Retro Spins: ZZ Top - Afterburner

After hearing ZZ Top's 1983 album, Eliminator, I was no more a ZZ Top fan then as I was before...Which was not much of one at all. I've personally never really understood the draw to the band. Sure, they're good at jamming, and they can certainly play their instruments. I won't deny that. It's just their sound that I don't dig all that much.

Regardless, I still feel like there's something there that I have to be missing, and I hope to find that in today's retro spin.

ZZ Top continued their success from the 70's into the 80's with the aforementioned Eliminator (1983), El Loco (1981) and Afterburner (1985). Today, I'm looking at the latter entry to get a little more exposure to the band.

The album starts with Sleeping Bag, the track I actually purchased the CD for. It then goes into Stages, a song which sounds familiar from the 80's, yet I can't pinpoint why. The song did go to number twenty-one on the charts, which could be where I got exposed to it.

I suppose since I'm mentioning the weekly top forty, I'd be remiss to not mention the band's other hits from Afterburner, which charted between 1985 and 1986. Sleeping Bag was the most successful of the bunch, reaching number eight, Rough Boy, peaked at number twenty-two and Velcro Fly made it to number thirty-five.

When it began playing, Rough Boy, I also recognized. However, I'm not a fan. I did not recognize Velcro Fly, nor any other tracks from the album.

Overall, still not a fan. ZZ Top just doesn't do it for me, and perhaps it's time I come to accept that. Not every artist is for everyone - Regardless of how popular or unpopular they are.

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  1. I loved how stationary they always were in their videos.At least from what I can remember.Most groups would jump around the stage while these guys just rocked out on the laid back tip.

    1. I like the sense of continuity the videos had.

  2. ZZ Top was awesome because of their videos. On Eliminator, Sharp Dressed Man and Legs were awesome, especially Legs. That's what got me hooked. Then I bought their Best Of cassette and wasn't sure what genre they were. No interest. I gave Afterburner a chance. Loved the album cover art. Sleeping Bag and Velco Fly were fantastic. Rough Boy and Stages were OK. And there ended my ZZ Top interest. Still like the four core songs - Sharp Dressed Man, Legs, Sleeping Bag and Velcro Fly.