Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#391 in the Series and #14 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is ZZ Top, Eliminator.
Is Eliminator my favorite ZZ Top release, oh heck no. My vote would always by placed on one of the earlier, more guitar driven more blues based offerings. I’m featuring Eliminator because it truly was a “Whale.” No, it wasn’t a number one album, far from it. It actually only made it up to #9 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. I don’t care where this charted, this was a HUGE album. This album was all over the radio during the summer of 1983.
ZZ Top was clearly an established act when this was released in March. They were an FM favorite, a college radio favorite, but this was the album that vaulted them to the next level. You might even be able to say that if it were not for Eliminator, they might not have made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were a 2004 inductee.
Two things about his release, one, it was quite a change in their sound. Yes, it was blues based, but they added a heavy dose of synthesizer, drum machine, and sequencers. Let’s bring the sound into the 80s boys! Well actually, they started with some synthesizer on ’81’s El Loco, but not to this extent. The other thing that added heavily to the success of this record was MTV. Warner Brothers did a great job in marketing this sound, from the cool coupe on the cover to the great videos associated with it. I’m still in love with that girl from the “Legs” video!
How was this received critically? Rolling Stone had it in its top 500 Albums of All Time Listing, AllMusic gave it 4.5 stars.
Some of the other well-known hits housed here included, “Give Me All Your Lovin” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”
- “Gimme All Your Lovin'” 3:59
- “Got Me Under Pressure” 3:59
- “Sharp Dressed Man” 4:13
- “I Need You Tonight” 6:14
- “I Got the Six” 2:52
- “Legs” 4:35
- “Thug” 4:17
- “TV Dinners” 3:50
- “Dirty Dog” 4:05
- “If I Could Only Flag Her Down” 3:40
- “Bad Girl” 3:16
- Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals
- Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals
- Frank Beard – drums, percussion
- See more write-ups from Rock and Roll Hall of Famers
- Listen to Eliminator via the Cool Album MySpace Page
- See more 1983 Albums
- See more Whale Wednesday Albums