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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Tres Hombres

ZZ Top

1973

Buy At Rough Trade
Tres Hombres
Album Summary

Tres Hombres (English: Three Men) is the third studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released by London Records in July 1973 and was the band's first collaboration with engineer Terry Manning. It was the band's commercial breakthrough; in the US, the album entered the top ten while the single "La Grange" reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.43

Votes

12472
Genres
Hard Rock

Reviews

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Fri Apr 16 2021
3

Soon as this album gets going you're thrown into the soundscape of some musty hard rock pool hall complete with a few biker guys, cigarette smoke, and a well used jukebox providing the cohesive glue of American blues rhythm of ZZ Top that pulls it all together. By the time you're three tracks in, you're already riding a motorcycle, and your beard is long enough to get caught on the zipper of your leather jacket. A pillar hard rock crafted from blues and the precursor to a sound that would be further explored by bands AC/DC, Motorhead, and Mötley Crüe; ZZ Top's first top ten album delivers on the American Harley dream. Tracks like Waitin' for the Bus,Jesus Just Left Chicago, and of course La Grange utilize the guitar fueled yet ever steady rhythm that is synonymous with throwing on your shades and riding out into the horizon. While these a bit homogenous in the delivery of this type of sound over the course of the album, frequent and sporadic guitar flourishes keep things interesting as you ride along the introspective vibe of wandering the country or getting access to that whorehouse in Texas or simply waiting around for the bus for too damned long. This tale of wanderlust expands beyond waiting for busses and covers other locations in Jesus just Left Chicago and even some out of country locations in Shiek. The track Master Of Sparks stood out to me with interesting time changes throughout the song compared to what I had heard up until it, which was a nice surprise. Sheik also ends with with a bit of a psychedelic outro which also spoke to me thorugh my favorite genre. Very cool. In the end though, La Grange is where it's at, and to be honest, if you've heard just that, then you've heard a decent amount of the album. Favorite Track: La Grange Honorable Mention: Master of Sparks

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

This is a great record, honestly. It only gets docked a star because it's not ALL great. Just MOSTLY great. But the songs that are great are REALLY great. "Waitin' For The Bus," "Jesus Just Left Chicago," and, of course, "La Grange" are just ... man. So good.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Few albums kick this much ass. Almost a precursor to metal in some ways, this is HARD hard rock that deserves to be played on a windows down kinda day. If I could give half ratings, I would. Only four and half because of a few duds that drag on first listen, but probably hold up on more. STANDOUTS: -Waitin’ for the Bus -Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers -Move Me On Down the Line -Precious and Grace -La Grange -Sheik

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Fri Aug 05 2022
2

Straight forward, unpretentious, beardy blues rock. Enjoyable for what it is, but not pushing any boundaries. Rating: 2.5/5 Playlist track: La Grange Date listened: 04/08/22

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Love this album, and ZZ Top is always a fun listen. Billy Gibbons is fantastic as always, Dusty Hill is so solid, and Frank Beard lays it down nicely. Just three guys playing some groovin' bluesy rock. Still sounds great fifty-ish years later.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

ZZ Top is Texas Rock. This album gives groovy blues & touches of early metal. I've always loved La Grange, and Beer Drinkers & He'll Raisers is classic metal - who would've thought they could rock this hard? I'm glad I'm finally listening to a ZZ Top album in its entirety. Being born & raised in TX, this band reminds me of home. They've got some heat in this album - if someone were to ask what the Lone Star state sounds like, I'd play this album. Gonna listen to their entire discography thanks to this challenge.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

I’m more of a man after having listened to this

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Mon May 01 2023
3

That was alright. Not bad, not great.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
2

where are they even finding these albums ?!

