Phillip C. from CONCORD, CA Reviewed on 1/14/2007...
This is a BMG Club Disc.
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Kathleen L. (katlupe) from OXFORD, NY Reviewed on 9/26/2006...
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Combination of 80s Technology and Gritty R&B
Bud | Seminole, Texas, USA | 11/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Eliminator" introduced the world to one of rock's most unique sounds from one of rock's most unique bands, ZZ Top. Past albums like "Tres Hombres" or "Deguello" had firmly established the band as a major draw, but it was with this 1983 album that the band first used an appealing blend of technology that was perfectly topped onto their trademark R&B/Delta blues roots.
The vocals and bass of Dusty Hill are as rough as the Texas sand, matched only by that of Billy Gibbons (who was a favorite guitarist of Jimi Hendrix), backboned by Frank Beard's disciplined drumming. All of this makes for a tightly wound musicianship that never suffers from "Eliminator"'s synthesized element. The album spawned several hits, notably 'Legs,' 'Sharp Dressed Man,' and 'Gimme All Your Lovin'. 'Got Me Under Pressure' is just as legendary, being an enduring ZZ Top favorite. The one-of-a-kind 'Thug' meanwhile is a darker tale, and features an incredinbly funky bass texture, while the likes of 'TV Dinners' and the incredibly eye-roll inducing 'I Got the Six' are somewhat less serious, but just as memorable. 'I Need You Tonight' however is surprisingly sympathetic and features some of Gibbons' best guitar work.
Although "Eliminator" became one the 80s most recognizable efforts, it finally gave ZZ Top the worldwide success they'd deserved since the early 70s. It is very much a male-ego album, containing the brilliant arrogance and flashiness that made ZZ Top so great in the first place."
ZZ Top's Last Great Album
Will Culp | Greenville, South Carolina | 08/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eliminator(1983). ZZ Top's Ninth Album.
In 1983, ZZ Top was beginning to slide back into mainstream popularity, as their previous albums, 'Deguello' and 'Tejas', had both gone platinum. When 'Eliminator' arrived, the album instantly rocketed to the top of the charts, thanks to the massively popular music videos "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man". Thanks to MTV, 'Eliminator' became ZZ Top's best-selling album, and it remains a rock classic to this day. To this day, "Gimme All Your Lovin", "Got Me Under Pressure", "Sharp Dressed Man", "I Need You Tonight", and "Legs" are all rotated constantly on the radio. So, do I think this album lives up to the hype? Read on to find out!
After 'Eliminator', ZZ Top became less and less of a rock band and more of a pop band, but here they managed to create the perfect balance. ZZ Top made an album that still retained the bluesy, gritty rock sound that they're known for, but managed to appeal to almost everybody. ZZ Top is a very percussive band, and Frank Beard's drumming is truly amazing here. On almost every song, I found myself tapping my feet to the beat... truly, he did an amazing job here. Billy Gibbons guitar work here is spectacular! He can make catchy power chords one second, and rip out a bluesy solo the next. He truly is a great rock n' roll guitarist.
From the dirty, boozy rock of "Gimme All Your Lovin" and "Legs" to the blues of "I Got The Six" and "TV Dinners", ZZ Top kept me interested. While all the hits are instant classics, "Sharp Dressed Man" is the absolute best ZZ Top song, basically defining and rewriting the definition of "cool". "I Need You Tonight" is ZZ Top's strongest ballad, a percussive, guitar-laden classic that never gets boring, unlike some of their later material. "Legs" is the most identifiable song on 'Eliminator', a song that would be the beginning of ZZ Top blending synthesizers more and more into their music, but still stands out as one of their best. "Got Me Under Pressure" is sort of a dark view of peer pressure that contains some of Billy Gibbons' best guitar work. While the later half of the album is not nearly as good as the first half, it still can hold it's own. "Thug" is a very smooth, cool song that has some funky slap bass and great drumming. "TV Dinners" is a rather repetitive blues song, but Gibbons' guitar work is very inspired here. "Dirty Dog", "If I Could Only Flag Her Down", and "Bad Girl" are all bluesy rockers that any ZZ Top fan can identify with.
What's to say? 'Eliminator' is one of those albums that never gets old. The first half of this album is flawless, a perfect example of what blues-rock should sound like. ZZ Top would never be this good again, and 'Eliminator' remains a very powerful album to this day. Although maybe not my favorite ZZ Top album, it's hard to say it's not. A very well-produced and cohesive record, the band sounds fantastic and the songwriting is clever and imaginative. Please, don't claim you have a complete classic rock album unless you have this classic.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO FANS OF ZZ TOP, BLUES, ROCK, AND 80'S MUSIC! ZZ TOPS' LAST GREAT ALBUM... DON'T MISS IT!
Deguello- ZZ Top Led Zeppelin II- Led Zeppelin Aerosmith- Aerosmith
Thanks For Reading!"
Don't Eliminate This One
Brian D. Rubendall | Oakton, VA | 07/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ZZ Top's sudden MTV omnipresence and massive popularity that followed the 1983 release of "Eliminator" may have jarred long time fans of the little ol' band from Texas, but the truth is that the album is also one of their best. The hits may have been inescapble on video and the radio at the time, but "Gimmie All Your Lovin'," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs" are perfect pop rock gems that still hold up two decades later. Other standout cuts are the harder rocking "Got Me Under Pressure," another MTV goof "TV Dinners," and one of their better slower songs in "I Need You Tonight." The rest is certainly filler material, but holds up well enough.Overall, a huge commercial and artistic success that marked the high point of the Top's long career."
