther Be The One” – a nimble love song of sorts with sharp percussive moments and a sly melody..the closest the three get to vintage Fleetwood Mac

EL LOCO (1981)

Side One

1. “Tube Snake Boogie” – the Top get down and kick the song along 2. “I Wanna Drive You Home” – sneaky tempo’d and chipper slow rocker, soaked

in neat phased tones 3. “Ten Foot Pole” – a warning in song, emphatic and using short delay to maximum effect , with a hint of Bo

4. “Leila” – lovely chording on a haunting balled with pedal steel, a gorgeous tune indeed 5. “Don’t Tease Me” – gritty Stonesy thumper with an individual melody..how come Rod Stewart hasn’t essayed this ?

Side Two

1. “It’s So Hard” – sombre and subtle number with a fabulous vocal and jukebox tempo

2. “Pearl Necklace” – a well-paced and trippy tale of lust that has a beautiful linear guitar break

3. “Groovy Little Hippie Pad” – a sonic postcard from a fun place

4. “Heaven, Hell Or Houston” – one of those weird sinister pieces that points to a love of old horror movies

5. “Party On The Patio” – what it says in the title and rattling along like Wacky Races

ELIMINATOR (1983)

Side One

1. “Gimme All Your Lovin’” – the refined punch of a deserved worldwide hit and that distinctive drum intro

2. “Got Me Under Pressure” – maybe the only way to follow Track 1. Jagged and edgy

3. “Sharp Dressed Man” – a song that celebrates snappy attire and strangely lends itself to performance in many tempo’s…tango, big band, skank reggae

4. “I Need You Tonight” – a splash of tenderness

5. “I Got The Six” – road running music of high quality

Side Two

1. “Legs” – celebrating female attractiveness…probably hated by PC wimmin 2.

“Thug” – unsettling, pattering mystery with slap bass interludes

3. “TV Dinners” – an offbeat cut that balances up this disc and a sleazy tempo

4. “Dirty Dog” – sprightly fuzztone cloud of a selection, with singing to suit

5. “If I Could Flag Her Down” – stop-start boogie with an irresistible beat

6. “Bad Girl” – speedy rocker with an almost Deep Purple vocal

AFTERBURNER (1985)

Side One

1. “Sleeping Bag” – electronic-y stomper that still has the band sound in spades

2. “Stages” – brisk, ringing with cool guitar tones and maybe deserving of more stage airing, lads ?

3. “Woke Up With Wood” – back to lust and its effects. A wild and barbed sounding cut with insistent guitar motifs

4. “Rough Boy” – rough-hewn beauty that lays it out plainly 5. “Can’t Stop Rockin’” – races from the traps with a shuddering tempo that does not let up

Side Two

1. “Planet Of Women” – tongue back in cheek for this sci-fi romp over a clever riff

2. “I Got The Message” – fast electro-pop base, dextrous lead line and mucho urgency

3. “Velcro Fly” – songs about trouser fastenings are somewhat scarce. Very boomy recording, here. Smirks at dance crazes. Fab snakey axework !

4. “Dipping Low (In The Lap Of Luxury)” – rock steady with guitar gurgles, not a great distance from Gimme, though ?

5. “Delirious” – proud slashing guitar on a fleet rock piece, riddled with that inched-harmonic guitar thang

RECYCLER (1990)

Side One

1. “Concrete And Steel” – atypical, fuzz-drenched mid-tempo rock with a neat chord progression and dark ambience

2. “Lovething” – slow and emphatic to start, this morphs into a stuttering funk rocker. Dense guitar tone on the chording

3. “Penthouse Eyes” – this one stabs its way along, centred on lust

4. “Tell It” – a chattering boogie sound on this one, the narrator is puzzled. Fantastic bridge that mutates the tempo then reinstates it. Check this one out and believe !

5. “My Head’s In Mississippi” – an individual take on what Blues means or can mean. Finger-snapping beat and a grizzled, haunting vocal. “ I believe I’m getting’ dizzy…” oh yes !

Side Two

1. “Decision Or Collision” – this one charges along like the end of the world is coming. Great tune, too

2. “Give It Up” – bursts out of the speakers with that chattering noise and a catchy chorus

3. “2000 Blues” – a swim in the River Blues, waves of delay washing over the listener. Terrific singing performance. One of their best ever songs, imho

4. “Burger Man” – a ferocious chunk of rock-blues, riddled with flanging over the motorik beat

5. “Doubleback” – a fabulous and well-honed composition that gets into your system – as good as this mighty combo gets. By which I mean top-notch, amigos

Pete Sargeant

ZZ Top


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(Thank you as ever to our friends at Warners)

ZZ Top's 'Cinco No.2: The Second Five LPs' is out now on Warners.

You can purchase the record here: https://amzn.to/2JNCeqP

Band Photos Credit: John Bull/Rockrpix

In addition, you can watch the official music video for 'Gimme All Your Lovin' in this article. 

To read our interview with Mr Billy F. Gibbons, click here: http://bit.ly/2blHNqH

For more information visit the band's official website here: http://bit.ly/2bmnmN6

 

ZZ Top
ZZ Top