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Tres Hombres by ZZ Top (1973) Unapologetically grungy, grimy, greasy, and grotesque, Tres Hombres is philosophically shallow, poetically stunted, theologically unsophisticated, and entertainingly nasty. Posing as a group of hard living country-proletarian party boys with a complete lack of self awareness, ZZ Top speeds us down a Texas two-lane in pursuit of the baser passions, all the while keeping a nervous eye in the rear view mirror for any sign of the transcendent. There’s a lot of heaven, hell, and mercy in the midst of death defying recklessness (“Master of Sparks”—Hold my beer) and rollicking indulgence in the low range of even lower pleasures. This album is celebratory of the bright moments in the otherwise dull lives of barely employed lower middle class American males (i.e., “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”). There’s virtually no reference to love or romance (none at all if one thinks that “Precious and Grace” refers to something other than a couple of chicks—and one might well be right). Furthermore, one could ask how appropriate it is to appeal to Divine Mercy for a speedier trip home on public transport “with my brown paper bag and my take home pay” (“Have Mercy”). Perhaps a better mercy would be for an increase in the virtue of patience, but at least the listener can relate. However: Drummer Frank Beard (the only member of the trio who’s generally pictured without one) is wildly dynamic, yet precise. Bassist Dusty Hill (d. 7/28/21, R.I.P.) clearly mastered the art of doubling the groove of the electric rhythm guitar, while deftly negotiating the volatile relationship between drums and melody. And guitarist Billy Gibbons excels in both rhythm and lead passages. It’s hard to imagine how only three musicians can produce so much quality sound. So what we have here is an exquisite and highly relatable musical and lyrical expression of the dissipated life—well worth the listen, and rising to level of art (kind of like, in its day, Bizet’s Carmen or Puccini’s La Bohème, without the plot or tragic resolution). In “Jesus Just Left Chicago”, we hear a prayerful enough petition to join our Savior in his incarnate embrace of everything he created, all the way to (of all places) New Orleans. “You may not see Him in person, but He’ll see you just the same. You don’t have to worry, ‘Cause takin’ care of business is His name.” (Did I say this album was theologically unsophisticated? Maybe I’ll rethink that.) But the highlight of the album, of course, is the seductive, understated, and growly advertisement for the famous cathouse outside of “La Grange”. (It’s only a “rumor”, but “you what I’m talkin’ about”.) Now, intros come and intros go, but the first 37 seconds of this track are historic. We’re gonna need a bigger set of speakers. The sly reluctance in the lyric to be more explicit might be designed to enable the quasi-pimp to avoid the law, but it’s also designed for ZZ Top to avoid the opprobrium of the American Family Association (or, more likely, disc jockeys and the FCC). But now, I might be mistaken (A-haw haw haw-haw). 4/5

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Fri May 26 2023
5

When I was in high school, I traded an old trumpet for a really, really shitty drum set with a kid who lived down the way. See, he wasn't enjoying the drums, and I always wanted to learn how to play. He wanted to try the trumpet, and I wasn't using this one. Fair trade. He never learned how to play the trumpet, but I ended up practicing that shit set around the clock. Out of sheer force of will, I became pretty good. My pals wanted to do some cover tunes at the talent show, and I asked to be the drummer. I played along with the songs they picked until I could do a passable job. When we took the stage, I was so nervous I thought I would throw up, but the moment I started playing, I lost all of my anxiety in the music. When the audience started dancing during out little four-song set, I was over the moon. One of the best moments of my life. La Grange was one of those songs. One of the first tunes I ever learned how to play. I know I'm no Frank Beard, but dammit, I kept playing until I went semi-pro in university. I still play, much more rusty than I used to be, but I will always have a place in my heart for La Grange and ZZ Top.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
4

This is what every bar band thinks they sound like.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
3

Solid American bluesy rock and roll here. It flags a bit with Move it down the line which includes cliched riffs and lyrics like “big wheels keep on turning” 🙄 but its saved by the excellent single La Grange with the signature ZZ Top geetar sound. I like how they mixed up the tempo and mood with Sheik also.

