Top 10 ZZ Top Songs

Top 10 ZZ Top Songs

Photo by Craig ONeal

Our Top 10 ZZ Top songs list looks back at all the great songs the band has delivered through their 50-plus years career. In classic rock history, there is a definite line between the thousands of bands that sound like each other and the ones that created their distinct sound that no one ever comes close to imitating. ZZ Top is simply one of those bands that created their own sound.

The band’s first record, appropriately entitled ZZ Top’s First Album, was released in 1971. Since then, the band has released fourteen more albums, with their last record issued in 2012 labeled La Futura. The band’s popularity peaked in the early to mid-1980s due to a series of viral MTV videos released from their Eliminator album. However, the band has always delivered quality rock and roll music inspired by the blues of Texas wrapped in a radio-friendly pop-rock sensibility.

Editor’s Note: On July 28th, 2021, the music world lost the great Dusty Hill at 72 years old. We posted a story on his passing. We dedicate this revised ZZ Top songs articles to the great Dusty Hill and thank him for all the wonderful music he gave us over the past 50 years.

# 10 – Sharp Dressed Man

Well, there is no better way to start the Top 10 ZZ Top Songs list than with a song that generated one of the most popular videos of the MTV “actual music video era.” If you grew up watching MTV during the 1980s, it would be pretty hard to separate the song “Sharp Dressed Man” from the video images that became ingrained in popular culture then. Yes, I know you understand what I am talking about.

# 9 – Sleeping Bag

The song “Sleeping Bag,” was the opening track on the band’s 1985 album Afterburner. The album Afterburner was the follow-up album to their extremely successful Eliminator record. The video to this song may be one of the most ridiculous videos the band ever made. The Eliminator car became a spaceship that flew around, shooting monster trucks. Yeah, I know! However, the song’s guitar solo is pure ZZ Top Texan blues.

The track is heavily produced in the 1980s style of big-sounding pop music. Nonetheless, you must listen to this track on a great stereo system; the sound will blow you away. You won’t get it by listening to it on a computer or smartphone. It’s not their greatest song but the production value is fantastic, and being it was the follow-up to their greatest success made it an essential addition to the Top 10 list, at least for historical reasons.

# 8 – I’m Bad I’m Nationwide

Is there any band that emits a southern cool more than ZZ Top?  The song “I’m Bad I’m Nationwide,” just about says all you need to know about this band. The song “I’m Band I’m Nationwide” was released on their 1979 album  Degüello. 

# 7 – Gimme All Your Lovin’

The second song on this Top 10 ZZ top Songs list from the famous MTV video series featuring the three models and the legendary Eliminator car. The song “Gimme All Your Loving” was the opening track on their 1983 Eliminator album. The song was the first single released from the album. The album Eliminator became the biggest-selling album of the band’s career. In 1983, the band faced significant competition for airplay from bands like U2, The Ramones, Madness, Adam & the Ants, and Bryan Adams. Yet, MTV loved ZZ Top and played a major role in their popularity during the early 1980s.

# 6 – Francine

“Francine,” was the opening track to their second album Rio Grande Mud. You can hear the impact of bands like the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple The Guess Who, on ZZ Top’s early sound, especially in the rhythm guitar grooves. An essential song and time period to be included on this Top 10 ZZ Top Songs list.

# 5 – Legs

Come on, now, how cool is this video? I am sorry if I keep mentioning these ZZ Top videos. They did play a significant role in the band’s massive success during the early 1980’s MTV period. ZZ Top’s great guitar riff, matched by a pulsating, almost dance-like rhythm, made this track a very popular track in the revitalized dance club scene of the early 1980s. A huge hit on the radio and in the clubs, the song was the fifth single released from the mega Eliminator album.

# 4 – Tube Snake Boogie

If this song doesn’t make you want to dance, just give it up right now. It has everything that is so great about ZZ Top; cool lyrics, swinging boogie groove and amazing guitar work. Best line…”I got a gal who lives on the hill…..

Read More: Our 10 Favorite ZZ Top Albums

# 3 – Cheap Sunglasses

Bam! This one hits you instantly. Great verse and an incredible hook at the end of the chorus. And how can you not love the coolness of the solo section? Wow! The song was issued on ZZ Top’s 1979 albumDegüello.In 1979, rock and pop music was experiencing the end of the punk era and the introduction of the New Wave. But ZZ Top completely ignored the style changes and delivered a record ingrained in what they did best. Thank Goodness!

Read More: Complete List OF ZZ Top Band Members

# 2 – La Grange

ZZ Top’s “La Grange” yields one of rock and roll’s most distinctive opening guitar riffs of all time. Just the first thirty seconds alone is worth the No. 2 spot. But Oh! How does it get even better? Come on, take a ride on this one; it will not disappoint. The song was released on the band’s third album, Tres Hombres in 1973. It was a year that featured great music from bands like Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Yes, Billy Joel, Elton John and so many more. ZZ Top’s “La Grange” only added to that great year in music.

# 1 – Tush

ZZ Top’s first big hit lands at the No. 1 spot on our Top 10 ZZ Top Songs list. The song “Tush” was released on the band’s fourth album, Fandango!, in 1975.  The band has had such a stellar career that picking a Number one song over everything else comes down to personal reasons. It’s the song that first turned many people on to the band. It still sounds fresh over forty years after its release. Great songs never fade away……..

Read More: Top 10 ZZ Top Album Covers

Updated May 20, 2024

Top 10 ZZ Top Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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  1. Avatar John Nolan June 24, 2022
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