Billy Gibbons picks his favorite songs of all time. ZZ Top‘s guitarist Billy Gibbons is a well-known musician and he likes to add different classical rock styles to his music and lyrics for ZZ Top band. In this article, we will detail the songs that Billy Gibbons picked as his favorite of all time.
Billy Gibbons with his specific guitar style, soulful bluesy riffs, and legendary stage performance as the guitarist of ZZ Top has left an unforgettable impression on the rock genre. This synopsis goes into Billy Gibbons’ journey, documenting his musical career, influential guitar work, and enduring reputation as a blues-rock hero.
Billy Gibbons, who was born and raised in Texas, had an early love of blues music. Gibbons improved his guitar talents and developed a unique playing style that smoothly merged blues, rock, and boogie-infused riffs, influenced by blues masters such as Muddy Waters and B.B. King.
Gibbons became known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of ZZ Top for his gritty, blues-driven guitar tone and soulful, gravelly vocals. ZZ Top, together with bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, gained a reputation in the 1970s with classics such as “La Grange,” “Tush,” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”
Gibbons’ guitar playing is distinguished by his mastery of tone, flawless phrasing, and distinctive use of pinch harmonics and slide techniques. His playing radiates raw intensity and a profound connection to the blues, whether delivering blistering solos or laying down addictive rhythms. His sound and approach have become synonymous with his renowned “Pearly Gates” Gibson Les Paul guitar.
His solo albums, such as “Perfectamundo” and “The Big Bad Blues,” demonstrate his musical range as well as his love of blues-inspired music.
Billy Gibbons’ impact stretches far beyond his guitar skills. His unusual fashion sense, which included his signature beard, sunglasses, and sharp suits, cemented his status as an iconic figure in rock music. His charisma and laid-back coolness on stage contribute to his legacy as a blues-rock icon.
Billy Gibbons‘ name is in the pantheon of blues-infused rock ‘n’ roll guitarists, indelibly engraved in the pantheon. His passionate playing, distinctive riffs, and distinct style have left an everlasting imprint on the world of music, confirming his place as his favorite and important personality in the field of guitar-driven rock.
ZZ Top also received a number of honors for their contributions to the genre, including admittance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and they have sold about 50 million records.
Billy Gibbons’ Favorite 10 Songs of All Time
Billy Gibbons has also been known to share his respect for other talented music bands and their songs. Gibbons picked his favorite songs of all time. He has a passion for alternative and classic rock music too.
What kind of songs does Billy Gibbons love?
- Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones
- The Grand Tour – George Jones
- You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care – Elvis Presley
- Walk Don’t Run – The Ventures
- Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly
- Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
- When I Was Young – The Animals
- Candy Man – Roy Orbison
- Crackin’ Up – Bo Diddley
- Stroll On (Live Version) – The Yardbirds
ZZ Top‘s guitarist Billy Gibbons shared with Guitarist Magazine the Top 10 Songs of All Time. Here is the Billy Gibbons picks albums as follows:
1. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones
“Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones stands as a timeless rock song, synonymous with the band’s enduring legacy and their ability to create infectious, energetic music that resonates with audiences worldwide. This summary explores the captivating journey of “Start Me Up,” tracing its origins, its impact on popular culture, and its status as one of The Rolling Stones’ most beloved and iconic songs.
Released in 1981 as the lead single from their album “Tattoo You,” “Start Me Up” quickly became a fan favorite and a staple in the band’s live performances. The song’s infectious riff, driven by Keith Richards’ guitar work and Charlie Watts’ solid drumming, immediately grabs the listener’s attention and sets the tone for the band’s signature rock ‘n’ roll sound.
“Start Me Up” shows The Rolling Stones’ durability and ability to produce music that transcends time. Its lasting success and global recognition attest to the band’s timeless appeal and standing as one of history’s greatest rock bands. The contagious energy of the song, the catchy melodies, and Jagger’s charismatic stage presence assure that “Start Me Up” will always have a special place in the hearts of music fans everywhere.
Billy Gibbons shared why he likes ‘Start Me Up’ from The Rolling Stones as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“Several rock and roll classics, like The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start Me Up,’ Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away,’ and The Ventures’ ‘Walk Don’t Run,’ are also mentioned.”