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Thu May 20 2021
3

As a teen in the 80s it was impossible to avoid Zed Zed Top in their highly successful if not overly commercial era (MTV videos in heavy rotation). Wasn't bad, wasn't my taste. Just there. I was aware of a handful of their older tunes through radio but never thought about them. At the time I remember working a restaurant job late one night on cleanup and one of the older guys blasted this album while we worked and I was pretty surprised "Jesus Just Left Chicago" was the same band that did "Legs" - almost a 180degree turn in production as this album is super dry, simple guitars/bass/drums and barely a hint of reverb anywhere. While southern-tinged bluesy rock isn't something I really reach for, this is a fun album and definitely has a sound and place.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

I actually own this album on vinyl. Every track is exactly what you want from ZZ Top. Great guitar work and the opening three tracks are just a perfect album lead in.

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Sun Oct 10 2021
5

Awesome album. Watertight rhythm section and expertly executed guitar lines that cut like laser. Stunning.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

I know several ZZ Top songs, but only one of them is on this album, so I'm excited to listen to their other material. What a crisp version of blues-rock music. Great guitar soloing, solid grooves, the drumwork adds so much. Track uniqueness surprised me, not every song follows the typical blues chord pattern. Best track: had to be 'La Grange'

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Sat Jul 30 2022
5

Near flawless in its simplicity. You aren't getting much unexpected, though multiple solos involve pushing a guitar just to the edge of listenable. The trio gets their slow cuts in without breaking up the listening experience with a sudden mood change.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

Loved the fuzzy guitar sounds. It's funky but also hard rocky, and the combination interests me a lot more than I expected.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

Despite their great 80s albuns this is still the best ZZ top album as it contains Waiting for the Bus.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

Raw, gritty, old school Texas blues and hard rock. Led by one of the greatest guitarists to ever do it, Billy Gibbons. If you play electric guitar, you need to hear this album.

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Sun Mar 19 2023
5

Get me a beer and a ciggie immediately. Such a perfectly simple but supremely cool album title to go with such simple and supremely cool set of songs. Love how loose the live version of La Grange is.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

Everything about this album connects with me to the marrow of my being. The songs are superlative but as a collection taken as a whole they come alive with a tight, greasy vibe unmatched in the ZZ Top catalogue - and much elsewhere. Nobody did this kind of twisted, rolling Tejano rhythm and blues better. Have mercy!

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

One of the best 1-2 openers ever. If you were raised on the MTV version of the band, this album was a revelation. It's a shame "La Grange" is so overplayed, because when you revisit it after 5 or 10 years, it's really good.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Some of the best biker bar music there is. Love the sound of this album, it's hard, fast, and yet still has a comfortable blues/southern rock sound that is endlessly listenable

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Fri May 07 2021
4

I love the vibe of it, and as much as I’ll be saying those six words—I truly dig the way it makes me feel like I’m cool doing something that most likely isn’t.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

Was expecting a few short embers of enjoyment, but that was really good. Knew of them, but hadn’t hear much - if any- of their music. Toight

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

Classic era Z Z Top, with the glorious fat guitar sound, deep rooted in the blues. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers - some of their trademark sly wit in there. La Grange is one of the all-time great grooves. Lovely gospel vibe on Have You Heard.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
4

Back in the early 70s, ZZ Top was basically a Texan version of Rush.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

Great blues driven rock and roll. Some filler, but the rest were killer.

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Thu May 11 2023
3

Tres estrellas. (Couldn’t resist it)

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Fri Jun 24 2022
2

Music for a blue collar bar in a suburban strip mall. Hot, Blue and Righteous stands out as a sweet song to end side A on an otherwise greasy collection.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
2

Not bad, but rather forgettable. Nothing interesting is going on here. I'll give ZZ Top the benefit of the doubt, give 'em an excuse, and say it just hasn't aged well and leave it at that...

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Mon Mar 04 2024
2

Couldn't really get into it, sounded quite samey very quickly. La Grange was a good song, though.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

La Grange is an all-timer and the rest of this album slaps alongside it!

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Great example of their basis in blues, storytelling, and Texas boogie.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

great album, some classic songs on there

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

This is at least a 4, maybe my first 5!? Several songs I really like. I'll listen closely to the rest.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

This was a great album. Really bluesy!

