Who hasn’t heard of ZZ Top? Whether you are a fan of rock and blues music or not, I am sure that you may have heard of ZZ Top already at one point in your life. Even if you are into their music or not, I’m pretty sure that you will never forget their iconic looks sporting their long beard. They are just like James “the Beard” Harden in the world of basketball.
Blues Music In Houston Texas
Current younger generations may love the more contemporary-sounding music of Justin Bieber, Kanye West or Miley Cyrus more than blues music but there is something about “blues” music that makes it sound very American. Blues is that genre/kind of music that was actually created by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States at the end of the 19th century. This genre had its roots in African- American work songs, folk music and spirituals. Even though ZZ Top is more popular among fans of rock and blues music and the little bit older American generation only, still even fewer people know that these guys were actually from Houston, Texas. This famous American rock band was formed in Houston, Texas way back in 1969. ZZ Top is one of the very few major recording label groups who have had the same lineup for 45 years already. Their present members are Dusty Hill, who is both the bass player and lead vocalist, and Billy Gibbons, who is the lead vocalist, band leader, and guitarist, and their current drummer Frank Beard. Billy Gibbons is considered to be one of America’s finest blues guitar players in the rock music recording. When it comes to blues music, there is only one choice for these Houston Carpet Cleaners; ZZ Top!
From Their Beginnings In Houston
The band started out with blues-inspired rock in 1969 and then later on added elements of new wave, punk rock and dance-rock into their music by using synthesizers. This band is also famous for its humorous lyrics with double meanings and innuendo.
In 1983, ZZ Top released their top-selling album titled Eliminator, which sold more than 10 million copies just in the United States alone. According to the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA), their total record sales of 25 million place ZZ Top among the top-100-selling artists in the United States. ZZ Top had sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, including eleven gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum records as of 2016. ZZ Top has also achieved 4 gold, three platinum and two multiple-platinum albums, not to mention their one diamond album. The band holds six number-one singles on the Mainstream Rock chart.
Heroes Of Houston
Aside from their several album and sales feats, the music videos of ZZ Top also won awards in the 1980s, winning Best Group video, Best Direction and Best Art Direction. Legs, Sharp- Dressed Man, and Rough Boy are just some of ZZ Top’s videos that won those awards. In 1994, the Texas House of representatives named ZZ Top “Official Heroes of the State of Texas” and they were inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll of Fame” in 2004. Actor Billy Bob Thornton also gave ZZ Top commemorative rings during the VH1 Rock Honors in 2007.
Up to this day, many of ZZ Top’s songs are still included in regular rotation on classic rock and hard rock stations, a testament to their true American rock “blues” sound and identity.