Cheap Sunglasses

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"Cheap Sunglasses"
Single by ZZ Top
from the album Degüello
Released 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre Rock, blues rock
Length 4:46
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Billy Gibbons
Dusty Hill
Frank Beard
Producer(s) Bill Ham
ZZ Top singles chronology
"I Thank You"
"Cheap Sunglasses"

"Cheap Sunglasses" is a 1980 single by ZZ Top from their 1979 album Degüello. It is one of their most famous songs and includes the use of some odd instruments[clarification needed]. The song captures many of the sounds and beats that ZZ Top is famous for. It is also featured on the greatest hits collections ZZ Top's Greatest Hits, Chrome, Smoke & BBQ and Rancho Texicano. In addition, a live version of the song appears on Chrome, Smoke & BBQ and Rancho Texicano. The rap duo EPMD sampled "Cheap Sunglasses" on their song "You're a Customer (which appears on their 1988 debut album Strictly Business)."

In a Guitar World article, lead guitarist Billy Gibbons said that he used a Marshall Major amplifier and a Maestro ring modulator on this song, and that the amplifier had a blown tube during recording which added to the tonal character of the song.[1] The Marshall Major is a slightly taller, 200 watt version of the classic Marshall 100 watt head.


Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 89

Cover versions[edit]

Midwest rap artist Esham sampled the song in his production for the song "Nine Dead Bodies" of his 1992 double album Judgement Day Vol. 1.

The Warren Brothers covered the song on the 2002 compilation album Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top.

The Sword covered the song on the deluxe version of their 2012 album Apocryphon.



  1. ^ Alan Paul "Prime Cuts: ZZ Top.", December 3, 2009.