ZZ Top: Live in Germany 1980

Close, but no cigar.

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Some bands’ back catalogues are positively awash with live recordings serving as everlasting, possibly iconic, documents of their creators in full flight on rock’s frontline. Not so these hirsute Texans.

For a band of such classic stature, there’s very little of significance on offer, which makes this release so fantastic and so damn frustrating.

Capturing the trio during their legendary first ever European show, for Rockpalast on German TV, essentially this is the audio version of the already available DVD. But, crucially, it’s incomplete, several tracks omitted to cram the performance onto one disc.

This is a crying shame when you hear Billy Gibbonss’ hotter-than-a-Tabasco-enema guitar licks, Dusty Hill’s thicker-than-the-Mississippi-Delta-mud bass lines and Frank Beard’s raw, rude and righteous skin thrashing.

Why not just release a double CD? It’s seriously galling to know that there’s more. So, another opportunity to right a wrong in the annals of rock history slips by.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.