Can’t pick one. Impossible! That was Toto’s Steve Lukather’s response when asked to choose his all-time favorite ZZ Top track. And he’s got a point. With half a century of iconic music, ZZ Top has paved the way for rock and roll. To celebrate this milestone, we’ve asked some of the world’s greatest guitarists to share their top picks from the ZZ Top repertoire. Let’s dive in and discover the songs that have left a lasting impact on these legendary musicians.
The Ultimate Examples of Guitar Mastery
Blue Jean Blues is the ultimate example of Billy Gibbons’ guitar expertise, according to Warren Haynes. This cool and captivating song showcases Gibbons’ unique playing style, solidifying his reputation as a true guitar virtuoso.
Brown Sugar from ZZ Top’s First Album and Just Got Paid from Rio Grande Mud are John 5’s top choices. These records had such a profound impact on him that David Lee Roth himself confessed to exclusively listening to them. Their raw energy and undeniable groove make them timeless classics.
The Cool Vibes and Timeless Appeal
Steve Vai’s favorite ZZ Top song is Cheap Sunglasses from Degüello. It’s the kind of tune that instantly makes you feel cool, with its infectious atmosphere and catchy rhythm.
Tyler Bryant’s pick is I Gotsa Get Paid. This track perfectly embodies ZZ Top’s ability to blend past influences with fresh sounds, creating a truly captivating listening experience. Only Billy Gibbons and the boys could pull it off with such finesse.
The Timeless Classics
La Grange holds a special place in the hearts of many, including John Petrucci. This song resonated with him from the first moment he heard it on the local rock radio station. The distinct shuffle feel, signature drum fill, and quirky vocal approach all contribute to its irresistible charm. And let’s not forget Billy’s finesse on the guitar, with his unmistakable tone and mind-blowing pick harmonics.
Heard It On The X brings back fond memories for Paul Gilbert. Playing this song in his cover band at the tender age of fourteen was a true highlight. The trade-off vocals, the infectious rhythm guitar lick, and that twangy chromatic line all make it an absolute gem. And let’s not forget the legendary slide guitar solo with a touch of wah-wah.
The Undeniable Groove and Legendary Tone
For Charlie Starr, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one favorite ZZ Top song. However, for today, he settles on I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide. The guitar tone is simply perfect, and that little stutter lick before the verses is the epitome of coolness.
(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree holds a special place in Paul Sayer’s heart. It showcases a young Billy Gibbons during the early days when his fire and passion were still burning bright. You can hear the echoes of the time, from Free to Freddie King, in this legendary track.
Indelible Memories and Guitar Wizardry
Jesus Just Left Chicago is the song that instantly transports Peter Frampton back to his early encounters with ZZ Top. His band, Frampton’s Camel, had the privilege of opening for them, and it was love at first sight.
Just Got Back From Baby’s is the epitome of nasty blues done to perfection, according to Paul Jackson. Its rawness and authenticity make it a standout among ZZ Top’s impressive discography.
The Captivating Charms and Unforgettable Sounds
Nils Lofgren has always loved Legs for its driving-train groove and Billy’s harmonics and funky lead. It’s a song that still brings a smile to his face, especially since his old band Grin had the opportunity to share the stage with ZZ Top during their early days.
In a sea of incredible tracks, Joe Satriani couldn’t resist the undeniable charm of La Grange. However, for the most WTF BG guitar sound, he turns his attention to Loaded from Rhythmeen. Only Billy Gibbons could dream up such a beautifully broken guitar sound and make it work flawlessly.
The Homage to Great Times and Good Friends
Jimmie Vaughan’s pick is Lowdown In The Street from Degüello. This song takes him back to the old Rome Inn in Austin, where ZZ Top paid tribute to the local scene. Vaughan was honored to be mentioned in the lyrics—a testament to the good times and unforgettable memories.
Sharp Dressed Man holds a special place in the heart of Dave Davies. The guitar tone and attitude of this song perfectly capture the essence of ZZ Top. It’s fun, raucous, and pure rock and roll.
The Epitome of Guitar Solo Brilliance
Buzz Osborne of The Melvins believes that Waitin’ For The Bus boasts the best Billy Gibbons guitar solo ever recorded. Its seamless integration with the subtle use of a wah-wah pedal showcases Gibbons’ extraordinary talent and musical genius.
ZZ Top has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of rock and roll. These iconic tracks chosen by some of the world’s greatest guitarists are a testament to the band’s enduring legacy. So, grab your guitar, crank up the volume, and let the spirit of ZZ Top guide you through the captivating journey of their unforgettable music.
To explore more about ZZ Top and their incredible musical journey, visit Ratingperson, your go-to destination for all things related to music and ratings.