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ZZ Top - Francine

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by EllroyJames, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I had forgotten how great those first albums really were. They'll be finding their way back to my turntable today.
    ZZ Top kind of left me when they sort of became a commercial caricature of themselves.
     
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  2. buster poser

    buster poser Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    431
    May 1, 2018
    Maryland
    I first *really* got into them with Deguello when I was 10 or 11, but I still liked Eliminator (though nothing after it). I dunno... they were cool, the cars were cool, I was 13 and those girls were in the video. Sue me... I had higher priorities than artistic purity. ;)
     

  3. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    51
    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    The first of the first is one of my all-time favorites:

     

  4. buster poser

    buster poser Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    431
    May 1, 2018
    Maryland
    Gotta throw in some Deguello and Tejas love here.

    This Sam and Dave cover is just off the hook with that bouncy rhythm and Billy's jangly fluorishes throughout.



    'Driving' is pure early Billy. Man those riffs and those soft high chords in the verses. The solo... ffffff.

     
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  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    I didn't say I like them all equally...

    As a Texan, their influence and presence was undeniable, even before I started listening to Rock radio, when I wasn't sure who or what they were..."La Grange", "Tush" and a few others were going to be heard on the jukeboxes of the more progressive cafés my parents took us to...

    But Eliminator came out when I started listening to Rock music in earnest (I was 13)...those songs, with the '33 Ford Coupe, pop-dance beats and leggy girl videos, were going to influence a young man in more ways than one.

    Overall, I dislike 75% of Afterburner--unforgivable 80's schlock, outside of "Stages“ and "Can't Top Rockin'" and maybe "Delirius“ (all of which were leftovers from earlier recordings and on the jukebox of the Pizza Hut I was employed at, so they got hammered into my consciousness)..."Recycler" was aptly named, but it at least had "My Head's In Mississippi," which I hold in high regard to this day.

    But each of their albums has a gem or three, and some of their 90's/early 00's output merits serious reconsideration (specifically, "Rhythmeen" and about 3/4 of "Mescalero")...

    ...and I'd put "La Futura" (their most recent) in the company of many of their classic albums. I think the presence of an outside non-yes-man reined in some of Billy's cartoonish tendencies.

    Yes, their first few albums or so were probably their best, but there were some weird and schlocky things on there, too--("Heaven, Hell or Houston", "Manic Mechanic" and "Ten Foot Pole" out-Zappa ol' Francis Hisself, and "Leila" and "It's So Hard" are refugees from a Fleetwood Mac album)...

    But don't entirely discount the stuff after Afterburner--There's a lot of gems hidden in those albums, too.
     
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  6. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Feb 4, 2009
    Phx, AZ
    Things were different back then.

    My MIL was married at 15.
     

  7. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 11, 2012
    Madison, WI, USA
    Great song, great album!
     
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  8. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Holic

    772
    Dec 6, 2012
    Australia
    They also did a version in Spanish. I can only imagine what antics they got up to with their translation.
     
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  9. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Saw Buddy Whittington do Francine a couple of months ago. That song thumps live if its played right. We do Waitin For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago and Manic Mechanic and both those sound great live.

    I have been marveling at the amazing guitar tones on Tres Hombres and Deguello lately. Just killer...


     
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  10. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Why do they, mostly Billy Gibbons, sound the same as the Rio Grande album?
    Lynyrd Skynyrd played a great version of " They Call Me the Breeze" and such a sweet sound in "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe" in the same era. I just don't get it. " She's Got Legs" was great also but they sound the same from song to song. I just don't get the worship of Billy Gibbons, and I can't play as well as him, but there is a certain " sameness" in his playing.
    Please offer positive views and I'll do some more investigation( after 40 pus years!)
     
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  11. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    To me Billy G. is about style and tone. I appreciate his style and tone most when trying to learn one of his tunes. Here are some I thought had some tasty things in them, whether it’s tone groove or some some Billy G’s odd note choices.
    Driving’ While Blind - Tejas- Tone and tasty note choices..
    Waitin’ For The Bus - Tres Hombres very cool note choices throughout. Well, actually that pretty describes this whole album listen to the whole thing. The absolute best wah sound ever recorded (vow amp tone-x knob with a pedal to control it)
    The Sheik - see above but cool groove tone and that wah again.
    Heard it On The X- Fandango
    Ten Dollar Man - Tejas Cool groove and odd kicks. Tone.
    Brown Sugar- Plexi’s up loud and it sounds awesome.



     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018

  12. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

    May 19, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    Totally agree 4pickupguy. Last month i worked a fire dept pyro detail at the John Fogerty/ZZ Top show. I was onstage, off to the side. He just makes playing those songs look so easy. His hands aren't "all over up and down the fretboard" but they sound perfect. Tone for days, played pretty laid back.

    That said, Frank Beard didn't look too enthused, and honestly, I don't know how many big tours Dusty Hill has left in him.
     
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  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    This thread has had me reliving my childhood. I would sit in my room destroy copy after copy of these old albums dropping (sliding) the needle in the same grooves over and over trying to nail Billy’s touch on these tunes. This has really been a blast from the past.
    One thing I have realized is, as good as Billy’s signature sound ( the Pearly Gates thing) is, I much prefer him on a strat or tele. Tres Hombres is rife with it and it is all great. Here are couple of examples of that lovely strat tone Billy can wring out:

    Awesome strat tone through out this gem. Lovely leslie sound too:


    Putting this version on here because the first time I drove past this place I had to laugh. Not exactly the place I imagined in my youth. It’s gone now (1929-2008 and demolished) but the song remains to remind us. It feature a nice strat lead by BG.
     
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  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Billy got a great, organic blues rock tone, no matter what he played.
    I’m another “needle dropper”, too.
    I remember trying to cop his licks and tone.
    His “Apologies To Pearly” is his Strat-tone masterpiece, IMO.
    I think he played it on a hardtail sunburst 55 Strat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

  15. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Texas
    C'mon guys...if the Strat is the yin then the Les Paul is the yang. Y'all don't want the universe to lose it's state of equlibrium? Think about it...trees fallin' over, buildings losing pieces of brick, parents taking kids off the street, dogs and cats livin' in sin (shudder).

    Here...let me help put things right.



    The duality is now restored.

    :cool:
     
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  16. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Let it yin, then:
     
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  17. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    51
    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    If your opinion is being based on "Eliminator" and the catalog thereafter, then I would have to agree with you. However, read back through this thread and you'll see it stated numerous times that many feel their best occurred before the "Legs" era.

    Give every album from the '70s a few solid listens and then let us now what you think. The '80s stuff is frustrating for me to the point of it being saddening, taken in light how how truly great they were before. On those first albums, the creativity, the arrangements, the playing are beyond compare in many cases. Although ZZ Top was famous and well-known, I've always thought that their fame was nowhere near equal to how good they really were.
     
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  18. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Aug 23, 2014
    Woodstock
    Another needle dropper here. For the faster passages I would set the turntable to 16rpm to slow it down by half, then learn it an octave higher than what I was hearing. We made do back then. :cool:
     
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  19. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    51
    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX

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