Friday, March 13, 2020

ZZ Top - Eliminator (1983)

ZZ Top - Eliminator (1983)

Tracklist front / back album covers

Side one
1. "Gimme All Your Lovin'"   3:59
2. "Got Me Under Pressure"   3:59
3. "Sharp Dressed Man"   4:13
4. "I Need You Tonight"   6:14
5. "I Got the Six"   2:52

Side two
1. "Legs"   4:35
2. "Thug" (Linden Hudson)   4:17
3. "TV Dinners"   3:50
4. "Dirty Dog"   4:05
5. "If I Could Only Flag Her Down"   3:40
6. "Bad Girl"   3:16

ZZ Top Band Members / Musicians

Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill – bass, vocals

Frank Beard – drums

The actual musicians working on the album include the following:

Billy Gibbons – guitar, harmonica, vocals, bass guitar, keyboard bass, synthesizers, production, arrangements

Dusty Hill – bass guitar, vocals

Frank Beard – drums, especially tom-tom drums and cymbals

Linden Hudson – synthesizer, production, arrangements

Terry Manning – drum machines, electronic drums, bass guitar, keyboard bass, synthesizers, backing vocals, production, arrangements

Jimi Jamison – backing vocals

Bill Ham – producer

Terry Manning – engineer

Linden Hudson – pre-production engineer, songwriter

Bob Ludwig – mastering

Bob Alford – art director

Tom Hunnicutt – cover illustration

Eliminator is the 8th studio album by American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on March 23, 1983, by Warner Bros. Records, and rose high on the charts in many countries. Four hit singles were released—"Gimme All Your Lovin'" which reached the American Top 40, "Sharp Dressed Man", "TV Dinners" and their most successful single, "Legs". A Diamond certified album in the United States, Eliminator is ZZ Top's most commercially successful release, with sales of 20 million worldwide.

Recorded in 1982, the album represents a further step of modernization by bandleader Billy Gibbons. Since El Loco in 1981, Gibbons had been edging the band's boogie and blues rock sound toward the popular new-wave/synth-rock aesthetic while retaining ZZ Top's signature electric guitar emphasis. For Eliminator, he increased the tempo and used more synthesizers and drum machines, producing a "tighter" album with a steady, driving beat. Pre-production engineer Linden Hudson collaborated with Gibbons in Texas on the album tempo and songs, then producer Bill Ham and engineer Terry Manning joined Gibbons in Memphis, Tennessee, to carefully craft the sound of each song after the full band was done recording, controversially replacing much of the contributions of bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. Ham claimed the album was solely the work of ZZ Top, denying the involvement of others, but in 1986 Hudson won a lawsuit establishing himself as composer of the song "Thug".

A series of music videos served as successful promotional tools—the similarly themed videos for "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs" received regular rotation on MTV and helped the band gain popularity with a younger base. A customized 1933 Ford coupe, depicted on the album cover, could be seen in three of the four videos. Following Eliminator's release, ZZ Top embarked on a worldwide concert tour.

The video for "Legs" earned the band the MTV Video Music Award for Best Group. Rolling Stone named Eliminator number 398 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was listed at number 39 in The 100 Greatest Albums of the 80s. A remastered version was released in 2008.

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