ZZ Top were still riding high with ‘Afterburner’ after the massive success of the previous album ‘Eliminator’. The first single off the album was “Sleeping Bag” and the follow-up to their hit “Legs”. The single came out in 1985 and went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 which equaled the chart position of “Legs”. However, it did something no other ZZ Top song had done up to that point. It went to #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart making it the band’s most successful single ever. The song is written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.
The version I have is a U.S. version but it is not standard release as the original cover was different as it was just the mask. This version as the muscled out body wearing the mask with the ZZ Top name down the side which the logo is along the top on the original single. The B-Side on the single is the same with “Party on the Patio”. I found my copy on one of my many local digs as my stores seem to have an abundance of picture sleeve singles as I seem to find at least one on every trip, but usually more than one.
I was out at a record show in Charlotte and was digging through the crates when I came across a 12″ Maxi-Single of ZZ Top’s song “Legs”. Who doesn’t want a “special dance mix” of that song. I had to have it especially since it was not the album mix. I love finding the non-album versions of the songs. I quickly snatched it up and here we are now doing a post.
The song is off the band’s multi-platinum, 1983 album “Eliminator”. This album, along with this song, put ZZ Top in to the stratosphere of success. And really we have MTV to thank as ZZ Top fully embraced the video concept and they did a trilogy of videos with these powerful women driving around in the classic 1933 Ford Coupe and it was stunning, just like the women.
“Legs” went Top 40 going all the way to #8 and saw the band incorporate electronic elements and new wave sounds in to their music. This was the first time that the band embrace synthesizers and electronic drum machines and if I’m not mistaken the bass and drums that were recorded for the song were actually replaced by the electronic equipment. I wonder how that went over the Hill and Beard.
My copy of the single is the standard U.S. 12″ Maxi-Single that included the “Special Dance Mix” of the song “Legs” and the B-Side was the album version of the song “La Grange” from the album ‘Tres Hombres’ from 1983. It is weird to think that this Texas Blues Rock Band would have a “Dance Mix” of a song, but in the 80’s, anything was possible. It was a dramatic change for the band that brought them a completely new audience. To think, these guys were old as far as the MTV generation was concerned, but they somehow pulled off a miracle thanks to videos and brought a fun, good time rock & roll vibe to the audience and they ate it up.
The same time I found the Bon Jovi Single from last week’s post, I found a UK Pressing on a 12″ Single for the song “Rough Boy” from ZZ Top. The song is off their 1985 album, ‘Afterburner’, and was the album’s third single. It went to #5 in the Album Rock Tracks chart and #22 on the Top 40. The UK single went to #23 on their charts.
The UK pressing is a 45 RPM single on 12″ Vinyl and contained a second A side song called “Delirious” off ‘Afterburner’ as well. Both versions are the LP version and not a special mix that I can tell. The B-Side, however, is a special version. It is for the song, “Legs”, off the ‘Eliminator’ album and is called the “Metal Mix”.
There is another UK Version of this single that comes with a poster, sadly, this is not that version. But I am okay with it as it is still a cool find for me and I love getting UK versions of releases.
This documentary has been on my watchlist for awhile thanks to my fellow bloggers and I finally got around to watching it. ‘ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas’ is a documentary that covers the history of the band from the origins in the late 60’s only up to the album ‘Eliminator’ in 1983 which in my opinion was too short, but that is the only fault I have with this documentary.
The story kicks off in how the band came in to being and I love a good origins story. They talk about how Dusty Hill met Frank Beard, then Frank met Billy Gibbons and so on and so forth…I don’t want to spoil it if you don’t know. What makes this documentary so special is that it actually is told from the perspective of the people that were there. I mean it is basically told by Dusty, Billy and Frank along with some key people involved in their success from recording engineers (Robin Hood Brians and Terry Manning) to even a publicists (Howard Bloom). There are a few guest appearances from Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Miller and Billy Bob Thornton which add a nice flavor, but give me the ZZ Top boys all day and every day please.
Another great week and some awesome releases to grab hold of today. There is not a long list, but some varied and interesting stuff. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Take a look through and let me know if there is anything that interests you and let me know. Let me know also if I missed something good that is out today…as I always miss a few. Have a great weekend and Happy Listening!!
Slash – Living the Dream (Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators) – (Snakepit Records LLC): Where does Slash find the time to record with the heavy tour schedule since Guns N Roses reunited (most of the band anyway). Anything with Myles Kennedy on vocals is a must for me. Slash’s name just adds to the excitement. I will be spinning this one for sure.
Hardcore Superstar – You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll – (Gain/Sony): Here is a band that the US has kind of ignored and it is a shame. From what I have heard so far sounds great and this might be first up on the drive to work!! Give them a chance and check them out. You might like it!!