Some think that the "ZZ" in ZZ
Top stands for Zig Zag (as in the paper), but this connection is
probably a convenient coincidence. Originally, founding band
member Billy Gibbons had suggested the name ZZ King, after looking at
posters of blues players Z.Z. Hill and B.B. King. Because the B.B.
King poster was on top of the Z.Z. Hill poster, he decided on ZZ Top.
This was Houston, TX, 1969. The band released two singles that
year, but it wasn't until 1970 that the iconic three guys we know as ZZ
Top were members of the band (Gibbons in addition to Frank Beard and
Dusty Hill. Their first official album, actually called ZZ
Top's First Album, was released in 1971.
It wasn't until the 1973 release of Tres Hombres
that things really began taking off for the band. This album
featured the hit song "La Grange" (about a whore house in La Grange,
TX). The 1975 release of a live album called Fandango!
featured the hit song "Tush". After releasing Tejas in 1976, ZZ
Top decided to take a short hiatus. The hiatus lasted 2 years,
during which members Gibbons and Hill grew their long beards, and Frank
Beard went clean shaven. The last album ZZ Top released in the
1970's was Deguello. It featured the hit songs "I Thank
You" and "Cheap Sunglasses".
The 1980's would prove to be the most successful for ZZ
Top. Many of their videos were heavily rotated on MTV. El
Loco was released in 1981 and featured the songs "Tube Snake Boogie" and
"Pearl Necklace". Eliminator, released in 1983, featured four hit
songs: "Legs", "Sharp Dressed Man", "Got Me Under Pressure", and "Gimme
All Your Lovin'". All of the singles from the album Afterburner
(1985) charted. Songs you may remember include "Sleeping Bag",
"Rough Boy", and "Velcro Fly". The 1990 release of Recycler found
the band returning to the musical roots that had founded in the 1970's,
which alienated some of the band's mid 80's fans. Never the less,
the band did meet with some success post 80's. Interested in
owning a ZZ Top Keychain?
Follow the link.
As the years have rolled on, so has ZZ Top. They
have been in studio, on stage, and even playing at events like half time
at the Super Bowl. At the time of this writing, they were still
very active (2012). The ZZ Top Discography currently is as
follows:1971: ZZ Top's First Album
1972: Rio Grande Mud
1973: Tres Hombres
1977: The Best of ZZ Top
1981: El Loco
1985: Summer EP
1987: Six Pack
1992: Greatest Hits
1994: One Foot in the Blues
2003: Chrome, Smoke, & BBQ
2004: Rancho Texicano
2008: Live from Texas
2009: Double Down Live
2012: La Futura