Ranking Every ZZ Top Album
Billy Gibbons once memorably described ZZ Top's music as the "same three guys, same three chords." But the following countdown of ZZ Top Albums Ranked Worst to Best makes it clear just how diverse his band could be.
Deliriously unrefined at first, ZZ Top made their name by digging deep into an uncluttered, sleazy groove. "The first five ZZ releases really capture the band’s early progression," Gibbons admitted to Goldmine. "We just got into the groove and dug deeper and deeper as we pressed on. It was an organic period in sound."
Then ZZ Top reimagined it all with the help of a modern overlay of technology that sent them to previously unimagined commercial heights. "All sorts of crazy sound-making machines were coming online," Gibbons told the Houston Chronicle. "We began following the work that both Depeche Mode and Ministry were creating which started our own 'lab project' in the studio and began combining guitar-based blues rock with a modern-day feel."
They'd had a few gold '70s-era records, and one million-seller. But ZZ Top suddenly became multi-platinum MTV megastars in the decade that followed. "These cats know their blues," Keith Richards said while inducting them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, "and how to dress it up."
Later, ZZ Top doubled back to their original raw glory, exploring core blues influences while adding new splashes of roots music to the mix. "A lot of people lump us in with southern boogie – whatever that means," bassist Dusty Hill told The Guardian. "It had an implication of being overly simplistic. … A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the blues is very simple music – but it's not easy to play well."
See for yourself as we examine every era in the following list of ZZ Top Albums Ranked Worst to Best.
ZZ Top Albums Ranked
Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso
Check Out Billy Gibbons’ Guitar Hero Yearbook Picture