ZZ Top – Mescalero (2003) (Japanese Edition)

ZZ Top is an American rock band that formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band is composed of bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons (the band’s leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), and drummer Frank Beard. One of just a few major label recording groups to have held the same lineup for more than 45 years, ZZ Top has been praised by critics and fellow musicians alike for their technical mastery.

2003

Mescalero is the fourteenth studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on September 8, 2003, as the band’s final release for RCA Records. While the band still retained their foundation in blues rock, Mescalero explored genres like country and Tejano. Recording sessions took place at Foam Box Recordings in Houston, with Billy Gibbons as producer.
Mescalero is centered on a variety of Tejano instrumentation including accordion, pedal steel guitar, and harmonica. The album often uses slide guitar and “fuzzybass guitar sounds. It opens with “Mescalero”, a track with marimbas used throughout the entire song and a solo at the end. “Two Ways to Play” is a hard rock-inspired track in which Gibbons’ guitar is tuned down a whole step from standard pitch. “Alley-Gator” made use of the accordion and a 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop played by Gibbons. “Buck Nekkid” is a moderate swing, while “Goin’ So Good” is a slow ballad on which Gibbons used a 1949 Fender Telecaster prototype and played Steve Cropper-tinged licks; he traded phrases in call and response form with a pedal steel guitar. “Me So Stupid” is a moderate rock with a clip of Gibbons’ voice remaining constant throughout the track. Dusty Hill sang lead vocals on “Piece”. Auto-Tune is used on Gibbons’ vocals at several points on the album, most audibly on “What Would You Do”, “Que Lastima” and “As Time Goes By”.
The album depicts a skeleton wearing a sarape and a sombrero while drinking mescal in the desert. The skeleton appears to be shooting flames out of its mouth. The title, Mescalero, refers to a heavy mescal drinker.

Tracklist

01.  “Mescalero”  – 3:50
02.  “Two Ways to Play”  – 4:15
03.  “Alley-Gator” –  3:29
04.  “Buck Nekkid”  – 3:02
05.  “Goin’ So Good”  – 5:34
06.  “Me So Stupid”  (Gibbons, Joe Hardy, Gary Moon) – 3:33
07.  “Piece”  – 4:19
08.  “Punk Ass Boyfriend”  – 3:05
09.  “Stackin’ Paper”  (Gibbons, Hardy) – 2:58
10.  “What Would You Do?”  – 3:03
11.  “What It Is Kid”  (Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard) – 4:13
12.  “Que Lastima”  – 4:24
13.  “Tramp”  (Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin) – 5:12
14.  “Crunchy”  – 3:13
15.  “Dusted”  – 3:55
16.  “Liquor”  – 3:22

Japanese Bonus tracks
17.  “Sanctify”  (Gibbons, Hill, Beard) – 4:20
18.  “As Time Goes By”  (Herman Hupfeld) – 4:27
19.  “Isn´t Love Amazing” – 5:15
20.  “Ninja Shack” – 5:02

All songs written and composed by Billy Gibbons, except where noted.

Personnel

Credits

Notes

Released:  September 8, 2003
Recorded:  2002 Foam Box Recordings (Houston, Texas, United States)
Genre:  Rock
Style:  Blues Rock
Length: 1:25:29

Label – RCA Records

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