Various Artists

Gimme All Your Top: A Tribute to ZZ Top

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These tribute records from Big Eye usually tap faceless studio musicians to crank out an artist's hits. Occasionally however -- usually when the feted artist is of the "classic rock" variety - the label dredges up a rogue's gallery of "that guy from"'s. Thus, for Tribute to ZZ Top, you get that guy from the latter incarnation of Bad Company, that guy from FM, those guys from Fastway, and so on. It's not a slight on these gentlemen's careers -- what's trying is how blatantly Big Eye uses, say, Paul Di'Anno singing "Sleeping Bag" as a way to upsell the set. The fact is that most of this stuff is capable, at best. "Jesus Just Left Chicago" grinds appropriately, while "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Sleeping Bag" satisfactorily recreate Top's 1980s keyboard boogie. But that doesn't really make it essential. In fact, many of the tracks here play it too close to the bone, replicating each synth squiggle or guitar idiosyncrasy of ZZ Top's catalog, but lacking that trademark vocal leer. Completists might be interested in this tribute, or perhaps followers of the players involved (listed on the back). But for the most part, Tribute to ZZ Top disappoints.

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