We all get excited about those albums that skyrocket our energy level as soon as we hit the play button. One band that always seems to do that for me is still kickin’ ass together today: the mighty, the ballsy, the mostly bearded trio: ZZ Top.
— Marshall Amps (@marshallamps) March 23, 2017
In my opinion, Eliminator is ZZ Top’s most high-powered album of all time. Upon its release, it flaunted a new flavor that shook up the decade. It ditched the simple foundation of seventies rock and roll for new electronic techniques and raunchy music videos worthy of MTV exposure, proving the ‘80s were a time of trying, and often succeeding, at something new. The synthesizer and drum machine used to construct most of the album’s songs are used heavily in today’s electronic music scene, and even if you’re not into that kind of thing, there’s no denying its ability to transform audiences and get them moving.
The moment just about any ZZ Top song starts up, I freak, but there’s something special about Eliminator that really gets me going — its speed. Without hesitation I turn the volume up as loud as it can go, and I impulsively start swinging my hair all around, something that’s just as dangerous as texting and driving. The album is so rockin’ and upbeat, I’ve even seen KQ’s own Dave Mordal play some wicked air drums along to “I Got the Six” — proving that just about anyone can get down with the get down to this album’s crazy tempo.
The songs off Eliminator are perfect for getting the party started, taking a spinning class at the gym or even preparing yourself for a first date. They get your blood flowing, and personally, they make me feel ready for anything, even trouble. The snappy vibe all starts with “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” which sports a whopping 120 beats per minute. The ride keeps on going at high speed with the songs that gave the guys their familiar tone and went on to define them as a band: “Got Me Under Pressure” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” Even when things slow down for the only chilled out track on the album, “I Need You Tonight,” the vibe stays sexy as the spooky guitar melodies prepare us for the songs about to come. “Thug,” “Legs,” “Dirty Dog” and “Bad Girl” all have an attractive, fun feel that makes us feel damn proud to be rock and roll fans.
There is a particular beauty an album has when it draws us in and gives us an overwhelming dose of good energy, and no matter what kind of a day we’re having, music never fails to drown out all the BS. Next time your feeling down, or even if you’re just in the car driving around, throw on Eliminator and picture yourself crusin’ in a 1930’s Ford coupe with the badass trio themselves. Just be careful not to head-bang your way into an accident.