He also added:
“Meeting the Stones for the first time goes back to 1972; the Stones had booked three appearances in Hawaii. They had a Friday night show, a Saturday afternoon matinee and a Saturday night show. How did ZZ Top get picked to be part of that triumvirate? Three excursions into Rock and Roll land were delightful. We spent less time working up music and rehearsing the show than we did hanging out at the Waikiki Beach at the Rainbow bar. Need I say more?”
2. The Grand Tour – George Jones
George Jones‘s “The Grand Tour” is a classic country song that highlights the famous singer’s passionate storytelling and tremendous vocal skills. This synopsis dives into “The Grand Tour,” tracing its origins, impact on country music, and enduring status as one of George Jones’ most cherished and sorrowful songs.
“The Grand Tour,” released in 1974 as the title tune to his album, immediately became an iconic song in George Jones’ wide catalog. The song, written by Jones, Carmol Taylor, and Norro Wilson, addresses the fallout from a failed marriage, presenting a devastated protagonist traveling through an empty house packed with memories.
“The Grand Tour” shows Jones’ ability to breathe life into a song with his deep, soulful voice. His expressive voice, with its distinct twang and sincere inflections, brilliantly expresses the emotional depth of the song. Jones’ rendition generates a strong sense of melancholy from the opening lines to the haunting chorus and displays his talent of conveying heartbreaking storytelling via song.
The instrumentation of the song, which includes delicate piano melodies, crying pedal steel guitar, and understated strings, adds to the emotional impact of “The Grand Tour.” Jones’ voice are nicely complemented by the orchestration, which creates a solemn and reflective mood that immerses the listener in the narrator’s emotional journey.
Billy Gibbons revealed why he likes ‘The Grand Tour’ from George Jones as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“But Gibbons also shouts out a couple of country artists, including ‘The Grand Tour’ song by George Jones”
3. You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care – Elvis Presley
“You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” is a rock ‘n’ roll classic by Elvis Presley that displays his explosive energy and rebellious spirit. This synopsis delves into the enthralling story of this legendary song, examining its origins, impact on the rock ‘n’ roll genre, and enduring place as a fan favorite in Elvis Presley’s catalog.
Originally recorded by Buddy Holly in 1957, Elvis Presley’s version of “You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” in 1958 transformed the song into a rock ‘n’ roll classic. The song, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, encapsulates the essence of the era’s rebellious attitude, with lyrics that humorously defy society standards and celebrate individuality.
Elvis Presley’s powerful and captivating performance gives the song fresh life. His unusual vocal approach, which is full of swagger and attitude, brilliantly portrays the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. The song’s contagious energy and dance-worthy groove are propelled by a strong rhythm section, enticing guitar riffs, and passionate piano.
“You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” exemplifies Elvis Presley’s ability to inject his own individuality into each song he sang. Elvis Presley’s charisma and stage shows distinguished him as a true rock ‘n’ roll icon, and this song exemplifies his ability to captivate audiences with his charm and brilliance.
“You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” represents the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll and the cultural revolution that it sparked. Elvis Presley’s legendary interpretation of the song embodies his capacity to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, giving him the moniker “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
“You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” has stood the test of time as a monument to Elvis Presley’s ongoing influence and commitment to defining the landscape of popular music.
Billy Gibbons tells why he likes “You’re So Square, Baby I Don’t Care” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“When I was five years old, my mom took myself and my little sister out to see Elvis Presley live. I said, ‘Man, that’s what I wanna do!’
My dad was an entertainer. When I was seven years old, he said, ‘Listen, hop in the car. I wanna take you with me. I’ve got business to take care of at the recording studio’. So, between seeing Elvis Presley and BB King I thought, ‘Man, this is it. This is for me!’”
4. Walk Don’t Run – The Ventures
The Ventures‘ “Walk Don’t Run” is an instrumental rock song that cemented the band’s place in music history. This synopsis delves into the enthralling story of “Walk Don’t Run,” tracing its origins, impact on the instrumental rock genre, and continuing reputation as a timeless classic in The Ventures’ catalog.
Originally recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954, The Ventures‘ 1960 rendition of “Walk Don’t Run” introduced the world to a new and exciting sound. The band, which included Bob Bogle, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, and Howie Johnson, reinterpreted the song with their distinctive twangy guitars, driving rhythms, and immaculate musicianship, defining an instrumental rock style.
