ARTIST: ZZ Top
TITLE: Tres Hombres
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #8
SINGLES: La Grange (#41), Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Waiting for the Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago
LINEUP: Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Putting it all together, ZZ Top records their commercial breakthrough.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After slowly gaining in popularity (regionally, for the most part), ZZ Top’s blend of blues and boogie found its audience when this stormed out of speakers in 1973.
At first, “La Grange” was the cut of choice, and it still causes a commotion whenever it’s on the radio. Yet, the album is full of glorious blues and rock-and-roll. The opening tracks (“Waiting for the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”) have been fan favorites for years, and many of the deep tracks are just as solid as the hits (especially “Precious and Grace” – that one should be cranked up as high as possible).
Gibbons’ guitar work is versatile as usual, with great slide, blues and boogie riffs sprayed all over the place and Frank Beard’s drumming has strengthened and he adds more flair to his work.
There isn’t a track that I’d leave off, but the side closers aren’t as strong as the rest of the tracks (they’re still not that great at slowing down). That’s a quibble – you gotta have this in your rock collection.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Everyone knows that “Waiting for the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago” blend together on album, but it wasn’t planned. An engineer spliced the songs too close so they went together as they were a medley.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, three live tracks.
GRADE: A: This may be the pinnacle of ZZ Top, especially early Top.