Our Top 10 Fabulous Thunderbirds songs list takes a look at a blues band that began their recording career during the outbreak of punk and new wave music in the late 1970’s. While bands like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Blondie and so many others were generating headlines for all types of reasons, The Fabulous Thunderbirds were offering rock fans great authentic rock and roll blues infused records. When the Sex Pistols were thrashing stages and causing complete chaos in 1976, The Fabulous Thunderbirds were making a name for themselves on the blues circuit in Texas. After learning their craft the hard way, on the barroom stage, the band signed with Chrysalis records and released their first album in 1979. The album was often referred to as the Girls Gone Wild record.
After the release of their debut album, the band released three more records on the Chrysalis label until they were dropped from the label in 1982. A few years later in 1985, the band would sign with Epic Records. In 1986 they released their most successful album of their career. The album Tuff Enough would spawn the band a top 10 hit and a successful MTV video that for the most part turned the group in a mass cultural success.
The lone member of that band that has been their from the start-up until the present day is the band’s lead singer Kim Wilson. The band’s glory days of the 1980s also featured Jimmy Vaughan on lead guitar Keith Ferguson(1979-1985) and Preston Hubbard on bass, and Fran Christina on drums.
Our top 10 Fabulous Thunderbirds Songs list focuses on for the most part the band’s 1980’s period. It was a time in which the band recorded some of their finest material with Kim Wilson singing his heart out and the magnificent Jimmy Vaughan playing some of the most tasteful blues licks ever recorded. The band was on fire and left a legacy of great records for rock and roll fans to enjoy for the rest of their lives.
# 10 – Can’t Tear It Up Enough
Opening up out top 10 Fabulous Thunderbirds songs list is a barn burning party song that the Fabulous Thunderbirds were known for. Kim Wilson sounded like he was always having such a great time. Jimmy Vaughan’s rhythm guitar playing on this one defines the great groove playing that he brought to this fantastic band. The Fabulous Thunderbirds song “Can’t tear It Up Enough,” was released on the great T-Bird Rhythm album. The record was released in 1982. The album was produced by Nick Lowe
# 9 – I Believe I’m In Love With You
Kim Wilson’s great harp playing drives home the opening riff to the classic Fabulous Thunderbirds song “I Believe I’m In Love With You.” The track also featured the piano playing of Al Copley. The song was released on the 1981 album Butt Rockin’.
# 8 – Twist of the Knife
This cool moody blues songs is the only track to appear on our Top 10 Fabulous Thunderbirds songs list that was not released during the band’s 1980s period. It’s also the only song on his list that does not feature Jimmy Vaughan on guitar. Jimmy Vaughan had left the band to record an album with his brother Stevie Ray Vaughan. After Stevie Ray Vaughan lost his life in a plane crash, Jimmy never returned to the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
# 7 – Runnin’ Shoes
The song “Runnin’ Shoes,” was the opening track on the band’s second album. The record entitled What’s The Word was released in 1980. The song featured no guitar solo, just a small harp solo by Kim Wilson. However Jimmy Vaughan’s rhythm guitar playing on he track is in league of its own. Arrangements like this one was why we couldn’t get enough of these great Fabulous Thunderbirds songs.
# 6 – Walking To My Baby
This great old school song “Walking To My Baby,” was released on the band’s debut album Girls Go Wild. For most of his career Jimmy Vaughan’s guitar playing sounded quite different from his younger brothers. However, on this tracks you can hear where Stevie Ray Vaughan learned some of his great licks. Jimmy taught him well.
# 5 – My Babe
The great Fabulous Thunderbirds song “My Babe,” has nothing to do with the Foghat song of the same name which was written by Bobby Hatfield, Willie Dixon, and Bill Medley The Thunderbirds song “My Babe,” was written by Ron Holden. The song was released on the smoking T-Bird Rhythm album in 1982.
# 4 – Rock With Me
If there was one Fabulous Thunderbirds song that defined the band’s voice and point of attack, it would be the great track “Rock With Me.” It is the ultimate blues song. It defines the interplay between very member of the band. Kim’s voice and harp, Jimmy’s guitar, Ferguson’s bass and Bucks drumming all lined up in sync with the sound of the blues, Texas style. Just about as perfect as it gets. And they did it on their first album. WOW!
# 3 – Powerful Stuff
The great Fabulous Thunderbirds song “Powerful Stuff,” was released on the band’s 1989 album Powerful Stuff. The album was the last Fabulous Thunderbirds record to feature Jimmy Vaughan on guitar before he left the band. The song “Powerful Stuff,” had originally been released on the soundtrack to the movie Cocktail. The movie which featured Tom Cruise, featured a soundtrack album that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 album charts.
# 2 – Tuff Enough
Out of all the The Fabulous Thunderbird songs the band released, their 1986 smash hit “Tuff Enough,” was the band’s most successful. All the elements that made the band so fabulous merged in perfect alignment on the great song “Tuff Enough.” The swinging soulful blues voice of Kim Wilson and the Texas style deep grooving guitar work of Jimmy Vaughan simply killed it on this one. However, the greatest musical performance will be wasted if there is not a great song to behind the musicianship. There is no arguing that point on this one. The song reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. The song peaked at number 10.
# 1 – Wrap It Up
As we said in this articles opening paragraph, our Top 10 Fabulous Thunderbird songs list is purely subjective. If we were writing a list based on sales or popularity, than their 1986 single “Tuff Enough,” would rank at the number 1 spot. Don’t get us wrong, we love the single “Tuff Enough.” It landed in the number two position. We just happen to love the follow-up single “Wrap It Up,” a little more. What do you think?
Top 10 Fabulous Thunderbirds Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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