HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

ZZ TOP - Live In Germany 1980

For years this Rockplast set has been ZZ Top's best video bootleg, Eagle making it legit a while back on DVD paired with an '08 show. Now we get the CD, or as they say these days, "physical product," allowing for straight unfiltered musical analysis from the ears and no eyes. Sound-wise, it ain't so hot, going all hard and midrange-y. Get over that though, and one gets an inspired set-list leaning two ways: toward the then-current Deguello album and for the hits, man, toward heaviness, highlights being 'Precious And Grace', 'Arrested For Driving While Blind' (OK, more 'Tush' than heavy, but way heavier than the graceful Tejas touch-upon), 'Heard It On The X' and 'Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers'. Performance? Hmm, I'd say the modern Live From Texas was more impressive, this sounding quite punk rock and raw, too much hi-hat hobbling it, although, granted, it was never intended for release. Pains me to give this a 7, 'cos as it's turned out over the last decade, ZZ Top is my favourite band of all freakin' time.
Rating 7