The legendary rock band ZZ Top was originated on the base of Billy Gibbons’ blues group Moving Sidewalks formed in Texas late in the sixties. His majesty Jimmy Hendrix praised the works of this formation naming Gibson one of the most promising American young musicians. In 1970, Billy launched a new project involving his Moving Sidewalks partners. The new band was titled ZZ Top. With only one single released, Billy was forced to search for new musicians after the original members went to Vietnam. The new lineup of ZZ Top remained the same for many years to come and included Billy Gibbons, Joe Hill and Frank Beard. They were headed by the producer Bill Ham who recommended the guys to play hard rock. So they did, yet the Southern origin took its toll as the young men flavored their music with blues. This unique sound became the trademark of ZZ Top making them recognizable and remarkable among many other rock performers. The debut work by the rockers, called First Album (1970), featured the heavy version of country and blues which could be accepted only by the local folks of Texas. The group started their career touring the Southern states mostly, until the second long player, Rio Grande Mud (1972), earned them nationwide fame. Although, its singles had a good airplay, the album itself was not well promoted and had a poor charts performance.
ZZ Top achieved the commercial success with the 1973 release of Tres Hombres, containing the smashing La Grange. This track lifted the album straight to Top 10 making it platinum. Half-studio, half-live record, Fandango (1975), followed the glorious way of its predecessor and became a hit in Europe. Catching the right moment, ZZ Top launched the incomparable World Wide Texas tour. It was a huge program of concerts in a number of countries notable for the Texas style of stage decorations including cactuses, snakes and other typical images of the band’s homeland. It started in 1976 and lasted longer than the musicians planned. The touring captivated them and made the guys forget the studio activity for three years. Gibbons and Hill grew impressive beards, a new integral part of their stage image. They came back to the studio in 1979 and released four albums in six years. After the unexpectedly flopping El Loco (1981), ZZ Top returned to the tops with the 1983 album Eliminator including the hits Sharp Dressed Man, Legs, Gimme All Your Lovin’. With these songs conquering the radio stations, the record had immense sales brining ZZ Top more and more new fans. Eliminator failed to reach the first place in the charts, yet it remained in Top 20 for more than a year. After another powerful release, Afterburner (1985), ZZ Top took time out for five years. The new album titled Recycler saw light in 1990 and was the last record released by Warner Bros.
ZZ Top started their cooperation with RCA in 1994 making a noteworthy long player called Antenna. This one contained the hit She’s Just Killing Me featured on the soundtrack to Tarantino’s classic From Dusk Till Dawn. In 1999, they celebrated the thirtieth anniversary with the release of the XXX album and a massive tour. After these concerts, Hill was discovered to have hepatitis and took a while for recovery. The full-time activity became possible only in 2003 when ZZ Top made a new album called Mescalero notable for specifically harsh and heavy guitar sound. With the last records far from the old best albums, ZZ Top focused on their live shows. In 2004 the group was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008 they announced their plans to start working on the new album.