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Tue May 18 2021
5

What a classic!! Growely vocals, jamming blues guitar, slick drum riffs. I listened to "Master of Sparks" at least 5 times in a row - I couldn't get enough of it. I've heard a lot of songs off of this album, but not all of them, and not all together.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

I love this album it is a classic

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

I love this album, it was very nostalgic. ZZ Top is badass!

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

Probably represents ZZ Top's sound better than any other album they released. Solid rock & blues. Bought it when it was released, listened to it periodically since. A great album. Didn't need to add it - owned it for decades.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Beautifully produced, chilled vibes

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

I love this damn album, but I’m biased because #texas

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Wed Jun 08 2022
5

An amazing album, with just about the greatest collection of guitar tones ever.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Un discazo de principio a fin. Cortito, al grano, y lleno de buenos riffs. Aunque no deja de ser rock en el estilo Texas, la verdad es que en estas dosis pequeñas y bien cuidadas no tiene desperdicio y no se siente como un gimmick repetitivo. Tal vez si me echara toda la discografía o un disco de éxitos me cansarían, pero en este caso se ganaron sus 5 estrellotas.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

I already loved ZZ Top but I didn’t know that every song on this album was a banger! Great one to listen to. I saved the whole track list.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

This is a great album, and its absolutely crazy how completely together and tight ZZ Top is as a band. All great tracks - 5/5

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Lotta good southern rock here.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Great breakthrough Album for ZZ Top. Lots of love and radio play for most of the tracks rockin blues grooves throughout. Only soft spot for me was “Move me on Down the Line” -just doesn’t measure up to the rest of the album.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

I love zz top, and I love this album.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Classic AF. Love the blues riffs

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

Love it. Classic ZZ Top, and a solid album all the way through.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

This one's on my list of albums that everybody else should hear before they die.

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Love it, a classic hard rock sound! Saved tracks: Waitin' for the Bus, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, Master of Sparks, La Grange,

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Sat Dec 17 2022
5

A proper blues rock album with riffs reminiscent of later hard rock that shows the underrated influence of the band on everything that came later. The production is great, while still raw and filled with bar venue energy. Maybe a few more big hits or stand out songs to make it even better, but still deserves the full 5 stars from my end.

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Sun Dec 25 2022
5

This took me by surprise. My knowledge of ZZ Top was hostorically 80s ZZ Top. This album is a banger!

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Classic rock blues - all killer no filler

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Mon Feb 06 2023
5

One of my favourite albums. The perfect mix of dirt, party vibes and a sweet hint of salvation. Praise be!

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Tue Feb 21 2023
5

Great guitar licks. I feel like I need to be in the middle of a Texas field party drinking Miller High Life with a 100 of my closest friends around a big bonfire to appreciate this properly. I hate Texas, but we all need to get out our comfort zones from time-to-time. This is a great album.

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

A more mellow version of ZZ top.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
5

This one gets a 5 from me. It's a weak 5 maybe haha - right on the edge. Lots of groove and feel, amazing vibe from the these guys who by this record (number 3?) appear to have really figured out who they are and what they are all about. The ballad Hot, Blue and Righteous is not my favourite, but La Grange is just a monster of a track and would be enough to get this record a 3/4 star rating. That the rest of the tracks are also full of killer guitar and cool lyrics and tons and tons of swagger is just an awesome bonus.

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Tue Apr 25 2023
5

Good old southern blues rock - no complaints here. I was familiar with four of the songs already, but there were some other great new-to-me songs like "Move Me On Down the Line" and "Precious and Grace." "Hot, Blue, and Righteous" sounded like it could have been from The Band.

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Wed Apr 26 2023
5

This is, ( in my opinion ), the best ZZ Top album, because they are closer to their blues roots, and it is years before they took on the over produced style of the 80-90's....

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Mon May 08 2023
5

Followed by the Brothers in Blues documentary on Friday night. Five stars.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

La Grange, on its own, earns 5*.

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Mon May 15 2023
5

Love this album! So good - reminds me of radio time In tractor cabs and being with my brothers

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