ZZ Top's First Album

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ZZ Top's First Album
ZZ Top - ZZ Top's First Album.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 16, 1971
RecordedJune–October 1970
StudioRobin Hood Studios, Tyler, Texas
GenreTexas blues, blues rock, boogie rock, hard rock
ProducerBill Ham
ZZ Top chronology
ZZ Top's First Album
Rio Grande Mud
Singles from ZZ Top's First Album
  1. "(Somebody Else Been) Shakin' Your Tree"
    Released: January 1971

ZZ Top's First Album is a studio album and the debut album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was produced by manager Bill Ham, and was released on January 16, 1971, on London Records. Establishing ZZ Top's attitude and humor, the album incorporated blues, boogie, hard rock, and Southern rock influences. Thematically, the album is lively, playful and at times brash, filled with the band's personal experiences and sexual innuendos that became central to the group's image. "(Somebody Else Been) Shakin' Your Tree" was the only single released from the album.

Background, recording and release[edit]

The album was recorded at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas. ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons said:

We had been together for about six months and were knocking around the bar scene, playing all the usual funky joints. We took the studio on as an extension of the stage show. The basics were all of us playing together in one room, but we didn't want to turn our backs on contemporary recording techniques. To give our sound as much presence and support as possible, we became a little more than a three piece with the advantages of overdubbing. It was the natural kind of support – some rhythm guitar parts, a little bit of texture. That was about it.

We called the record ZZ Top's First Album because we wanted everyone to know that there would be more. We weren't certain if we'd get another chance in the studio, but we had high hopes.[1]

In 1987, the album was remixed for CD release. In 2013, the original vinyl mix was released on HD Tracks in high-resolution digital download formats.[2] The original mix of the album was released on CD in June 2013 as part of the box set The Complete Studio Albums (1970–1990).[3] In October 2017 a 180 gram vinyl edition of the album was released, using the original mix.


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]

AllMusic retrospectively gave it 3 stars, stating: "ZZ Top's First Album may not be perfectly polished, but it does establish their sound, attitude, and quirks."[4]


The only single released from the album was "(Somebody Else Been) Shakin' Your Tree" (backed with "Neighbor, Neighbor") on London Records (release number 45-138). It failed to appear on the Billboard charts.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree"Billy Gibbons2:32
2."Brown Sugar"Gibbons5:22
3."Squank"Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Bill Ham2:46
4."Goin' Down to Mexico"Gibbons, Hill, Ham3:26
5."Old Man"Gibbons, Hill, Frank Beard3:23
Side two
1."Neighbor, Neighbor"Gibbons2:18
2."Certified Blues"Gibbons, Beard, Ham3:25
3."Bedroom Thang"Gibbons4:37
4."Just Got Back from Baby's"Gibbons, Ham4:07
5."Backdoor Love Affair"Gibbons, Ham3:20
Total length:35:16


ZZ Top[edit]



  1. ^ Bosso, Joe (4 June 2013). "Billy Gibbons talks ZZ Top: The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990)". MusicRadar.
  2. ^ "Homepage – HDtracks – The World's Greatest-Sounding Music Downloads".
  3. ^ Gallucci, Michael. "New ZZ Top Box Will Include Original Mixes of First 10 Albums". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. ZZ Top's First Album review allmusic.com. Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
  5. ^ Cross, Charles R. (2004). "ZZ Top". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 907-8. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.