The band is known for Hill’s and Gibbons’ trademark beards.
Return to guitar-driven sound (1992–2003)
In 1992, Warner released ZZ Top’s Greatest Hits, along with a new Rolling Stones-style cut, “Gun Love”, and an Elvis-inflected video, “Viva Las Vegas”. In 1993, ZZ Top inducted a major influence, Cream, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1994 the band signed to a $35 million deal with RCA Records, releasing the million-selling Antenna in 1994. Subsequent RCA albums, Rhythmeen (1996) and 1999’s XXX (the second album to feature live tracks) sold well, but did not reach the levels enjoyed previously.
ZZ Top, however, continued to play to enthusiastic live audiences. In 2003, ZZ Top released a final RCA album, Mescalero, an album thick with harsh Gibbons guitar and featuring a hidden track — a cover version of “As Time Goes By”. RCA impresario Clive Davis wanted to do a collaboration record (in the mode of Carlos Santana’s successful Supernatural) for this album.
In an interview in Goldmine magazine, artists Pink, Dave Matthews, and Wilco were among the artists slated for the project. ZZ Top performed “Tush” and “Legs” as part of the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show in 1997.
A comprehensive four-CD collection of recordings from the London and Warner Bros. years, Chrome, Smoke & BBQ, was released in 2003. It featured the band’s first single (A- and B-side), several rare B-side tracks as well as a radio promotion from 1979, a live track and several extended dance mix versions of their biggest MTV hits. Three tracks from Billy Gibbons’ pre-ZZ band, The Moving Sidewalks, were also included.
ZZ Top contributed a song, “Doubleback”, and appeared as a hillbilly band in the wild-west dance scene in the 1990 movie, Back to the Future Part III. The band also appeared in the 1990 TV movie, Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme, portraying the Three Men in a Tub.
ZZ Top performed at the 2008 Orange Bowl game in Miami, as well as the Auto Club 500 NASCAR event at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. On June 23, 2008, ZZ Top celebrated the release of their first live concert DVD entitled Live from Texas with the world premiere, a special appearance and charity auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in Houston.
The DVD was officially released on June 24, 2008. The featured performance was culled from a concert filmed at the Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas on November 1, 2007.
On January 22, 2010, Billy Gibbons accompanied Will Ferrell and others playing “Free Bird” on Conan O’Brien’s last Tonight Show appearance as host. O’Brien joined in on guitar.
On June 8, 2011, a press release, reported on various media sources, announced that the new song “Flyin’ High” will debut in space. Astronaut and friend of ZZ Top, Michael Fossum, was given the released single to listen to on his trip to the International Space Station.
On June 4, 2014, ZZ Top opened the CMT Awards performing La Grange with Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line.
Billy Gibbons – vocals, guitar (1969–present)
Frank Beard – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1969–present)
Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals (1969–present)
Pre ZZ Top members
Lanier Greig – organ, bass (1969; died 2013)
Dan Mitchell – drums (1969)
Billy Ethridge – bass (1969)
The band is known for Hill’s and Gibbons’ trademark beards. In 2012 Gibbons revealed that he and Hill had once been offered $1 million, by shaver manufacturer Gillette, to cut off their facial hair, but that they had declined.
2015 North American Tour: Kicked off with a concert in Red Bank, NJ at the Count Basie Theatre on March 3, 2015. After re-scheduled dates & concert additions the tour will now wrap with a concert in Highland Park, IL at the Ravinia Pavilion on August 27, with Blackberry Smoke. Jeff Beck will join ZZ Top for seven concerts of the tour.
Main article: ZZ Top discography
ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
Rio Grande Mud (1972)
Tres Hombres (1973)
El Loco (1981)
La Futura (2012)
One Foot in the Blues (1994)
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