Album Reviews

ZZ Top – Live In Germany 1980

Released by: Eagle Rock Ent

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Classic Rock


Line Up:

Billy Gibbons – vocals, guitar

Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard – drums


01. El Deguello

02. I Thank You

03. Waitin’ For the Bus

04. Jesus Just Left Chicago

05. Precious And Grace

06. Manic Mechanic

07. Lowdown In The Street

08. Heard It On The X

09. Fool For Your Stockings

10. Cheap Sunglasses

11. Arrested For Driving While Blind

12. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

13. La Grange / Sloppy Drunk / Bar-B-Q

14. Dust My Broom

15. Jailhouse Rock

16. Tush

When I think of the a music career that expands over 40 years in the making and we are talking about the classic rock pioneers ZZ Top, you have to take a bow in a moment of appreciation and respect. How big of an impact they had on the blues genre as well as the trail blazing way of recreating unique guitars. Not to mention certifiably hits worldwide, iconic statute doesn’t even cover the illustrious career the boys from where everything else is bigger (Texas) can amount to. The guys got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and over their still running career they have kept the line up intact, what does that say for chemistry and about the music they play? Everything….

For die core fans of the band you have to acknowledged the fact that the albums “Fandango” and “Tres Hombres” are probably they’re biggest and most recognizable albums, but the triple combo had a surprising early streak of success when they hit it big before those releases. Following the success of those records the band went on to release they’re 1979 album “Degüello”. This treat of a live performance being released for the first time on CD is taken from they’re April 19th/20, 1980 showing at the infamous Rockpalast venue is in support of that terrific album. Rockpalast was always notorious event recorded for TV for Europe. Many popular bands have been filmed there and it has turned into a very successful video concert release chain even to this day.

Is very unique recording you get to hear a great band like ZZ just belch out some classics cuts and 9 tracks from the Degüello record in their prime. One thing you could expect from the guys for the first time on CD at this performance, is the still excellent sound quality from that night. You have you typical Billy Gibbons just killing every intricate riff from classics blues cut like “Fool For Your Stockings” with Billy trademark narrative into this old school blues classic cut, to hard rock burners such as “Heard It On The X” and “Lowdown In The Street” as they menace with precision distortion. This was the cool thing about ZZ Top, they never abandoned they’re blues influenced and manage to incorporate them into the structure of the band which defined they’re sound for generations.

Of course the classics are all there, “Cheap Sunglasses’ comes out glaring with every bounce of boogie rock energy. And the triple head monster of “La Grange/Sloppy Drunk/Bar-B-Q/” are all performed flawlessly live in the cut. My personal favorite the thumping killer Rocking groove of “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”.

I don’t think many people then really knew that these Texas guys could mount such a punch especially at the international level, at least that was the case after they broke ground in the states, man they we’re wrong. I don’t get the people now a days who criticize these iconic bands because they don’t sound like they used to and they are past they’re prime, really? These gentleman in they’re prime featured in all its glory on this great live set, can convince anybody who’s a fan of classic rock why they hit it big. And no matter if they have lost a thing or two which every great band does in they’re declining years, the fact they are still around doing what they we’re meant to do is to be respected and admired. As far as this great live set it will go down in history as possibly they’re best live recording both video and audio wise, and cataloging a band in they’re pinnacle of they’re career; it makes a great collector item for any fan of the band and  for fans of great classic rock. The sound is great and even though the fans are a bit dormant, you can’t help and sit there in awe of Billy’s great guitar work and the rhythm and bass staple of Dusty Hill and company. Must Have!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   9/10

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