ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons is a hero in the world of rock n’ roll. The lead guitarist and vocalist for ZZ Top, he is known for combining blues, and rock together. Also, his stage presence and sense of humor were unlike anything else.
With their boogie blues, ZZ Top‘s Billy has been considered a guitar hero ever since their entry into the mainstream. Even Jimi Hendrix called him a guitar hero. Their five decades of hard work have contributed to a lot of great albums. But like everyone else, Billy also has albums he loves and has not been shy whilst sharing them.
While chatting with Classic Rock in 2017, he talked about ten albums that have changed his life and have influenced his career. He has always been happy to share his inspirations. The list is full of blues, and rock and roll. Gibbons also talked about ‘What I’d Say’ by Ray Charles and revealed it was the very first song he learned to play. He said he had just turned 13 and then, he plugged his guitar, cranked it up, and by the end of the afternoon, he had worked out that opening figure.
However, we’ll be talking about one particular album that Billy called, ‘a literal mind blower’. The album was ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators‘ by the 13th Floor Elevators. It is considered one of the most powerful albums in the world of rock.
Billy stated, “Whoa! That one stands as a literal mind-blower. It alters the neurons when hearing it. Roky Erickson didn’t consider adhering to any traditional boundaries or formats. In fact, the Elevators became self-appointed pioneers of a psychedelic trip that seems to have the impact of lasting past the present.”
Bill Bentley, Billy Gibbons old pal still remembers the first time they both saw the 13th Floor Elevators play in Houston in the mid-1960s. He said, “We were 15 probably when we first saw him, and we both just loved the Elevators so much.” He also added that the band was on LSD almost every time they played. It was beyond music. It was very, very, very psychedelic he says.
Billy loves the cult sound the band gives. Also, it sends you on a psychedelic trip. They were one of the first psychedelic bands which blended rock, blues, and country music. The 13th Floor Elevators had great energetic live performances. And maybe it’s the reason, Billy became one of the most impressive frontmen in the history of rock.
Here are all his 10 Favorite Albums of All Time
- The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators – 13th Floor Elevators
- Fresh Cream – Cream
- Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix
- Some Great Reward – Depeche Mode
- Their Satanic Majesties – The Rolling Stones
- Muddy Waters at Newport – Muddy Waters
- Live at the Regal – B.B. King
- Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul – Otis Redding
- The Land of Rape and Honey – Ministry
- Truth – Jeff Beck