ZZ Top – Deguello – Our Shootout Winner from 2015

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

A killer Top Copy, Double Plus (A++) for the first side and Triple Plus (A+++) for the second. Up there with the very best ZZ Top sound we’ve ever heard or expect to hear. Most copies aren’t BIG, punchy, lively and present like this one is.

A truly excellent sounding record with the kind of rock energy and size you want from a ZZ Top record. It is not easy to find great pressings for this band, which is why we’ve only ever had a handful on the site. And this one is especially hard to beat, since this is an EXCELLENT recording brought to life with wonderful Robert Ludwig mastering.

It’s also a great album for these guys, with excellent songs including Hi Fi Mama, Cheap Sunglasses, She Loves My Automobile and more. We aren’t going to claim to be the world’s foremost ZZ Top experts, but we know a great sounding rock record when we hear one, and this one impressed the heck outta us.

Side one earned an A++ grade. The sound is big and full-bodied with excellent separation and real punch down low. Side two is even better, earning our top grade of A+++ with superb clarity and impressive immediacy. Turn this one up and let ‘er loose!

TRACK LISTING

Side One

I Thank You
She Loves My Automobile
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
A Fool for Your Stockings
Manic Mechanic

Side Two

Dust My Broom
Low Down in the Street
Hi Fi Mama
Cheap Sunglasses
Esther Be the One

AMG  Review

ZZ Top returned after an extended layoff in late 1979 with Degüello, their best album since 1973’s Tres Hombres. During their time off, ZZ Top didn’t change much — hell, their sound never really changed during their entire career — but it did harden, in a way. The grooves became harder, sleeker, and their off-kilter sensibility and humor began to dominate, as “Cheap Sunglasses” and “Fool for Your Stockings” illustrate. Ironically, this, their wildest album lyrically, doesn’t have the unhinged rawness of their early blooze rockers, but the streamlined production makes it feel sleazier all the same, since its slickness lets the perversity slide forth. And, forget not, the trio is in fine shape here, knocking out a great set of rockers and sounding stylish all the time. Undoubtedly one of their strong suits.

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