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Friday, January 27, 2012

"Gimme All Your Lovin'"

ZZ Top - Gimme All Your Lovin' (1983)

The car? Yeah, that's a custom Ford Model B.

Formed in 1969, ZZ Top didn't grow the beards until 1977, and didn't break into the mainstream until 1983's Eliminator album. This song was the debut single from the album that also gave us Sharp Dressed Man and Legs. It's a blues based rock song about sex. Pretty simple and straightforward. This was the MTV era, and a three band with a unique style plus cool cars and hot women was all you really needed to be a hit. The video for this track introduced the big red hot rod, the key chain, the three hot women, and that finger pointing thing the guys did.

If you take away the video, is it still a good song? Yeah, it is. The verses are two lines long each, just like the chorus. Nothing really poetic here, but it gets the job done. Vocally, it's not often you hear hard rocking blues musicians singing three part harmony, so enjoy it. The song kicks off with the drums, which is nice, because they basically just keep time for the rest of the song. It's mostly the same beat pattern from top to bottom. The drummer does mix it up and throw in something different during the instrument breaks. The bass is equally there. The bass tab looks like something you teach a first week student so they can feel good that they're playing along with a real band. During the guitar solos, the bass player plays the same note over and over again as eight notes. It's the kind of thing you try not to fall asleep during while you play. So why is the song any good? Billy Gibbons, the band's guitarist and lead singer. He's playing both the driving rhythm guitar part, and all the solos. It's electric blues on the edge of falling off into something heavier. The final guitar solo isn't ground breaking, but it's just about the perfect example of what electric blues rock should sound like. Producer and band manager Bill Ham made use of synthesizers on the album, and you can hear them on this track, it was the eighties, but for the most part everything moves aside and lets the guitar take the limelight.

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