There are three unique things about ZZ Top. One, the current lineup hasn’t changed since 1969—Billy Gibbons on guitar, Dusty Hill on bass, and Frank Beard on drums. Granted, they’re only a trio, but it’s rare for a band of any size to go that long without a lineup change.
Second, ZZ Top had two different eras of success with two different sounds. ZZ Top became a household name in 1973 with the release of Tres Hombres. The album, which featured the classic “La Grange,” is a blues-rock masterpiece. In 1983, the band relied less on the blues and more on the synthesizer to record and release Eliminator. The offering sold more than ten million copies and contains the classic songs "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Got Me Under Pressure", "Sharp Dressed Man", "TV Dinners" and "Legs." Not only did ZZ Top reinvent themselves and explore a new sound, they also successfully utilized a new medium, the music video. Several of their music videos received major airplay on MTV. The band has since returned to their blues-rock roots.
The last unique aspect of ZZ Top is the fact that Gibbons and Hill have long, thick beards while the man actually named “Beard” (the drummer Frank Beard) has little facial hair. Gibbons and Hill grew their beards in the mid-1970s while the band was on a two-year break. Now, their beards are as much a part of a ZZ Top show as their musical instruments.
ZZ Top performed during halftime of Super Bowl XXXI (1997) and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They have a huge legion of fans as well as the admiration of critics. For three guys, ZZ Top creates a lot of sound. It’s no wonder they inducted Cream into the aforementioned hall of fame. Gibbons is widely regarded as a virtuoso blues guitarist. Hill and Beard are also highly respected.
ZZ Top is known for their sense of humor. This humor manifests itself in their lyrics, through double entendres and innuendos, and in their music videos. While they have a sense of humor, ZZ Top is no joke. Whether they’re performing their blues-rock infused “La Grange,” or their radio friendly "Sharp Dressed Man," they are always cool.