The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Rhino Plans ZZ Top Albums Box with Original Mixes Bowing on CD

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ZZ Top Rhino boxThe Southern-smoked legacy of Texas blues-rock band ZZ Top will be celebrated this summer with a new box set from Rhino Records that features all of the band’s classic albums for the London and Warner Bros. labels.

The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 collects 10 great albums by the band in one box. The Texan trio – vocalist/guitarist Billy F. Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer/sole beardless member Frank Beard – first rose to prominence through early blues-based classics (ZZ Top’s First Album (1971), Rio Grande Mud (1972)) before enjoying a bit of crossover rock success (from Tres Hombres (1973) to 1981’s El Loco). In the next decade, ZZ Top established themselves as unlikely commercial juggernauts, thanks to colorful clips on MTV for pop-rock classics from the albums Eliminator (1983), Afterburner (1985) and Recycler (1990).

While there are no bonus tracks, unlike Rhino’s previous expansions of Tres HombresFandango(1975) and Eliminator (released as a deluxe CD/DVD), what fans will find, for the first time ever on compact disc, are the original album mixes of ZZ Top’s First AlbumRio Grande Mud, and Tejas (1976). Fans may recall in 1987, at the height of their popularity as a guitar band with synths and sequencers, that Warner released The ZZ Top Six Pack, remixing five of the band’s early albums (1979’s Degüello and 1981’s sequencer-friendly El Loco were spared) and summarily using these modern-sounding masters in place of the original versions on subsequent CD pressings. (Parts of the original mixes were finally loosed on Rhino’s Chrome Smoke & BBQ (2003) box set and Rancho Texicano (2004) two-disc compilation.)

So if you’ve never enjoyed any of ZZ Top’s classic masters, now is the time to get them in this sharp-dressed package. Like previous Rhino album boxes, it will feature original album art replicated on individual CD wallets, with all original packaging (including gatefold sleeves for several of the discs) faithfully retained. The box is out June 10, not long after the boys hit the road again for a world tour.

After the jump, you can reacquaint yourself with the track lists for these original albums. (Pre-order links have yet to go live.)

The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013)

Disc 1: ZZ Top’s First Album (released as London PS 584, 1971)

  1. (Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree
  2. Brown Sugar
  3. Squank
  4. Goin’ Down to Mexico
  5. Old Man
  6. Neighbor, Neighbor
  7. Certified Blues
  8. Bedroom Thang
  9. Just Got Back from Baby’s
  10. Backdoor Love Affair

Disc 2: Rio Grande Mud (released as London XPS 612, 1972)

  1. Francine
  2. Just Got Paid
  3. Mushmouth Shoutin’
  4. Ko Ko Blue
  5. Chevrolet
  6. Apologies to Pearly
  7. Bar-B-Q
  8. Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell
  9. Whiskey’n Mama
  10. Down Brownie

Disc 3: Tres Hombres (released as London XPS 631, 1973)

  1. Waiting for the Bus
  2. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  3. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
  4. Master of Sparks
  5. Hot, Blue & Righteous
  6. Move Me On Down the Line
  7. Precious and Grace
  8. La Grange
  9. Shiek
  10. Have You Heard?

Disc 4: Fandango! (released as London PS 656, 1975)

  1. Thunderbird (Live)
  2. Jailhouse Rock (Live)
  3. Backdoor Medley: Backdoor Love Affair/Mellow Down Easy/Backdoor Love Affair No. 2/Long Distance Boogie (Live)
  4. Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings
  5. Blue Jean Blues
  6. Balinese
  7. Mexican Blackbird
  8. Heard it on the X
  9. Tush

Disc 5: Tejas (released as London PS 680, 1976)

  1. It’s Only Love
  2. Arrested for Driving While Blind
  3. El Diablo
  4. Snappy Kakkie
  5. Enjoy and Get It On
  6. Ten Dollar Man
  7. Pan Am Highway Blues
  8. Avalon Hideaway
  9. She’s a Heartbreaker
  10. Asleep in the Desert

Disc 6: Degüello (released as Warner Bros. HS 3361, 1979)

  1. I Thank You
  2. She Loves My Automobile
  3. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
  4. A Fool for Your Stockings
  5. Manic Mechanic
  6. Dust My Broom
  7. Lowdown in the Street
  8. Hi Fi Mama
  9. Cheap Sunglasses
  10. Father Be the One

Disc 7: El Loco (released as Warner Bros. BSK 3593, 1981)

  1. Tube Snake Boogie
  2. I Wanna Drive You Home
  3. Ten Foot Pole
  4. Leila
  5. Don’t Tease Me
  6. It’s So Hard
  7. Pearl Necklace
  8. Groovy Little Hippie Pad
  9. Heaven, Hell or Houston
  10. Party on the Patio

Disc 8: Eliminator (released as Warner Bros. 23774, 1983)

  1. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  2. Got Me Under Pressure
  3. Sharp Dressed Man
  4. I Need You Tonight
  5. I Got the Six
  6. Legs
  7. Thug
  8. TV Dinners
  9. Dirty Dog
  10. If I Could Only Flag Her Down
  11. Bad Girl

Disc 9: Afterburner (released as Warner Bros. 25342, 1985)

  1. Sleeping Bag
  2. Stages
  3. Woke Up with Wood
  4. Rough Boy
  5. Can’t Stop Rockin’
  6. Planet of Women
  7. I Got the Message
  8. Velcro Fly
  9. Dipping Low (in the Lap of Luxury)
  10. Delirious

Disc 10: Recycler (released as Warner Bros. 26265, 1990)

  1. Concrete and Steel
  2. Lovething
  3. Penthouse Eyes
  4. Tell It
  5. My Head’s in Mississippi
  6. Decision or Collision
  7. Give it Up
  8. 2000 Blues
  9. Burger Man
  10. Doubleback

Written by Mike Duquette

April 30, 2013 at 17:15

Posted in Box Sets, News, ZZ Top

5 Responses

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  1. Hmmm… I hate having to buy 10 discs to get 3. Hope those 3 will get individual releases at some point. Probably won’t be buying this unless the price is much better than I expect it to be.


    April 30, 2013 at 18:01

  2. Mike, do you know if these original versions will be remastered, as Tres Hombres and Fandango were recently?

    Kevin Langin

    April 30, 2013 at 18:13

  3. A real bummer not to include the already released bonus tracks from Tres Hombres, Fandango!and Eliminator…

    Johnny B. Good

    April 30, 2013 at 19:36

  4. Historically, these sets have not included bonus tracks for the most part (Chicago being the only exception I can recall), so complaining about that is fruitless.

    The price tends to be in the $50 or less range on sale at Amazon…so getting all the original album mixes will still be a sweet deal, IMO.


    April 30, 2013 at 21:07

  5. I am really looking forward to this. I’ve wanted the original mixes for a long time. I already have the expanded CDs so not concerned about the bonus tracks. Besides, after years of wanting to have as much material crammed onto reissues as possible, I am starting to appreciate having albums in the original configurations. Bonus tracks should be on the “second disc” (hey, someone oughtta start a site about that!).

    Jason Michael

    April 30, 2013 at 22:54

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