Since 1971, ZZ Prime have launched 15 studio albums and 44 singles. They’ve gained numerous awards, earned a spot in popular culture, and made sun shades and beards look the good issues on the planet. Till the tragic demise of Dusty Hill earlier this 12 months, they have been the longest-running band with an unchanged lineup in historical past. Fortuitously for followers, vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard might be persevering with the band with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis getting into Dusty’s enormous footwear on bass. Right here, we have a look again at their profession as we rank all 15 ZZ Prime albums.
In 1999, ZZ Prime determined to launch an album to rejoice 30 years within the trade. The end result was XXX, an album that, as Final Basic Rock notes, finds them struggling to both transfer on or construct on the success of Eliminator, an album they’d launched 15 years earlier than, however nonetheless hadn’t managed to high. It’s not a whole travesty, however it’s no triumph both.
1990’s Recycler has a peppering of gems – Choice or Collision being considered one of them – however not sufficient to save lots of what’s primarily a mediocre album. It one way or the other managed to spawn 5 hit singles (Doubleback, Concrete and Metal, Burger Man, Give It Up, and My Head’s in Mississippi) however it’s nonetheless a great distance in need of their finest work.
In 1994, ZZ Prime determined to return to their roots. Suffice to say, they didn’t succeed. It opens effectively, however then shudders to a stall. The manufacturing isn’t nice, however the true downside with Antenna is that ZZ Prime appear to be recent out of concepts. There’s not sufficient creativity, not sufficient vitality, and the general feeling is that they’re merely marking time.
Rhythmeen isn’t precisely a nasty album, however it’s a great distance in need of being an amazing one. The sound is on level however the songs aren’t. ZZ Prime can by no means be boring, it’s merely not of their DNA, however right here, they arrive perilously near it. After over a decade of ready, their much-anticipated return to the blues merely didn’t stay as much as expectations.
11. La Futura
2012’s La Futura is a protected report. The band don’t depart their consolation zone as soon as, however because it seems, that’s not essentially a nasty factor. Tracks like Heartache in Blue and It’s Too Straightforward have the menace and groove we wish from ZZ Prime, and delivering what the folks need is one thing that no band ought to be criticized for, even when not essentially going to set the world on hearth.
After Eliminator confirmed the band what sharpening up their sound and modernizing their act may do for his or her success, they took issues one step additional on 1985’s Afterburner. Their signature guitar-bass-drums sound acquired pushed to the again, and the studio wizardry acquired pushed upfront. It didn’t work fairly in addition to it did on Eliminator, however there’s sufficient right here to maintain everybody glad, from the No. 1 smash hit Sleeping Bag to the old-school lechery of Woke Up.
As Basic Rock Historical past notes, Tejas was an album that divided opinion. To the haters, it was a throwback, an irrelevant album from an more and more irrelevant band. However for all of the grenades thrown its manner, it’s not a nasty album by any stretch of the creativeness. It won’t be an amazing report, however the likes of Arrested for Driving Whereas Blind, El Diablo, and She’s a Heartbreaker preserve it firmly within the ranks of a superb one.
Mescalero is a hard-rocking, hard-driving piece of blues that delivered precisely what the followers needed: ZZ Prime again in enterprise because the lewdest, lustiest males in rock. Launched in September 2008, it peaked at quantity 57 on the Billboard 200.
7. ZZ Prime’s First Album
ZZ Prime picked a simple title for his or her debut, and, by and huge, that very same no-frills angle is mirrored within the album content material. A straight-up piece of Southern-fried angle, it doesn’t have fairly as a lot sauce as we’d need from the boys, however the likes of Brown Sugar and Simply Received Again From Child’s definitely whetted our appetites for his or her subsequent dish.
A half studio/ half stay album that spawned the band’s first Prime 40 single, Tush, Fandango fizzes with vitality, leaping from one nice music to the following. Standout tracks embody Backdoor Medley and Heard It on the X. A extra considered strategy to enhancing wouldn’t have gone amiss, however it’s nonetheless an amazing effort.
5. Rio Grande Mud
Rio Grande Mud, the band’s second album, is a assured, assured providing that sizzles with sufficient hazard and sufficient sleaziness to earn it a spot at No. 5 on our checklist. Launched in 1972, it didn’t do a lot within the charts, peaking at a comparatively disappointing No. 104 on the Billboard 200, however it paved the way in which for every part that got here subsequent.
4. El Loco
ZZ Prime’s seventh studio album discovered the band teetering between the previous sound that had made their title and the brand new sound that will make them one of many greatest bands of the last decade. It’s a compelling mixture, with tracks like Pearl Necklace and Tube Snake Boogie standing out specifically. Launched on July 20, 1981, it peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
After their fifth album, ZZ Prime took a two-year break. The remaining clearly did them good, as their comeback album, Degüello, was sensational, combining the group’s new fascination with punk and rising obsession with know-how to spectacular impact. Low-cost Sun shades and I’m Unhealthy, I’m Nationwide stand out for explicit reward, however the entire thing is a triumph. Launched in November 1979, it took the band to No. 24 on the Billboard 200.
Eliminator is the place all of it modified for ZZ Prime. After hinting at a change in path on El Loco, right here, they embrace it totally. Filled with synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines, it was an album that couldn’t have been made in every other decade than the 80s. However for as soon as, that’s not an issue. They deal with the know-how as a pal, not a grasp, leading to an album that’s nonetheless quintessentially ZZ Prime. Based on Wikipedia, it’s their most commercially profitable album of all time, promoting over 10 million copies and certifying Diamond.
1. Tres Hombres
“We may inform that we had one thing particular. The report turned fairly the turning level for us,” Billy Gibson as soon as stated about Tres Hombres. Launched in July 1973, its superb mixture of Southern rock and gutsy blues earned the band their industrial breakthrough. The album crashed into the Prime 10 and acquired onboard tens of millions of followers. From that time on, ZZ Prime by no means appeared again.
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