“Walk Don’t Run” highlights The Ventures’ outstanding instrumental ability, with each member contributing to the addictive groove of the song. The song’s driving force is the unusual lead guitar performance, which is characterized by melodic riffs and complex picking. The tight rhythm section, highlighted by robust basslines and forceful drumming, serves as a firm foundation, propelling the tune forward with an unstoppable drive.
The title of the song accurately captures its character. “Walk Don’t Run” demonstrates The Ventures’ ability to generate a dynamic and engaging sound without relying on lyrics. The track’s instrumental style allows listeners to interpret and interact with the music on a personal level, making it a fan favorite for fans of all ages.
“Walk Don’t Run” was The Ventures’ breakthrough success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and cementing their status as instrumental rock legends.
Billy Gibbons tells why he likes “Walk Don’t Run” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“A few other blues-inspired songs, such as The Animals’ ‘When I Was Young,’ The Yardbirds’ live version of ‘Stroll On’ (from the 1966 film Blowup), and Bo Diddley’s ‘Crackin’ Up.’ Several rock and roll classics, like The Rolling Stones ‘Start Me Up,’ Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away,’ and The Ventures’ ‘Walk Don’t Run,’ are also mentioned.”
5. Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly‘s “Not Fade Away” is a timeless rock ‘n’ roll song that exemplifies the enduring influence and pioneering spirit of one of music’s genuine pioneers. This synopsis delves into the enthralling story of “Not Fade Away,” examining its origins, impact on the rock genre, and standing as a treasured classic in Buddy Holly’s storied legacy.
“Not Fade Away” was written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty and released in 1957. The song contains Holly’s particular vocal style, powerful guitar work, and captivating rhythm, all of which would come to define his sound. The track emanates youthful excitement and embodies the essence of early rock ‘n’ roll, from the opening guitar riff to the catchy chorus.
“Not Fade Away” shows Holly’s talent for creating memorable melodies and infusing them with an appealing vitality.
The song’s impact on rock music cannot be emphasized. “Not Fade Away” helped shape the sound of early rock ‘n’ roll, and its influence echoed through future generations’ music. The song was notably covered by the Rolling Stones, who introduced it to a new audience and cemented its place as a rock classic.
“Not Fade Away” has withstood the test of time and remains a favorite in Buddy Holly’s catalog.
Billy Gibbons explains why he likes “Not Fade Away” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“Growing up in Texas, there were two requirements toward manhood: You had to visit La Grange, and you had to go to the Mexican border. We somehow captured both in one single trip. That song [Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Not Fade Away”] showed us you didn’t have to rhyme every single stanza or verse.”
Plus, Holly left things open to interpretation: ‘I heard it’s a rumor from a friend.’ Did she get married or not? So with ‘La Grange,’ we tagged the closing with lines like, ‘I hear it’s fine… but I might be mistaken.’ The invitation stood at that moment.”
6. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode‘s “Personal Jesus” is a song that shows the band’s creative part of electronic music and thought-provoking lyrics. This synopsis dives into the unique path of “Personal Jesus,” investigating its beginnings, impact on the synth-pop genre, and ongoing place as a pioneering song in Depeche Mode’s lengthy catalog.
“Personal Jesus” was written by Martin Gore, the primary songwriter for Depeche Mode, and was released in 1989. The song features the band’s trademark blend of dark synth tones, pulsing rhythms, and passionate vocals. The ambient start to the song immediately draws listeners in, transporting them to a realm of brooding intensity.
The bouncy beat and guitar riff of “Personal Jesus” give a hint of rock-inspired edge to Depeche Mode’s electronic sound. The hypnotic blend of synth layers, complemented by Dave Gahan’s unusual vocal style, produces a disturbing and enticing mood.
“Personal Jesus” goes into themes of power, salvation, and the intricacies of human relationships in its lyrics.
Billy Gibbons explains why he likes “Personal Jesus” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“Our fans would have thought it completely absurd that we hung out with a band so different from ourselves. But we did. The way Depeche Mode used those sounds [Personal Jesus and more] and the band’s writing style were just so infectious. It was great to see something so different become so popular around the planet.”
7. When I Was Young – The Animals
The Animals‘ “When I Was Young” is a sorrowful and pensive song that captures the bittersweet path of youth and the inevitable passing of time. This synopsis looks into the interesting story of “When I Was Young,” investigating its beginnings, impact on the rock genre, and ongoing place as a treasured classic in The Animals’ catalog.
