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Weekend Songs: ZZ Top, ‘Just Got Paid’

Classic rock is about heavy hooks, power chords, and tight harmonies, but it’s also about letting loose and enjoying the good times — and there’s no better time than Friday evening, when we pick up our paycheck, punch out of work, and enjoy a couple days of much-needed rest and relaxation.

This weekend, we’re queuing up a song that pays tribute to that special feeling one gets after closing time on Friday, when you’re finally off the clock and there’s a payday-swollen wallet burning a hole in your pocket: ‘Just Got Paid,’ from ZZ Top‘s classic 1972 album ‘Rio Grande Mud.’

Released a little over a year after ‘ZZ Top’s First Album,’ ‘Mud’ found drummer Frank Beard, guitarist Billy Gibbons, and bassist Dusty Hill refining the Texas barbecue blues boogie they’d begun peddling since the band was founded in 1969. And while the album wasn’t a major hit — it stalled at 104 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, and the sole single, ‘Francine,’ never rose higher than Number 69 — it firmed up their sonic blueprint while presaging the massive success they’d soon begin enjoying, starting with the following year’s ‘Tres Hombres’ LP.

Generally speaking, you really can’t go wrong listening to ZZ Top on a Friday afternoon, but we’ve chosen today’s track for obvious reasons: Like the title says, it’s all about a guy who just got paid (although the pay seems pretty poor, as he says all he’s got is “a pocket full of change”). And while, as the lyrics point out, all that dough is “the root of evil and you know the rest,” it’s still “way ahead of what’s second best.”

So jingle that change while your bag is full, dear reader, and if you hear that hound dog barkin’ in the black of the night, just stick your hand in your pocket — everything’s all right. And if it isn’t quite time to clock out yet, never fear; we’ve embedded an excellent live version of ‘Just Got Paid’ for your listening pleasure below, so all you have to do is hit ‘play,’ turn up the volume, and let your weekend start now.

Next: So You Think You're a Romeo

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