‘Raw’: BMG Releases New Album By ZZ Top
“Raw” is the title of the new live album by the famous U.S. rock band ZZ Top, released recently via Shelter Records/BMG. The album’s twelve songs, all well-known ZZ Top hits, were recorded in a single day and served as the soundtrack to the Grammy-nominated documentary “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas.”
BMG has published “Raw”, the new live album of the famous US rock band ZZ Top. The album was still recorded with the band’s original lineup of Billy F Gibbons, Frank Beard and the late Dusty Hill, who died in July 2021. Published via Shelter Records/BMG, the album was recorded at Gruene Hall in Texas in conjunction with the Grammy-nominated documentary “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas.” As an accompanying soundtrack to the film, the album’s songs, all well-known ZZ Top hits, were recorded in a single day.
The film’s director, Sam Dunn, wanted to use the live footage to show how the musicians recorded albums together in one room in the early days of their careers. In the accompanying text to the new album, Gibbons and Beard write about the “Raw” sessions: “It was, in a very real way, a return to our roots. Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour busses. Just us.”
Billy F Gibbons recalls the shoot: “The Director suggested we find a way to illustrate the early style from the start of our five plus decades run. Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas, was selected as a fitting backdrop to replicate the look of the band’s very beginnings. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that all our gear had been transported there so, as cameras rolled, we picked up the instruments and commenced an unplanned jam session. Fortunately, our stage engineers were on hand with tape machines in place to capture the performances that went down. That became, in essence, the soundtrack to the film and now it’s also an audio document of ZZ Top’s early beginnings.
The 12 tracks on “Raw” include “Certified Blues,” originally heard on ZZ Top’s First Album, as well as “La Grange,” the band’s 1973 breakthrough, and “Tush,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Legs” and other eternal standouts from the ZZ Top song catalog. ZZ Top released the single ‘Brown Sugar’ earlier this year ahead of the album. Billy F Gibbons served as producer, with engineering by Jake Mann and G.L. G-Mane Moon; “Raw” was mixed by Ryan Hewitt. It is available on 180-gram vinyl, CD and through digital platforms.
In December 2021, BMG and global investment firm KKR announced that they had acquired the entire music interests of ZZ Top. The agreement includes a buyout of the band’s publishing catalogue and their income from recorded royalties and performance royalties. Previously, BMG served as co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalogue. ZZ Top have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide to date.