Billy Gibbons, the renowned guitarist of ZZ Top, has captivated audiences with his blues-inspired rock sound for decades. With the band’s distinctive style and iconic bearded look, ZZ Top has left an indelible mark on the history of rock music. In a radio interview, Gibbons shared his top 10 favorite songs, showcasing the diverse range of genres and influences that have shaped his musical journey.
A Blend of Genres
Gibbons’ list encompasses a variety of musical styles, reflecting ZZ Top’s penchant for blending genres throughout their discography. The Rolling Stones’ infectious anthem “Start Me Up” represents the timeless appeal of rock and roll, while George Jones’ “The Grand Tour” pays homage to the rich tradition of country music. Elvis Presley’s “You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” harkens back to Gibbons’ early inspiration from the King of Rock and Roll.
Exploring Different Sounds
Gibbons’ appreciation for instrumental classics is evident in his selection of The Ventures’ “Walk Don’t Run” and Roy Orbison’s “Candy Man.” These tracks highlight the melodic and technical prowess that has influenced his guitar playing. The inclusion of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” showcases Gibbons’ interest in the synth-driven sounds of the 1990s, adding a touch of electronic experimentation to his list.
As a guitarist deeply rooted in the blues tradition, Gibbons pays homage to the genre with The Animals’ “When I Was Young” and Bo Diddley’s “Crackin’ Up.” These tracks embody the raw energy and emotive power of the blues, reflecting the core of ZZ Top’s sound.
Billy Gibbons’ admiration for rock and roll pioneers is evident through his inclusion of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and the Yardbirds’ live version of “Stroll On.” These songs exemplify the enduring influence of early rock and roll and showcase the innovative spirit that shaped Gibbons’ musical journey.
Billy Gibbons’ top 10 favorite songs offer a glimpse into the diverse range of influences that have shaped his musical career. From blues to rock to synth-pop, his selections reflect ZZ Top’s ability to blend genres and push the boundaries of musical expression.
- The Rolling Stones – ‘Start Me Up’
- George Jones – ‘The Grand Tour’
- Elvis Presley – ‘You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care’
- The Ventures – ‘Walk Don’t Run’
- Buddy Holly – ‘Not Fade Away’
- Depeche Mode – ‘Personal Jesus’
- The Animals – ‘When I Was Young’
- Roy Orbison – ‘Candy Man’
- Bo Diddley – ‘Crackin’ Up’
- Yardbirds – Stroll On (Live Version)