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Rancho Texicano: The Very Best of ZZ Top

Rancho Texicano: The Very Best of ZZ Top

7 Jun 2004
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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5:21
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7:50
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Rancho Texicano is mostly excellent blues-orientated rock. It includes such Z Z Top classics as La Grange, Tush and Cheap Sunglasses, but also lesser-known gems: Just Got Paid with its remarkable riff and slide guitar middle section is a genuine masterpiece, as is It's Only Love which bounces along in a rather unrepresentative, almost country rock style. My personal highlight is Waiting For The Bus, which could so easily have been standard blues fare: its accentuated drum beat, heavy (ish) harmonica and scorching guitar solo propel it to classic status! I must also mention its follow-on, Jesus Just Left Chicago, of course.

Frank Beard's drumming is excellent throughout, but the guitar-playing is particularly tasteful. I am a guitarist and would kill to be able to play most of Billy Gibbon's solos on this CD. You get blues licks, slide and wah wah, all played with exceptional feeling. The majority of these songs also feature Gibbons' mellow lead vocal: Dusty Hill's more typical, higher pitched rock voice provides an occasional and welcome counterbalance.

The Eliminator songs are very good, however the music stopped evolving from here on, hence the CD only gets 4 stars. The standout track from this era is Rough Boy, a great ballad but far removed from their 70s material. I myself would have included El Diablo from Tejas at the expense of Doubleback: indeed, after listening to 3 or 4 Gimme All Your Loving 'clones', even Viva Las Vegas comes as a relief. This is a great compilation nonetheless!
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Excellent cd got all the favorites on it, good value for money...
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a1
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Great Album All the hits here.
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VERY GOOD.
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Before I start, I should point out that I don't own this CD. What I do have are all seven pre-Eliminator albums (albeit in the modern mix - I've never heard the originals), Eliminator and four or five post Eliminators. What that does do, though, is put me in a decent position to comment on ZZ Top compilations.

Close your eyes and imagine.... Your father has asked you for a ZZ Top compilation for his birthday. Being old and not exactly with-it, all he's ever heard of ZZ Top is in the Eliminator era, accompanied by some great videos with sexy women, fancy cars and long beards. So he'swanting the modern stuff on his compilation. But, let's face it, we all know that ZZ Top's best stuff is pre-Eliminator in the Texas blues era. So we want to get him some of that stuff too.

And this twin CD seems to be the one that keeps everybody happy. It has a mix of old and new, so you can give him the tracks he's after while also giving him the tracks that you want him to hear. Because, deep down, we all want to educate the rst of the world into liking the same music as us, don't we?

Finally, if your father finds that he likes the old as well as the new, you could always get him One Foot in the Blues next year. There's only a small overlap between that playlist and the list on this CD package.
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Format: Audio CD
ZZ Top are a band of two halves. Pre-Eliminator and Post-Eliminator.

If you want a short and snappy guide to the poppy (Post) period then get the Greatest Hits. If you want a career wide appreciation of the band get this.

A two disc set, your get the boogie period (Pre) on disc 1 and the poppy period on disc 2. Overall, it is a good compilation, let down by the last three tracks on disc 2 which add nothing to the experience. Quite a few other tracks could have been added instead. Party On The Patio anyone?

:o)
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Make no mistake, this is a fantastic collection of the band's years on the Warner Bros label and very good value for money. It would be a certain five star rating for me had it not been for some rather bizarre selections on the second disc. It's the last three tracks that are the root of the problem, all being alternative versions of tracks already included in the collection. The first is a good live version of "Cheap Sunglasses" but it doesn't differ enough from the studio version (on disc one) to warrant inclusion when there are so many gems that have been missed. And then there are two "remixes" - a "dance mix" of "Legs" and a "12' Mix" of "Velcro Fly". While perhaps the inclusion of one such track (just to acknowledge ZZ's attempt to crossover to dancefloor credibility) could POSSIBLY be acceptable, to do it twice is verging on the criminal! Basically rock music and extended remixes were rarely comfortable bed-fellows, if indeed the idea of the extending and distrorting a song beyond it's natural length was ever a good idea for anybody! These duplications waste precious time that could have been given over to "Need You Tonight", "T.V. Dinners" or the always overlooked "I've Got The Message" to name just a few glaring omissions. All songs that represent ZZ far better than this re-cycled dancefloor tosh. What would have been absoultely ideal would have been to include some of the band's post-Warner material, but I guess that might be a compilation for another day. However, what does make this collection so special is it's selection of the pre-"Eliminator" material. While you can always argue about the selections of compilations, for me personally the earlier years of the band are covered extremely well.Read more ›
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