ZZ Top's First Album is the debut studio album by American blues rock band ZZ Top. It was produced by manager Bill Ham, and was released on January 16, 1971 on London Records. Establishing their attitude and humor, ZZ Top incorporated boogie, hard rock and Southern rock influences into their sound.
Thematically, the album is lively, playful, and at times brash. Filled with the band's personal experiences and sexual innuendos, they became central to the group's image. Seeking inspiration from Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top began recording the album at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas. Only one single was released from the album and failed to appear on the Billboard charts.
ZZ Top's First Album may not be perfectly polished, but it does establish their sound, attitude, and quirks. Simply put, it's a dirty little blues-rock record, filled with fuzzy guitars, barrelhouse rhythms, dirty jokes, and Texan slang. They have a good, ballsy sound that hits at gut level, and if the record's not entirely satisfying, it's because they're still learning how to craft records -- which means that they're still learning pacing as much as they're learning how to assemble a set of indelible material. Too much of this record glides by on its sound, without offering any true substance, but the tracks that really work -- "(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree," "Backdoor Love Affair," "Brown Sugar," and "Goin' Down to Mexico," among them -- show that from their very first record on, ZZ Top was that lil' ol' blues band from Texas.
01. "(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree" (Billy Gibbons) – 2:32
02. "Brown Sugar" (Gibbons) – 5:22
03. "Squank" (Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Bill Ham) – 2:46
04. "Goin' Down to Mexico" (Gibbons, Hill, Ham) – 3:26
05. "Old Man" (Gibbons, Hill, Frank Beard) – 3:23
06. "Neighbor, Neighbor" (Gibbons) – 2:18
07. "Certified Blues" (Gibbons, Beard, Ham) – 3:25
08. "Bedroom Thang" (Gibbons) – 4:37
09. "Just Got Back from Baby's" (Gibbons, Ham) – 4:07
10. "Backdoor Love Affair" (Gibbons, Ham) – 3:20