Long before The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, there was “La Grange,” a blues shuffle that rolled onto radio in brazen celebration of the state’s unofficial rest stop. ZZ Top already boasted a string of minor successes, but “La Grange” recruited an armada of beer drinkers and hell-raisers and launched the little old band from Texas into the realm of million-sellers. After another decade of chart-topping, the Top added prodigious facial hair and burbling electronics to their hunkered-down, skintight sound and made MTV cheesecake history. All of it wears well on Chrome, Smoke & BBQ (Rhino), a hit-laden four-CD set chronicling the Houston-based trio’s thirty-plus years together.
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