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Complete Studio Albums
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Audio CD, Box set, Import, 11 June 2013
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 13.59 x 13.49 x 3.3 cm; 292 Grams
- Manufacturer : RHINO/WARNER BROS.
- Manufacturer reference : CDRN79664
- Original Release Date : 2013
- Run time : 6 hours and 6 minutes
- Label : RHINO/WARNER BROS.
- ASIN : B00CQGU9GG
- Number of discs : 10
- Customer Reviews:
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ZZ Top - The Studio Albums 1970 - 1990 is a 10 CD boxset of the band's classic studio albums from their Warner Bros. years. This compact, clamshell boxset features each album in a mini, vinyl replica card sleeve with original artwork, including replicated original gatefold sleeves for Tres Hombres and Tejas. Most importantly the original audio tape versions will finally be available, for the first time, on CD for three of the albums: First Album, Rio Grande Mud, and Tejas, and the original masters for Tres Hombres and Fandango will also be included. Much discussion has been had on the quality of the mixes released on CD in the 1980s but now the original audio will be available once and for all in an amazing boxset!
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Top reviews from Australia
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Every album in the box is pure gold and they had an amazing run of great records, even albums like "Recycler" which had a few indifferent reviews at the time and less than expected album sales, maintained the quality of the rest of the catalogue.
1. First album. 6/10. A fine solid rock rhythm and blues debut. Coming out the era of the rhythm and blues revival in the start of the 70's, they play it pretty straight but show glimpses of the Texan flavoured sound they developed.
2. Rio Grande Mud. 7.5/10. A stronger album it starts with set of rock songs, "Francine" and "Just got paid" race from the gates, it is obvious they are developing an energetic pile-driving boogie and a tough hard rock approach. Still evolving, the album is finding their groove, and developing the signature sound.
3. Tres Hombres. 9/10. "La Grange" put ZZ Top on the map, and lucky they had the right album to propel them into the big time. Backed up with catchy gems like "Jesus just left for Chicago" and "Beer Drinkers and hell raisers", this album's rock tracks crackle with an infectious vibe, and the slower bluesier tracks have a deft touch. The album where ZZ Top became fully formed and were hungry with their unique sound.
4. Fandango. 7/10. An album of live performance with studio tracks was a risky idea. But this album’s three live songs are played with ferocity in front of raucous crowd that sets the tone of a strong rock album. “Tush” follows the same formula as “La Grange” and was as successful, and have a set of songs that are ready to hit the floor running, only slowing down with “Blue Jean Blues”. “Mexican Blackbird” has a smooth cool vibe that is an album highlight.
5. Tejas. 9/10. A set of songs as strong as “Tres Hombres”. “It’s Only Love” is a great opener and songs like “Arrested for driving while Blind” maintain the party vibe of “Tush” and “La Grange”. “Ten Dollar man” is the real killer track, powerful and impassive. The album flows real well. This CD benefits most from using the original 70’s mix as it sounds more dynamic.
6. Deguello. 7.5/10. After full two year break, this album was the start of the next faze for the band, where the band were willing to experiment. Here the use saxophones, and mix the hard rock vibe with a slight new wave influence. The lyrics are now more playful and suits the pop direction they are leaning towards. “Cheap Sunglasses” and “I’m bad, I’m Nationwide” are great pop tunes. The album hasn’t embraced the synths yet but is a definite step towards changing their sound.
7. El Loco. 7.5/10. This album has a loose fun appeal where New Wave is influencing everyone from the Stones to Billy Joel. Transforming their sound by use of synths and electronic devices, these flourishes add a pop edge and Billy Gibbon’s vocal are treated with a vocoder. The wiggy experiments and the quirky lyrics make the album quite fun.
8. Eliminator. 9/10. The perfect blend of heavy guitar and blustery stuttering synth pulse, nothing else before or since sounds like it, except for “Afterburner”. And the complete re-jigging of their image retooled them as pop icons, competing directly with Micheal Jackson and Prince. The singles were so massive that the album’s other songs can be overwhelmed in their shadow, but the album manages to sit well in spite of the imbalance,
9. Afterburner. 9.5/10. I love this album to death and is my favourite ZZ Top Album. Unfairly referred by some as "Eliminator 2" it is a better overall album. An awesome production from the motorised thudding of the synthetic drum of “Sleeping Bag” to the sultry boogie of “Rough Boy” to the full on head shakers of “Can’t stop Rockin’” and “Delirious”. This album just hits the sweet spot with every tune. Even fun tunes like “Velcro Fly” and “Planet of Women” are a joy in their playful silliness.
10. Recycler. 7/10. The last Warner era album, the last album using their original engineer and last hit album. The giddy pop fizz had become subdued and was released in the time when indie music was gaining momentum and the industry had rapidly changed. Still “Doubleback” and “Give it up” were great pop songs but the album was the last commercial hoorah.
The records released after "Recycler" never recaptured any one of these albums in quality and remain the definitive albums. As trusty as an scuffed up old dog with twice the bite.
Top reviews from other countries
Absolutely essential in my opinion and a no-brainer at a little over £2 per CD - a lot less than I paid for it I think and it was still a bargain then.