Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ZZ Top, Tejas

It's hard not to like early ZZ Top, the classic music of the group from the 1970s.

The band's distinct brand of blues-rock stayed true to its roots during this decade while steadily adding new elements. Sure, like most artists who lost their way in the '80s, the Top later put out "Sleeping Bag" and other such schlock ... but over the course of several '70s albums the three coolest guys in Texas were reliable producers of cool guitar groove. This album is just one example.

Sadly, the artwork looks more appropriate for a Jimmy Buffett or Seals and Crofts album. Like many other featured covers on this site, it's better to hide this one away and just enjoy the music.


Blogger rock and roll history said...

Bit of trivia:
ZZ Top is the longest running rock band to have it's original personnel from conception to present day.
Almost 40 years, with the same three guys.

April 14, 2009 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

well, maybe it's more appropriate for a Linda Rondstadt album, but you can't go wrong with the content inside

April 29, 2009 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Mighty High said...

This is the mellowest of the early ZZ Top albums. That might explain the Jimmy Buffet-esque cover.

May 13, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous elizabeth avedon said...

Who was the Texas artist/designer for most of the original album artworks? Anyone know his web address?

August 1, 2009 at 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Liz.Blog said...

I remembered it was Bill Narum. Unfortunately I just read (Nov 20, 2009) One of Austin’s most famous visual artists has died. Bill Narum was longtime art director for ZZ Top's Tres Hombres and Fandango albums, as well as for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Nanci Griffith. A recent interview with Bill Narum about his work with ZZ Top is here: http://texasmusicmatters.kut.org/2009/11/20/remembering-austin-artist-bill-narum/

November 30, 2009 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone ever or had the original album cover of their first release?
It was a simple graphic design, one of the zig zag man, the other of the tops top. it may have only been released in tx and removed due to copyright but that is just speculation on my part. i have never found it.

March 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous HyTex said...

Actually, this cover co-ordinates with the entire stage and set of ZZ's World Wide Texas Tour (featured in Rolling Stone Magazine in 1976) which included a live longhorn, buffalo, vulture and rattle snake that raised on hydraulic lifts on stage and was carted across country in 4 semi-trailers with matching art designed by Bill Narum, depicting a panoramic view of Texas (from sunset and mesas in the west to a moonrise over the coastal waters in the east) and it was amazing.

The album cover appears washed out, but it's Texas in the moonlight (as Narum often saw traveling in west Texas) and wraps around to the back where there are longhorns and yuccas in the sunshine, panoramic style as well. Truly beautiful irl.

January 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM  

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