That little ol' band from Texas didn't stay little for too long. With six number-one singles, four gold albums, three platinum albums, two multiple-platinum albums, and one diamond album, ZZ Top was one of the most successful classic rock bands of the '70s and '80s.
The band formed in Houston, Texas, when two rival bands, The Moving Sidewalks and American Blues, merged. Billy Gibbons, lead guitarist and vocalist, Dusty Hill, bassist, and Frank Beard, drummer, built the foundation of their swampy blues style on their first two records, then found national success with their third studio album Tres Hombres. The trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and celebrated 50 years together in 2019.
Here are the top 15 ZZ Top songs, ranked:
15. "Just Got Paid"
This tune is all about enjoying payday, the weekend, and a little bit of r&r.
14. "Waitin' for the Bus" / "Jesus Just Left Chicago"
This tune kicks off the band's third record, Tres Hombres. The bass line alone is enough to get your foot tappin' before the tune effortlessly transitions into the twelve-bar blues of "Jesus Just Left Chicago."
13. "Blue Jean Blues"
From their fourth studio album, Fandango!, this slow, bluesy song makes it hard not to fall in love with ZZ Top.
12. "I Thank You"
Though "I Thank You" is a cover, the trio didn't waver on their style. The guitar comes through the speakers clear, and Gibbons' voice is silky in that southern blues way he always has.
Though this is from the band's second studio album, Rio Grange Mud, the band's famous southern rock and blues-influenced guitar and vocals are there.
10. "My Head's In Mississippi"
A song released from their 1990 album Recycler landed at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
9. "Tube Snake Boogie"
This song hit the No. 4 spot in 1981.
8. "Cheap Sunglasses"
After a brief hiatus, the trio came back better than ever with their record Deguello and their song about dealing with a pesky hangover.
7. "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide"
According to songfacts.com, "this song was inspired by Texas blues musician named Joey Long, who was good friends with the band. As Billy Gibbons tells it, Long didn't have a driver's license, but he always had a new Cadillac that his beautiful wife Barbarella used to drive him to gigs."
6. "Heard it on the X"
All Mexican radio stations begin with the call letter "X." This song was a tribute to those stations-- specifically XERF in Via Acuna and XERB in Rosarito Beach near Tijuana. Radio stations in Mexico did not have to adhere to the power limits of US stations at the time, which gave the stations the ability to pump their signal well into the States.
5. "I Gotsta Get Paid"
4. "Gimme All Your Lovin"
"Gimme All Your Lovin'" was released on the 1983 album Eliminator. The video was nominated for the MTV Music Video Award for Best Direction along with the next song on this list.
3. "Sharp Dressed Man"
"Sharp Dressed Man" won the VMA for Best Direction in 1984. This video and the "Gimme All Your Lovin'" video were both directed by Tim Newman.
2. "La Grange"
The rock band's most famous song is none other than "Tush." The band got the idea for the title from a song called "Tush Hog" by the Texas musician Roy Head. Like the songs "Pearl Necklace" and "Velcro Fly," "Tush" can have different meanings depending on the listener.
"What's Up With That," "LowDown In The Street," "Just Got Back From Baby's," "Gun Love," "Give It Up," "Viva Las Vegas," "Brown Sugar"