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ZZ TOP’S FIRST ALBUM

ZZ Top’s First Album

Released January 16, 1971
Recorded 1970 at Robin Hood Studios, Tyler, Texas
Genre Texas blues, blues rock, boogie rock, hard rock
Length 35:16
Label London
Producer Bill Ham

ZZ Top’s First Album is the debut studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was produced by manager Bill Ham, and was released on January 16, 1971, on London Records. Establishing their attitude and humor, ZZ Top incorporated boogie, hard rock, heavy metal and Southern rock influences into their sound. Thematically, the album is lively, playful and at times brash, filled with the band’s personal experiences and sexual innuendos that became central to the group’s image. Seeking inspiration from Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top began recording the album at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas. Only one single was released from the album and failed to appear on the Billboard charts.

In 1987, this album was remixed for CD release. In 2013, the original vinyl mix was released on HD Tracks in high-resolution digital download formats. The original mix of the album was released on CD in June 2013 as part of the box set The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990).

AllMusic retrospectively gave it 3 stars, stating: “ZZ Top’s First Album may not be perfectly polished, but it does establish their sound, attitude, and quirks.”

Track list

Side 1

“(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree” (Billy Gibbons) – 2:32
“Brown Sugar” (Gibbons) – 5:22
“Squank” (Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Bill Ham) – 2:46
“Goin’ Down to Mexico” (Gibbons, Hill, Ham) – 3:26
“Old Man” (Gibbons, Hill, Frank Beard) – 3:23

Side 2

“Neighbor, Neighbor” (Gibbons) – 2:18
“Certified Blues” (Gibbons, Beard, Ham) – 3:25
“Bedroom Thang” (Gibbons) – 4:37
“Just Got Back from Baby’s” (Gibbons, Ham) – 4:07
“Backdoor Love Affair” (Gibbons, Ham) – 3:20

Personnel

Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals
Dusty Hill – bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Goin’ Down to Mexico”, co-lead vocal on “Squank”
Frank Beard – drums, percussion (credited as “Rube Beard”)

Production

Producer – Bill Ham