Recycler (album)

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ZZ Top - Recycler.jpg
Studio album by ZZ Top
Released October 1990[1]
Recorded 1989–1990
Studio Memphis Sound Productions, Memphis, Tennessee
Length 39:10
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Bill Ham
ZZ Top chronology
Six Pack
(1987)Six Pack1987
Greatest Hits
(1992)Greatest Hits1992

Recycler is the tenth studio album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in 1990.

The band had a cameo in the 1990 movie Back to the Future Part III playing an "old west" version of "Doubleback" along with some local musicians. (The regular version of the song plays over the credits). The music video for "Doubleback" also had clips from the movie and was included on the DVD. There were three hit singles from the album - "Doubleback" (#1 on the Album Rock Tracks for five weeks), "Concrete And Steel" (#1 on the Album Rock Tracks for four weeks) and "My Head's In Mississippi" (#1 on the Album Rock Tracks for six weeks).

Music videos were also made for "My Head's in Mississippi", "Burger Man" and "Give It Up".

In the UK, it was the band's third album to be certified by the British Phonographic Industry attaining Silver (60,000 units) in 1990. To date,[when?] this is the last studio album to achieve UK certification.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention) [3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [4]
Entertainment Weekly (B+) [5]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave it 2 stars out of 5, stating: "The continuation of Eliminator's synthesized blues made sense on Afterburner, since it arrived two years after its predecessor. ZZ Top's choice to pursue that direction on Recycler is puzzling, since a full five years separate this from Afterburner. It's not just that they continue to follow this path; it's that they embalm it, creating a record that may be marginally ballsier than its predecessor, but lacking the sense of goofy fun and warped ambition that made Afterburner fascinating. [...] And the worst thing about it all, it doesn't seem like the band realizes how uncomfortably ironic the title of "Recycler" is." Erlewine did however note that "Doubleback" and especially "My Head's in Mississippi" were standouts, and "Give It Up" also got an "AMG Pick", meaning that it was another highlight.

Robert Christgau gave it a one star honorable mention, meaning "A worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like" and called "Concrete and Steel" and "Decision or Collision" as the strongest tracks.

The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200, at number 8 on the UK Albums Chart and at number 27 on the Australian Albums chart.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.

  1. "Concrete and Steel" – 3:45
  2. "Lovething" – 3:20
  3. "Penthouse Eyes" – 3:49
  4. "Tell It" – 4:39
  5. "My Head's in Mississippi" – 4:25
  6. "Decision or Collision" – 3:59
  7. "Give It Up" – 3:24
  8. "2000 Blues" – 4:37
  9. "Burger Man" – 3:18
  10. "Doubleback" – 3:53





Year Chart Position
1990 The Billboard 200 6
1990 UK 8
1990 Canada 10
1990 Australia 27

SinglesBillboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1990 "Concrete and Steel" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1990 "Doubleback" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1990 "Burger Man" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
1990 "My Head's in Mississippi" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1991 "Decision or Collision" Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
1991 "Give It Up" The Billboard Hot 100 79


  1. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Recycler at AllMusic
  3. ^ Robert Christgau review Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
  4. ^ [1] Archived February 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Tucker, Ken (October 19, 1990). "Recycler". Retrieved 17 June 2013.