Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rolling Stone 500: (498) Tres Hombres by ZZ Top [1973]

I grew up listening to classic rock. My dad listened to this stuff all the time. For a reference point, watch That 70's Show. It pretty much is his generation in sitcom format. So, I know ZZ Top and I've heard their songs on the radio, but I usually change the station when they come up. The 70's-era blues-influenced classic hard rock style turns me off usually. It's okay, just not my tatse.

The appeal of this record is, simply, the guitars. I found myself wishing the singer would stop singing so I could hear the next solo. That may sound like an indictment of the singing, but it's more of a compliment to the guitar solos.
For some reason I kept thinking of Prince's "Purple Rain" (especially during the chorus) while listening to "Hot, Blue and Righteous." Both have similar sounds I guess. But how could the image of ZZ Top and Prince be any more different? And though I don't necessarily completely dig the singing on this record, this one cut has some fine harmonies.
Basically I summarize the record like this: strong beginning (really great actually) followed by a few decent songs ("Move Me on Down the Line," "Precious and Grace") and one pretty one ("Hot, Blue and Righteous"), then another great song ("La Grange") and then crashing to the ground with some horrible songs ("Sheik" especially).


No beards (sad face emoticon), but a strage picture nonetheless.

More beards.

I would suggest picking up "Tres Hombres" if you enjoy genuinely fun rock music with good guitar playing. Just, you know, skip the last few cuts. It surprised me how much I enjoyed the songs overall.
  • Best songs: "La Grange," "Waitin' for the Bus"
  • Worst song: "Sheik"
  • Verdict: 3.8 stars out of 5 (officially a 4 on Rate Your Music)
  • Next album: "Yo! Bum Rush the Show" by Public Enemy (Rate Your Music predicts I will give it a 3.38 rating.)
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