First Rawktober 2022 performance is ZZ Top

Live in Germany 1980 Review

by Greg Prato

Interestingly, while always priding themselves on being a kick-ass live band, ZZ Top never got around to issuing a full-length live album during their 1970s/1980s peak. But as they say, it’s better late than never, and 2011 finally saw the arrival of an archival live ZZ Top recording, Live in Germany 1980. Featuring half of the audio portion of their 2009 Double Down Live DVD, Live in Germany 1980 does a fantastic job of displaying all of the group’s pre-Eliminator classics in a concert setting. And as expected, the tunes take on a life all their own throughout — “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Precious and Grace,” and “Cheap Sunglasses” sound even more muscular and strut-heavy on a concert stage. The word “explosive” springs to mind upon coming in close contact with “Heard It on the X” and “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers,” and the hits that made ZZ Top synonymous with classic rock radio are included as well — “La Grange,” “Tush,” etc. Shortly after this concert was recorded, ZZ Top got a bit handcuffed by gimmicks (long beards, wacky-looking guitars) and electronics. But in 1980, ZZ Top were one of the (if not the) most powerful trios in all of rock, and Live in Germany 1980 helps confirm this claim once and for all.

Track Listing

  1. El Degüello
  2. I Thank You
  3. Waitin’ for the Bus
  4. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  5. Precious and Grace
  6. Manic Mechanic
  7. Lowdown in the Street
  8. Heard It on the X
  9. Fool for Your Stockings
  10. Cheap Sunglasses
  11. Arrested for Driving While Blind
  12. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
  13. La Grange/Sloppy Drunk/Bar-B-Q
  14. Dust My Broom
  15. Jailhouse Rock
  16. Tush

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