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Author: Subject: ZZ TOP: Tres Hombres

Sublime Peach





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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 09:59 AM
What took me so long to get this on CD? Had it on vinyl when I was a kid, it came out the year I graduated from high school. Apparently it's a good thing I waited. I researched this CD a bit in user comments on amazon. The first remaster was issued in the 80's and they tried to "improve" it by adding tons of echo and drum machine. Apparently this was not the only ZZ Top CD which got this (idiotic) treatment.

Well, the boys (and apparently some record execs) recognized their huge error. The newer remaster is taken wholly from the original studio release master tapes. Of course, it is digitally remastered, but nothing is doctored as far as the instruments on the original recording. Obviously, this was one of the greater album recordings of it's time (1973) because the sound is just PHENOMENAL.

These guys at their best are nothing but lean, mean and dirty sounding. I don't have a lot of ZZ Top records, but I doubt they ever got more lean, mean and dirty sounding than they did here. They talk about ABB starting Southern rock, but we all know that ABB was (and is) more blues and jazz than Southern rock. Well, Tres Hombres is really a CLASSIC Southern rock record..........funny the band never seems to get mentioned in that light, just "that lil' ole band from Texas". You can almost feel yourself walking down a scorching hot Texas street, the sweat pouring off you, then afterwards you dine on some chile verde w/ rice and beans, the salsa so hot that you think you were never sweating before.

I love some of the storytelling on this record, and fortunately the new liner notes go into it. "Master of Sparks" is a story by guitarist Billy Gibbons. This happened before he joined the band, so no one else can verify it, but Gibbons says it's true. A welder named Slim had fashioned a wire cage in which he welded an airplane seat with a seatbelt. They invited Gibbons to get inside and go for a ride, a dare which he took. They hooked the steel cage to the back of a pickup truck with a chain and took off down "Hwy 6". Well, somewhere into Mr. Gibbons' wild ride, the chain came loose, and Gibbons and his steel cage proceeded to take out about 100 yards of chain link fence. A hair-raising experience to be sure, and you can only imagine it occurring on a lonely Texas highway. From then on the cage was named "Master of Sparks". The guitar lines Gibbons conjured up to convey this story are nothing but brilliant...........you can feel Gibbons' fear and rage in his ANGRY solo as the cage takes out yard after yard of chain link fence.

"Precious and Grace" is another true story, about picking up two not-so-nice female Texas hitchhikers and then running into their guys when dropping them off. There's even some nice mellower material here as well, such as "Hot, Blue and Righteous". Oh, I almost forgot........did Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill ever really sing on record again like they did on this one?

Interesting that among all the down and dirty Texas blues rock, the record at times takes on a spiritual feel. There's the obvious "Jesus Just Left Chicago", but also the reflective "Have You Heard?" which contains the lines, "Have you heard about heaven", and "Have you heard, dear brother/well, let's love one another." I could go on, but suffice to say that I haven't been able to get the remastered "Tres Hombres" out of my stereo in a couple weeks.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Waitin' For The Bus
2. Jesus Just Left Chicago
3. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
4. Master of Sparks
5. Hot, Blue and Righteous
6. Move Me On Down The Line
7. Precious and Grace
8. La Grange
9. Shiek
10. Have You Heard?
BONUS TRACKS
1. Waitin' For The Bus (LIVE)
2. Jesus Just Left Chicago (LIVE)
3. La Grange (LIVE)

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by robslob]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:02 AM
Hmm. The Bonus tracks look very interesting.
Are they from the same era?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:06 AM
I love, love, LOVE this album!

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:08 AM
I saw them in 73 (probably when they were in their prime) at the Chicago Uptown Theatre. They basically played the entire Tres Hombres album plus a few other songs. They were firing on all cylinders just smoking hot. The place was just rockin. When I think of ZZ Top I always think back to that fabulous show. IMHO they have not aged well.

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:14 AM
lonomon: I just checked the liner notes, and they do not say what year the live tracks were recorded. I have to say they are nothing really special compared to the studio versions, though.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:23 AM
Rob, I wholeheartedly concur....Tres Hombres is my favorite ZZ Top record. At one time, a friend and I discussed doing a ZZ Top tribute band (one of my top secret band names I won't reveal because I still intend to do this project one day) and I learned the whole Tres Hombres album in anticipation of this project. GREAT songs for bass.

I have always wanted to do Hot, Blue and Righteous and Have You Heard? in church.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:23 AM
Never owned the vinyl but looks like I'm gonna pick up a copy of the CD now .
Thanks for the reccomendation.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:30 AM
quote:
Never owned the vinyl but looks like I'm gonna pick up a copy of the CD now .
Thanks for the reccomendation.


Same here! Sounds great!



I've always loved this one

 

True Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 10:37 AM
It is one hell of an album. I loved it. AND thanks to this thread I had almost forgot all about it.
I know my old album is worn out I played it so much.Thanks Rob.......

