Album rock.  Arena rock.  Blues-rock.  Boogie rock.  Hard rock.  Contemporary pop/rock.  Dance-rock.  Southern rock.  So many of these descriptions have been placed on ZZ Top, and the thing is that so many of them fit so well.

ZZ Top, Drammenshallen, Norway, October 20th 1983
ZZ Top, Drammenshallen, Norway, October 20th 1983 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll just leave it at classic rock.

Blues-rock almost fits the best, and Billy Gibbons is known as one of the best Texas blues guitarists around.  But along with bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, they’ve pushed beyond that envelope enough times that it’s impossible to keep them pinned down to just one “flavor.”

So why even try?

The music they put out in the 1970s … yeah, there was a lot of bare-bones blues in there.  What they were doing in the ’80s when MTV started setting the tone for style … it took ZZ Top to a whole different world.

They’ve reached the masses with those cheap sunglasses.

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