ZZ Top - Live: Greatest Hits From Around The World album review

ZZ Top have got licks, and they know how to use them

ZZ Top Live – Greatest Hits From Around The World album cover

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Nobody’s flagging them down, so the durable Houston blues-rock trio stick to what they do best. This live album cherry-picks renditions of their most robust and crunchy boogies from across America, Europe and Brazil, with Jeff Beck guesting on Rough Boy.

No startling surprises here then, as they grind stoutly through Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Gimme All Your Lovin and other masterpieces of wry licentiousness. It’s always been the way they transcend their own 12-bars that makes this unit effortlessly efficacious: they don’t so much hit the nerve of what makes loud guitars so stupidly sexual as embody it. They are to rock what George Clinton is to funk. It’s irresistible, as ever, to hear them being both bad and nationwide and great and global.

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Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.