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ZZ Top - The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (2013)

ZZ Top - The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (2013)
EAC | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
10CD Box Set | 2013, Warner Bros, 8122796642 | ~ 2429 or 875 MB Scans -> 117 Mb
Blues Rock / Hard Rock / Southern Rock


Warner's 2013 box set The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 rounds up the ten albums ZZ Top recorded for Warner Bros over the course of 20 years: 1971's ZZ Top's First Album, 1972's Rio Grande Mud, 1973's Tres Hombres, 1975's Fandango!, 1976's Tejas, 1979's Deguello, 1981's El Loco, 1983's Eliminator, 1985's Afterburner, and 1990's Recycler. Each album is packaged as a mini LP containing the original artwork, but the real news is that the original LP mixes for ZZ Top's First Album, Rio Grande Mud, and Tejas are presented on CD for the first time, a move that will please all hardcore fans.

Back in 1987, at the dawn of the CD era, ZZ Top released a three-disc box set called 'Six Pack' that included the band's first five albums plus their seventh. Still flush from the mega-success of 1983's 'Eliminator,' and its 1985 follow-up 'Afterburner,' someone decided to take the original recordings from the '70s and remix them with added '80s-style percussion. It wasn't long before every ZZ Top CD for sale came with the newly recorded mechanized drums that helped make 'Eliminator' a hit. One thing 'Tres Hombres' didn't need was robotic percussion.

The 10-disc 'ZZ Top: The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990)' rights these quarter-century wrongs by reissuing the LPs in their original mixes. And if that means some of them - like 1971's 'ZZ Top's First Album' - sound a bit sludgy, and others - like 1975's part-live 'Fandango!' - aren't as crisp or as clear as you once thought, at least the heavily processed mixes that have plagued the records for years are no longer around.

That leaves you with the music itself. And, as you'll quickly figure out as you plow through this hefty box, ZZ Top were a spotty band during their first 20 years. The first two albums especially ('ZZ Top's First Album' and 1972's 'Rio Grande Mud') are loose, hazy and scattered. The trio didn't really find focus until their terrific third outing, 1973's 'Tres Hombres,' which sounds big, full and powerful in the remastered version here. So do most of the immediate follow-ups to that breakthrough album.

By the time ZZ Top entered the '80s, they were ready for a change. You can hear the seeds of it taking root on 1981's 'El Loco,' but 1983's 'Eliminator' is the record that turned the dust-covered boogie band from Texas into global pop stars. It still sounds like a monster charging forward with some of the era's most inventive blend of synth-pop hooks and old-school rock. 'Afterburner' and 1990's 'Recycler' are more of the same, but without the initial knockout punch.

The set is aimed at collectors, with all 10 albums packaged in reproductions of their original sleeves (i.e. the ones that came in gatefolds include gatefolds). Several of the records received aural upgrades over the years restoring their original mixes, so the most devoted fans probably already own them. But this is the first time a handful of them have been available like this and the first time they've all been gathered in one place. 'The Complete Studio Albums' is the most definitive collection of the band's first 20 years. You just have to decide if it's worth purchasing again.

CD1: ZZ Top - ZZ Top's First Album (1970)
01. (Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree - 2:35
02. Brown Sugar - 5:25
03. Squank - 2:49
04. Goin' Down To Mexico - 3:24
05. Old Man - 3:27
06. Neighbor, Neighbor - 2:21
07. Certified Blues - 3:28
08. Bedroom Thang - 4:40
09. Just Got Back From Baby's - 4:10
10. Back Door Love Affair - 3:20

CD2: ZZ Top - Rio Grande Mud (1972)
01. Francine - 3:34
02. Just Got Paid - 4:27
03. Mushmouth Shoutin' - 3:49
04. Ko Ko Blue - 4:33
05. Chevrolet - 3:21
06. Apologies To Pearly - 2:40
07. Bar-B-Q - 3:26
08. Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell - 7:21
09. Whiskey'N Mama - 3:21
10. Down Brownie - 2:30

CD3: ZZ Top - Tres Hombres (1973)
01. Waitin' For The Bus - 2:53
02. Jesus Just Left Chicago - 3:30
03. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers - 3:26
04. Master Of Sparks - 3:31
05. Hot, Blue And Righteous - 3:17
06. Move Me On Down The Line - 2:31
07. Precious And Grace - 3:10
08. La Grange - 3:53
09. Shiek - 4:06
10. Have You Heard? - 3:14

CD4: ZZ Top - Fandango! (1975)
01. Thunderbird - 4:10
02. Jailhouse Rock - 1:56
03. Backdoor Medley - 9:52
04. Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings - 2:44
05. Blue Jean Blues - 4:44
06. Balinese - 2:37
07. Mexican Blackbird - 3:06
08. Heard It on the X - 2:26
09. Tush - 2:17

CD5: ZZ Top - Tejas (1976)
01. It's Only Love - 4:24
02. Arrested for Driving While Blind - 3:07
03. El Diablo - 4:21
04. Snappy Kakkie - 2:58
05. Enjoy and Get It On - 3:25
06. Ten Dollar Man - 3:41
07. Pan Am Highway Blues - 3:15
08. Avalon Hideaway - 3:08
09. She's a Heartbreaker - 3:03
10. Asleep in the Desert nstrumental - 3:30

CD6: ZZ Top - Degüello (1979)
01. I Thank You - 3:25
02. She Loves My Automobile - 2:24
03. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide - 4:53
04. A Fool For Your Stockings - 4:17
05. Manic Mechanic - 2:36
06. Dust My Broom - 3:09
07. Lowdown On The Street - 2:50
08. Hi Fi Mama - 2:25
09. Cheap Sunglasses - 4:49
10. Esther Be The One - 3:30

CD7: ZZ Top - El Loco (1981)
01. Tube Snake Boogie - 3:05
02. I Wanna Drive You Home - 4:49
03. Ten Foot Pole - 4:24
04. Leila - 3:18
05. Don't Tease Me - 4:23
06. It's So Hard - 5:12
07. Pearl Necklace - 4:07
08. Groovy Little Hippie Pad - 2:44
09. Heaven, Hell Or Houston - 2:33
10. Party On The Patio - 2:48

CD8: ZZ Top - Eliminator (1983)
01. Gimme All Your Lovin - 4:04
02. Got Me Under Pressure - 4:03
03. Sharp Dressed Man - 4:18
04. I Need You Tonight - 6:19
05. I Got The Six - 2:54
06. Legs - 4:34
07. Thug - 4:19
08. TV Dinners - 3:51
09. Dirty Dog - 4:07
10. If I Could Only Flag Her Down - 3:40
11. Bad Girl - 3:20

CD9: ZZ Top - Afterburner (1985)
01. Sleeping Bag - 4:06
02. Stages - 3:35
03. Wake Up With Wood - 3:50
04. Rough Boy - 4:52
05. Can't Stop Rockin' - 3:04
06. Planet Of Women - 4:07
07. I Got The Message - 3:30
08. Velcro Fly - 3:33
09. Dipping Low (In The Lap Of Luxury) - 3:15
10. Delirious - 3:42

CD10: ZZ Top - Recycler (1990)
01. Concrete And Steel - 3:49
02. Lovething - 3:26
03. Penthouse Eyes - 3:47
04. Tell It - 4:49
05. My Head's In Mississippi - 4:25
06. Decision Or Collision - 4:03
07. Give It Up - 3:34
08. 2000 Blues - 4:45
09. Burger Man - 3:20
10. Doubleback - 3:57
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