ZZ Top Albums in Order

ZZ Top, an iconic American rock band, has released 15 studio albums in chronological order. Their discography spans over 50 years, showcasing their unique blend of blues, rock, and boogie.

In the beginning, ZZ Top’s album discography started in 1971 with their debut titled “ZZ Top’s First Album.” Further along, they garnered fame with timeless classic albums like “Tres Hombres” and “Eliminator,” which includes hits such as “La Grange” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”

Their music is characterized by a gritty, blues-infused rock sound, combined with humorous lyrics and the distinct, long-bearded faces of their band members.

ZZ Top Albums in Chronological Order

ZZ Top’s albums offer a captivating musical journey. From their early blues-driven releases to their later forays into a more polished sound, the band consistently delivers infectious melodies, gritty vocals, and exceptional musicianship. Here is a list of ZZ Top albums in order:

  • ZZ Top’s First Album (1971): As the band’s debut album, it introduces their signature blend of blues and hard rock. It features a raw and gritty sound, with standout tracks like “Brown Sugar” and “Just Got Back from Baby’s.”
  • Rio Grande Mud (1972): This album further establishes ZZ Top’s bluesy rock sound. It includes the hit single “Francine” and fan favorites like “Just Got Paid” and “Bar-B-Q.”
  • Tres Hombres (1973): Considered a breakthrough album for the band, Tres Hombres features their iconic hit “La Grange.” The album showcases their blues-based sound and distinctive guitar riffs, with other tracks including “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “Waitin’ for the Bus.”
  • Fandango! (1975): A combination of studio recordings and live performances. The album features the live version of “Tush,” which became one of their most popular songs. Other standout tracks include “Heard It on the X” and “Mexican Blackbird.”
  • Tejas (1976): This album continues ZZ Top’s blues rock style while incorporating some elements of Southern rock. It includes tracks like “It’s Only Love” and “Arrested for Driving While Blind.”
  • Degüello (1979): ZZ Top embraced a slightly more polished sound while retaining their bluesy roots. The album features the hits “I Thank You” and “Cheap Sunglasses.”
  • El Loco (1981): The band experiments with synthesizers and incorporating more new wave influences. Notable tracks include “Tube Snake Boogie” and “Pearl Necklace.”
  • Eliminator (1983): This album marked a major turning point for ZZ Top, as they embraced a more polished sound and incorporated electronic elements. “Eliminator” became their commercial breakthrough, with hits like “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs.”
  • Afterburner (1985): Building on the success of “Eliminator,” this album features a similar sound and continued their chart-topping success. Notable tracks include “Sleeping Bag,” “Stages,” and “Rough Boy.”
  • Recycler (1990): This album returns to ZZ Top’s bluesy roots while incorporating some modern production techniques. The album features tracks like “Doubleback” and “Give It Up.”
  • Antenna (1994): ZZ Top showcases a return to a more stripped-down blues rock sound. The album features tracks like “Pincushion,” “Breakaway,” and “Cover Your Rig.”
  • Rhythmeen (1996): With “this album, ZZ Top delivers a gritty and hard-hitting album. It features tracks like “Rhythmeen” and “She’s Just Killing Me”
  • XXX (1999): This album skillfully blends their distinctive blues rock sound with a contemporary twist, featuring standout tracks like “Rhythmeen,” “Crucifixx-A-Flatt,” and “Dreadmonboogaloo.”
  • Mescalero (2003): This album showcases the band’s exploration of diverse musical styles while staying true to their blues rock roots, featuring tracks such as “Que Lastima” and “Piece.”
  • La Futura (2012): An album that marks ZZ Top’s return after a long gap between studio albums, it captures the classic ZZ Top sound with a modern twist. Standout tracks include “I Gotsta Get Paid,” “Chartreuse,” and “Flyin’ High.”

Classic Albums of ZZ Top

Some of ZZ Top’s classic albums have not only marked the band’s reputation in the music industry but also helped shape their music style. A few standout examples are:

  • Tres Hombres (1973): This third studio album is often considered a major milestone in their career, as it achieved gold certification in both the US and Canada. Hits like “La Grange” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago” showcase their gritty, blues-infused rock sound.
  • Eliminator (1983): A pivotal album for the band, Eliminator incorporated synthesizers and drum machines characteristic of the 1980s. With smash hits like “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs,” this album garnered massive commercial success, reaching multi-platinum status.
  • Afterburner (1985): Having achieved global success, this album successfully preserved the essence of their evolving sound while daringly pushing boundaries with singles such as “Sleeping Bag” and “Rough Boy.”

The Evolution of ZZ Top’s Sound

The evolution of ZZ Top’s sound over their five-decade-long career serves as proof to their adaptability and creativity. The band’s key transitions in their musical style are:

  • Blues-influenced beginnings: Their early albums, such as “ZZ Top’s First Album” and “Rio Grande Mud,” embraced a raw, bluesy rock sound, which laid a solid foundation for their future work.
  • Classic rock era: In albums like “Tres Hombres,” their music transitioned to an unmistakable blend of blues and hard rock. The band established a reputation for high-energy performances and memorable riffs, solidifying their iconic status.
  • Synth-pop influences: With the release of “Eliminator” and “Afterburner,” ZZ Top embraced a more contemporary sound by incorporating synthesizers, drum machines, and electronic elements. This change expanded their audience and allowed them to maintain commercial success through the 1980s.


ZZ Top’s impressive discography showcases their consistent ability to adapt and reinvent over five decades. From their blues-influenced beginnings through their classic rock era, to incorporating synth-pop elements, the band’s sound has continually evolved while remaining true to its roots.

As fans eagerly await their next release, their existing range of albums only proves that their music is worth the wait.

ZZ Top Featured Image by: Brian Marks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons