A True Classic

Few bands in the 80’s grasped the concept of what was to become the biggest marketing tool in the history of pop music • MTV. ZZ Top did, and they did it with style. Over 10 million album sales and rising, all this was done on the back of 3 videos, ‘Gimme’ All Your Lovin’’, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’, and THE Holy Grail of 80’s vidz, the excellent ‘Legs’

The success was down to 3 things
- Great songs
- Great women
- And THAT car

All the previous album titles prior to this had a distinctly Southern style when it came to titles • Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombres, Fandango, Tejas etc. One great passage from the sleeve notes suggest that Billy Gibbons suggested there was a typo, ‘’The album was supposed to be called El Liminator’’, class!
I bought this, when it came out in 83’ purely on the back of ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’, a great opener for what turned out to be a great album. On discovery there were a least another 4 classic tracks that would launch ZZ Top into the stratosphere.

Eliminator still contained the distinct southern style of Billy Gibbons’ blues guitar style, together with the dual vocal assault of Messrs Gibbons and Hill. Even now after a much prolonged absence it still sounds as if the drum parts are computerised, such is the precision of every single beat played. The album has a very strong first side (if you still have you vinyl copy), from the rockin’ ‘Gimme...’, the up tempo ‘Got Me Under Pressure’ (surely a better choice for a single than the slow ‘TV Dinners’), the huge radio friendly ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ the best track on the album with the blues grooved outro, ‘I Got The Six’ and the video classic ‘Legs’, which is included here as was originally recorded. Only early pressings of the album contained this version. The single version is included as one of many extra bonus tracks. Included in the extras also are a handful (five) live tracks, and a dance mix version of ‘Legs’, WHA?
It doesn’t stop there. As its the 25th anniversary edition, they’ve also thrown in a DVD for good measure containing the four videos, and a live performance recorded on ‘The Tube’ way back in Nov 83, and shows why they were such a huge draw with their unique style (dressed in dirty mechanic overalls) and performing technique. I had the chance to go see them on this tour and didn’t. I’ve regretted it ever since.

If you’re like me and still only have this on vinyl, what are you waiting for, get out there and grab a copy. It’s an essential purchase of a band in their prime. Twenty five years later it still holds up. A great album from a great band.