Last Wednesday I packed a bag and hit the beach. Vacations are fun, but long flights suck, which is why I always hit the local bookshop for some rock magazines before I go anywhere. I tend to read books while in the air and nervously flip through magazines during the pre-boarding activities. Anyway, I picked up the latest issues of my two all-time favorite rock ‘zines: MOJO and Classic Rock Magazine. Both are British, come with a free promo CD, and are ridiculously expensive for this Missouri boy. But despite the small fortune I had to shell out, they were both worth it (tangent: why are there no good American music magazines?). Now that I’m home, I’ve been spending a little time with the promotional CD’s, which is a fun way to come-down from a vacation.
This month’s Classic Rock Magazine featured a ZZ Top cover-story and this month’s CD has their new song “I Gotsta Get Paid.” The song is off their forth-coming album LA FUTURA. I’ve never written ZZ Top off, per say, but I’ve never eagerly anticipated their more recent albums either. Expecting a by-the-books “Dinosaur of Rock”-type album I pretty much wrote LA FUTURA off. But then I heard that the bearded boys had fired their managers and hired super (bearded) producer Rick Rubin to produced LA FUTURA. Needless to say, my interest perked up considerably.
Rick Rubin, the 4th member of ZZ Top.
So how is the song? “I Gotsta Get Paid” is actually pretty damn good. The song, a pretty obscure cover of “25 Lighters” an old rap song by DJ DMD, has an appropriately swampy groove. Billy Gibbons voice is just getting better (and scarier) with age. The song, while heavily influenced by Rubin, remains true to ZZ Top’s blue roots. Rubin’s got a knack for taking older acts and breathing new life into their careers, and from what I’ve heard of LA FUTURA, it sounds like he may have done it again.
You can listen to the first four songs of LA FUTURA on Spotify (released as an EP titled TEXICALI). Give it a listen and tell me what you think:
And for those that are interested, here’s the original version of the song: