ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973)

AllMusic Review: Tres Hombres is the record that brought ZZ Top their first Top Ten record, making them stars in the process. It couldn’t have happened to a better record. ZZ Top finally got their low-down, cheerfully sleazy blooze-n-boogie right on this, their third album. As their sound gelled, producer Bill Ham discovered how to record the trio so simply that they sound indestructible, and the group brought the best set of songs they’d ever have to the table. On the surface, there’s nothing really special about the record, since it’s just a driving blues-rock album from a Texas bar band, but that’s what’s special about it. It has a filthy groove and an infectious feel, thanks to Billy Gibbons’ growling guitars and the steady propulsion of Dusty Hill and Frank Beard’s rhythm section. They get the blend of bluesy shuffles, gut-bucket rocking, and off-beat humor just right. ZZ Top’s very identity comes from this earthy sound and songs as utterly infectious as “Waitin’ for the Bus,” “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Move Me on Down the Line,” and the John Lee Hooker boogie “La Grange.” In a sense, they kept trying to remake this record from this point on — what is Eliminator if not Tres Hombres with sequencers and synthesizers? — but they never got it better than they did here — Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Waitin’ for the Bus” Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill 2:59
2. “Jesus Just Left Chicago” Gibbons, Hill, Rube Beard 3:30
3. “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” Gibbons, Hill, Beard 3:23
4. “Master of Sparks” Gibbons 3:33
5. “Hot, Blue and Righteous” Gibbons 3:14
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Move Me on Down the Line” Gibbons, Hill 2:32
2. “Precious and Grace” Gibbons, Hill, Beard 3:09
3. “La Grange” Gibbons, Hill, Beard 3:52
4. “Sheik” Gibbons, Hill 4:05
5. “Have You Heard?” Gibbons, Hill 3:15


Schill Score: 9.5/10


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