Best way to start on ZZ Top
Raj | Mumbai, India | 11/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Irespective of what anyone says, this is the ZZ Top album to go for. If it was'nt for this one I might have never shown interest in the band.
This is the first album where extra effort had been made to package the songs, thus reducing the appeal to purists. But for music lovers like me it made the songs better and more appealing.
The thunduring bass and chug a lug drums are the backbone of the album with songs like 'Sharp Dressed Man', 'Gimme all your loving' and 'I've got the six'.
My favs on the album are the slower numbers where the atmosphere is created by Billy Gibbons bluesy guitarwork. Both 'Got me under pressure' and 'I need you tonight' are far better works than the ones above as these two can sustain overplay lot better than the MTV oriented songs mentioned in the begining or 'legs'.
All in all a great album with no fillers except maybe the last song.
This a great album to start if you want to get introduced to ZZ Top. The band also has other great earlier albums but they are an acquired taste."
"Might as well face it, you're addicted to love"
Mr. A. Pomeroy | Wiltshire, England | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eliminator is one of my favourite albums. It works on several different levels, and it works well. On the surface it is a great collection of catchy pop songs. I can dance to them, hum them, play air guitar to them, shave to them, paint the ceiling to them etc. There isn't a boring song on the record, and the album isn't too long. It doesn't cost too much and the cover looks nice. I can hold it up in front of my face, and pretend that I am a car. Eliminator also works as a coherent whole. The music is uniform, but instead of being repetitive and dull, the album instead feels like an excellent half-hour composition divided into movements.
On another level, Eliminator is a thinky album. It's a writey album. I like to ponder it, it sets my mind in motion. Eliminator is a clever scientific musical experiment. It was a conscious attempt to change ZZ Top's style, to make the band more contemporary, and it was an enormous success, on both an artistic and a commercial level. I'm sure that old-time fans of the group might have been upset at the disco rhythms, but only the most uptight square could fail to be moved by "Gimme All Your Lovin'" or "Sharp Dressed Man". I imagine that kids in 1983 might have thought that ZZ Top was a brand-new band, a modern boogie group with a clever retro style, and videos with hot women in them. You know, like Robert Palmer. He made records in the 1970s, but when he did that video for "Addicted to Love" in 1985, an entire new generation assumed that he had just come from nowhere, with a bevy of hot women. Did I mention hot women? Robert Palmer had hot women, and ZZ Top also had hot women. I know this because I have just checked on the Youtube. ZZ Top's women are not as hot as Robert Palmer's women, although it has to be said that any woman would look hot when stood next to ZZ Top. Perhaps that was ZZ Top's way of attracting women. Robert Palmer, on the other hand, did not have to do anything special to attract women, in fact he had to shoo them away, they pestered him so much that he moved to Switzerland, and died young. But I digress.
With Eliminator, ZZ Top did something that Genesis and The Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane and The Who and Paul McCartney failed to do, they moved with the times without trashing their reputation. Of the band's contemporaries, I can only think of Yes having achieved the same feat, although that was done by essentially ditching all that was Yes about Yes except for the vocals.
So, as a musical experiment, Eliminator works brilliantly. I cannot think of another album that combines disco and guitar rock and synth-pop so well without sounding awful. It's a deceptively simple record as well. The drums are basically straightforward four-to-the-floor pulse beat, all the way throughout every song, a mixture of drum machine and real live human drummer. Ordinarily this unvarying drum style would be monotonous, and in a way it *is* monotonous, but it's monotonous in a good way, hypnotic rather than boring. The twin guitar lines are often very complex, but they are mixed so that they become a backdrop. The synths are generally tasteful, restricted to pulse-bass and a few swooshy pads. The vocals have a distant, unemotional quality that sounds cool rather than affected. The songs are classically structured rock tunes, none of them have a rapping bit.
On a further level, and perhaps this is unintentional, Eliminator has a timeless quality. It's a period piece, but it has dated well. There's nothing offensive about the overall sound. The music is classical. The dual-guitar playing is technically impressive and the guitar tone is still awesome, although subdued. The lyrics are generally dumb beyond parody, with sexual metaphors that would make Roy "Chubby" Brown feel uncomfortable, but that just adds to the charm. ZZ Top were real men, you see, from an era that did not value manly manliness. Nowadays they come across as endearingly retro and harmless. Eliminator has dated much, much better than "Afterburner", the band's next album, which came out in 1985. Afterburner really does sound like a mid-80s record, with fake drums and fake guitars that could have come out of an arcade machine. They're both cheesy records, in the sense that you couldn't take them to a posh dinner party without people laughing at you and mocking you and deriding your taste, but Eliminator is likeably cheesy whereas Afterburner is just an anonymous mid-80s synth rock record.
In its day, Eliminator was a big popular success, although the critics thought it was just another modern pop-rock record. Today it is grudgingly respected as a classic of the period, but I believe it deserves more. There are few albums that entertain me all the way through, that I can listen to in one sitting without being bored. Kraftwerk's "Computer World" is one. This is another. It's the musical equivalent of one of those films that you can just sit and watch; Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Where Eagles Dare etc. It's easy to overlook that kind of entertainment, but it's precious and rare and should be cherished. I would love it if Eliminator goes into the time capsule."