When I heard recent scuttlebutt suggesting that ZZ Top was in the recording studio working on a new album I wondered if I was having a flashback. Similar news surfaced about three years ago which makes me wonder whether the Tres Hombres simply put their album work on the back burner for a while or whether they consider the making of a new album a process akin to making a fine wine.
There was that unfortunate tour experience they had to work through with Aerosmith a couple of years back, so perhaps that kind of threw things off the tracks where the new album was concerned. They also hit the road again towards the end of last year for their Necessity Is a Mother Tour which probably kept them busy in rehearsals for a while leading up to the tour and then the actual tour itself which started in early September and ended toward the end of October.
With the latest announcement hinting that the new album could be ready to hit the streets before the end of the year, perhaps fans will finally be able to get their hands on the first new ZZ Top studio album since Mescalero was released in 2003.
In addition to the work required to finish up the new album, ZZ Top is scheduled to begin touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd next month when the Rebels & Bandoleros tour gets underway The two groups have a long history, touring for the first time together in 1974, although the Skynyrd line-up has changed quite dramatically since those days due to the tragic plane crash in 1977 and other more typical circumstances that tend to change bands that try to keep things together for such a long stretch of time.
ZZ Top fans who need a dose of the Texas Trio can hope that the tour is scheduled for a venue not too far from home, since it may not be a good bet to count on seeing the new album before the end of the year if the comments from 2008 are any indication. These three guys are taking their time getting the new record out and there could be any number of good reasons for that. I don’t want this to come across as a slam against them since I’ve always been somewhat of a fan.
I say “somewhat” only because there are just a handful of ZZ Top songs that I really like, but it’s one of those situations where they are songs that I really like. Cranking the volume up to 11 and firing up “La Grange” is hard to beat and “Cheap Sunglasses” is a close second in my book. As for “Tush,” well that song is just legendary. That opening guitar work has to be some of the most recognizable in the history of rock.
Beyond my passion for those songs, let’s face it, who doesn’t think those guys are just plain cool? Here’s hoping they’re able to get that new album out according to their current timetable, and although I know it’s a long shot, wouldn’t it be nice if there was something that came close to “La Grange” or “Cheap Sunglasses” on it?