Sharp Dressed Man
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|"Sharp Dressed Man"|
|Single by ZZ Top|
|from the album Eliminator|
|B-side||"I Got the Six"|
|Length||4:13 (Album Version)|
3:01 (Single Edit)
|Songwriter(s)||Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard|
|ZZ Top singles chronology|
"Sharp Dressed Man" is a song performed by ZZ Top from their 1983 album Eliminator. The song was produced by band manager Bill Ham, and recorded and mixed by Terry Manning. Pre-production recording engineer Linden Hudson was very involved in the early stages of this song's production.
At 2007's VH1 Rock Honors, Nickelback covered the song as a tribute (Billy Gibbons had earlier made a guest appearance on Nickelback's own song "Rockstar" & "Follow You Home"). ZZ Top played this song at halftime of the 2008 Orange Bowl college football bowl game.
The video for "Sharp Dressed Man" continues the "male fantasy come to life" of the "Gimme All Your Lovin'" video released earlier in 1983. As in the previous video, an attractive man (dancer/model Peter Tramm) who is experiencing frustration in his menial job is assisted in gaining social stature and prowess by a triad of very attractive and somewhat mysterious women traveling in ZZ Top's signature red car. ZZ Top themselves play a role in the narrative, both by playing themselves as performing band members and as rather ethereal spirits who encourage and assist the young man by providing him with the car keys that enable him to go for a very long drive with the women. The young man returns to the site of his previous frustration (his workplace, a nightclub) and empowered both by his new-found status and by both the women's and ZZ Top's encouragement, embarks on a new romantic adventure with another attractive young woman (actress Galyn Görg) who has previously abandoned her date.
Cover versions and parodies
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- Lucyfire, the musical project of Johan Edlund, Tiamat front-man, covered this song on their first album, This Dollar Saved My Life at Whitehorse, released in 2001.
- Brad Paisley released a country version of the song as a single in 2002, which also appeared on the album Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top.
- Norwegian heavy metal band Chrome Division recorded a cover of the song for their 2008 album, Booze, Broads and Beelzebub.
- Deborah Harry covered the song on her "Domination" tour of the UK, Switzerland and Belgium in July 1991. Her former band, Blondie, brought the song back twenty years later in their Panic of Girls Tour. In the Dallas show, Billy Gibbons joined the band to sing the song along with Harry.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic used "Sharp Dressed Man" in his song "Hooked on Polkas".
- Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song in "Romancing Miss Stone," an episode of their 1980s TV series. During the song, Simon and Theodore impersonate ZZ Top.
- Clifton Chenier covered the song "Sharp Dressed Man" on his 1992 album I Ain't No Playboy.
- Austin band 8½ Souvenirs play a swing version on their album Twisted Desire.
- Nickelback covered the song at the 2007 VH1 Rock Honors Ceremony.
- Charlie Daniels Band covered the song on their Tailgate Party album, released in 1999.
- ApologetiX parodies the song in "Smart Blest Man", telling the story of Solomon.
- The M.O.B. (a supergroup consisting of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, guitarist Jonny Lang, and Steven Tyler) performed the song on the 2011 album ZZ Top: A Tribute from Friends.
- The song was used as a theme song for the television series Duck Dynasty, with the intro styled like ZZ Top's videos. ZZ Top would later play the song in the series finale.
- In 2011 The Beards covered the song on the compilation album Like a Version Volume 7.
- In 2017 experimental group Xiu Xiu covered the song for The A.V. Club Undercover series.
|Australian Kent Music Report||66|
|Belgian VRT Top 30||15|
|Dutch Singles Chart||9|
|Irish Singles Chart||8|
|U.K. Singles Chart||22|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||56|
|U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||8|
|Dutch Top 40||81|
- Billy Gibbons – vocals, lead & rhythm guitars
- Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards
- Frank Beard – drums
- Linden Hudson – preproduction engineer
- Terry Manning – engineer
- "ZZ Top: Rhythmeen". RollingStone.com. February 2, 1996. Archived from the original on 2009-05-25. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
- Gundersen, Edna (December 21, 2013). "Catalog box sets sum up Beatles, Dylan, Eagles, Ramones". USA Today. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Blayney, David (1994). Sharp Dressed Men. New York: Hyperion. pp. 196–203. ISBN 0-7868-8005-8.
- "Steven Tyler, Wolfmother and Others Record ZZ Top Tribute Album". Gibson.com. August 24, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
- Tong, Holly (November 30, 2012). "Mountain Man Guraedy reflects on 'Duck' billing". Portland Leader. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "Like A Version: The Beards – Sharp Dressed Man – Tom and Alex – triple j". 9 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top 40: ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man". Top40.nl. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- "Sharp Dressed Man". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
- "Rock Music: Top Mainstream Rock Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
- Frost, Deborah (1985). ZZ Top – Bad and Worldwide. New York: Rolling Stone Press. ISBN 0020029500.
- Sinclair, David (1986). Tres Hombres: The Story of ZZ Top. Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-167-6.