This is truly ZZ Top. The good old days ZZ TOP. Before the beards and dark sunglasses


Thanks again,.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 11:07 AM
GREAT album.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 11:27 AM
quote:
quote:
Never owned the vinyl but looks like I'm gonna pick up a copy of the CD now .
Thanks for the reccomendation.


Same here! Sounds great!



I've always loved this one



also my fav. Top !!! Followed by T.Hombres !!!!!

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 11:41 AM
Besides the music on the vinyl platter, another great thing about the original gatefold Tres Hombres sleeve was that inner sleeve photo of that Mexican dinner plate. I hope the reissued CD included that photo again...the original CD booklet didn't.

Everytime I'd open up the cover, it would make me want to go & have a big ol' enchilada/rellano combo plate dinner (chased down by a cerveza or dos, followed by a couple of margarita's too) at my local Mexican restaurant!

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by chiliD]

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 11:55 AM
Great, great, record...these guys continue to be unique and bring it every show.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 11:55 AM
quote:
Besides the music on the vinyl platter, another great thing about the original gatefold Tres Hombres sleeve was that inner sleeve photo of that Mexican dinner plate. I hope the reissued CD included that photo again...the original CD booklet didn't.

Everytime I'd open up the cover, it would make me want to go & have a big ol' enchilada/rellano combo plate dinner (chased down by a cerveza or dos, followed by a couple of margarita's too) at my local Mexican restaurant!

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by chiliD]




I had never seen Tex/Mex food like that before. Was the beer in the photo a Superior ?....or was it a Bohemia ?

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by Peachstatedawg]

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 12:12 PM
Love ZZ Tops "First Album" Didn't even know it existed until I was in a used record shop talking about ZZ Top and the guy at the store says you should get ZZ Tops first album. And I said I have their first the Rio Grande Mud album and he said no you need ZZ Tops First Album. record Store humour, can't beat it.

If you see their first album grab it. Hard to find piece of vinyl.

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 12:21 PM
OK guys, you made me open the CD package. YES, the food picture is there, and what a spread it was!! Makes me, too, want to go get some Tex/Mex real soon. The beer bottle in the photo is "Southern Select". Never heard of it. Anyone ever hoist one?

PS: Hey leafsfan, just checked, amazon.com has "ZZ Top's First Album", NEW, on CD for $6.99!!.

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by robslob]

 

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Don't let the sounds of your own wheels

Drive you crazy

Lighten up while you still can

Don't even try to understand

Just find a place to take your stand

And TAKE IT EASY

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 12:45 PM
quote:
OK guys, you made me open the CD package. YES, the food picture is there,



COOL! Time to get the reissue CD! AND, the #4 combo plate.

[Edited on 7/31/2008 by chiliD]

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 01:54 PM
Love Tres Hombres (and ZZ Top ... Jesus Just Left Chicago is a fave). Speaking of ZZ ... they are going to be playing locally at the racetrack with tix running from $48 to $99. Have seen these guys many times but never for $99!!! Just about choked when I saw those ticket prices. (In fact I believe last time I saw them was double bill with ABB and the tix for both bands were under $50)

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 01:58 PM
Great album and those guys can still bring it live. Saw them last summer and was shocked at how good they were. In fact they were better than they were the last time I saw them a dozen or so years ago.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 02:09 PM
've always loved this one



Their best work ,no doubt. Living in Canada where spelling and pronouciation are largely based on our Brit colonial ties,when this first came out I thought ZED ZED Top was one of the dumbest band names ever...

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 02:22 PM
Awesome album and best sound and feel of them all this was truly top on Top of their game ..

 

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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 02:23 PM
ZZ Top opened for Deep Purple in Atlanta at the Omni in June, 1973. Most folks in the sold-out audience knew nothing of ZZ Top. It is an understatement to say Deep Purple had a tough act to follow. ZZ Top totally stole the show.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 02:49 PM
In the early 90's, a 3 disc set was released called The ZZ Top 6 Pack. It is their first 6 albums on 3 discs. Great set. I saw these guys on the Fandango tour the first time I saw them. High energy show!! The last couple of times i saw them I was very dissapointed in the band. They are opening for Brooks, and Dunn this summer. I almost got stabbed at a ZZ Top / Black Crowes show in the early 90's stopping a guy from beating up his girlfriend. The knife missed me by a couple of inches. Thank God for the biker who slammed his ass!!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 03:27 PM
quote:
Love Tres Hombres (and ZZ Top ... Jesus Just Left Chicago is a fave). Speaking of ZZ ... they are going to be playing locally at the racetrack with tix running from $48 to $99. Have seen these guys many times but never for $99!!! Just about choked when I saw those ticket prices. (In fact I believe last time I saw them was double bill with ABB and the tix for both bands were under $50)


I just saw them 2 months ago with Blind Melon and Blackberry Smoke for $25.


Of course after the Ticketmaster charges it was close to $99

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2008 at 04:16 PM
quote:
PS: Hey leafsfan, just checked, amazon.com has "ZZ Top's First Album", NEW, on CD for $6.99!!.


CD??? Whats that??? Vinyl is the only way

 

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