“When I Was Young” was written by Eric Burdon and Vic Briggs of The Animals and released in 1967. The song demonstrates the band’s ability to merge rock, blues, and folk influences into an engaging and emotionally driven composition.
“When I Was Young” explores the universal issue of coping with the passage of time and the changes that come with getting older.
“When I Was Young” demonstrates The Animals’ musical variety and dynamic range. The distinctive guitar work, which includes bluesy riffs and lyrical solos, blends with the driving rhythm section to provide a powerful and emotive backdrop for Burdon’s passionate vocals. The mix of soulful performance and thought-provoking lyrics produces a track that is emotionally resonant decades after its release.
Billy Gibbons shares why he likes “When I Was Young” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“While BB King is not on the list, Gibbons does include numerous other blues-inspired songs, notably ‘When I Was Young’ by the Animals.”
8. Candy Man – Roy Orbison
“Candy Man” was written by Fred Neil and Beverley Ross and released in 1961. Orbison’s characteristic blend of sincere delivery, soaring vocal range, and captivating melodies are on display in this song. The song envelops listeners in a world of joy and passion from the opening chords through the irresistible chorus.
“Candy Man” is a narrative about a charming and alluring lover who is compared to a “candy man” who brings sweetness and happiness into the lives of others. The fun and flirty attitude of the lyrics is well captured by Orbison’s velvety smooth voice, urging listeners to join in the celebration of love and the joy it offers.
The influence of “Candy Man” on the pop and rock genres is undeniable. Orbison’s easy blend of pop sensibilities and rock ‘n’ roll influences helped establish him as an early rock pioneer. The melodic melody of the song, combined with Orbison’s compelling stage presence, made it a fan favorite and a highlight track in his repertoire.
“Candy Man” is still regarded as one of Roy Orbison’s most popular songs. Its upbeat and infectious quality has made it a constant favorite during his live concerts, a testament to its timeless appeal and Orbison’s music’s enduring charm.
Roy Orbison reveals why he likes Billy Gibbons:
“Roy Orbison remains a compelling figure in the long line of sounds from Texas. Roy dreamed as big as the Lone Star State and sang even bigger. And this book reminds us of the near incalculable impact he continues to have on music to the present day.”
9. Crackin’ Up – Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley, a famous singer recognized for his inventive guitar playing and rhythmic manner, wrote and performed “Crackin’ Up” in 1959. Diddley’s unique guitar riff, with its syncopated rhythms and driving energy, is featured on the single. The addictive groove of the song captivates listeners from the opening notes through the persistent pounding.
“Crackin’ Up” delves into personal anguish and the difficulties of preserving sanity in a chaotic society. Diddley’s expressive vocals and captivating delivery bring life to the lyrics, expressing a sense of urgency and fury.
“Crackin’ Up” highlights the spirit of rhythm and blues. Diddley’s unusual guitar work, combined with a strong rhythm section, results in an enticing and danceable sound. Diddley’s creative approach to merging blues, rock, and African-American musical traditions is exemplified by the song’s energetic tempo and addictive groove.
Billy Gibbons talks about why he likes “Crackin’ Up” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“It’s a good day because I’ve walked on the planet at the same time as Bo Diddley. The simplistic and humorous artistry that accompanied this creation we all know as the Bo Diddley beat is a resounding testament to someone who knew how to touch us in a rock ‘n’ roll way.”
10. Stroll On (Live Version) – The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds‘ “Stroll On” (Live Version) is a song that shows the visionary sound of British blues rock. This synopsis looks into the amazing story of The Yardbirds’ “Stroll On” live performance, chronicling its origins, impact on the rock genre, and ongoing standing as a thrilling highlight in The Yardbirds’ influential discography.
“Stroll On,” released in 1965, was a version of Tiny Bradshaw’s famous blues tune “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
Billy Gibbons reveals why he likes “Stroll On (Live Version)” as one of his favorite songs of all time:
“Jimmy Page is one of the greatest. I would invite all of you, readers, to go check out the nightclub scene from the 1966 movie Blowup, where The Yardbirds are playing. They had Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page at the same time! Listening to the band doing ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’… it’s just ferocious. Both of those guys had tone for days.”
What are your thoughts on ZZ Top‘s guitarist Billy Gibbons‘ favorite bands of all time? Let me know in the comment section!