Say what you will about ZZ Top's foray into 80's music, using sequencers and compression on the drums, I like this album. Rev. Billy Gibbons' guitar tone was so sweet on this album. It's so smooth and creamy, I just love the tone. This might be my favourite album of his, purely for guitar tone. Just listen to that sweet picking on the album version of "Legs". Man, how does he get that sound?
The original album has been lovingly remastered, with the original album version of "Legs" restored. However, fear not, the single version is still here as a bonus track. Other bonus tracks include live versions, the most exciting of which is a fiery "I Got The Six". And hey, if you don't like the techno sounds of the album, the live tunes give you an idea of what they'd be like stripped down to the bone. It's cool how Frank Beard is just as metronomic on the live versions. Honestly, he's not a flamboyant drummer, but he's definitely a great drummer. Just like the Beatles wouldn't have sounded the same without Ringo, or the Stones without Charlie, Frank is essential to that whole ZZ "Je ne sais quoi?"
Really I like the whole album, with only a few songs I call filler, such as "Thug". I always enjoy hearing "Sharp Dressed Man". I don't know how all these years later I'm not sick of it, but I'm not. "TV Dinners" always makes me smile. Really, these guys will write about anything!
The DVD is cool, you get the original music videos and some live TV performances. If you're a ZZ Top fan (and you must be or why else would you be reading this?) I think you will enjoy the video stuff. Liner notes are also ample.
5 stars, this is really an essential album for every rock fan's collection. It's never too late to pick it up!
on November 26, 2003
"Eliminator" introduced the world to one of rock's most unique sounds from one of rock's most unique bands, ZZ Top. Past albums like "Tres Hombres" or "Deguello" had firmly established the band as a major draw, but it was with this 1983 album that the band first used an appealing blend of technology that was perfectly topped onto their trademark R&B/Delta blues roots.
The vocals and bass of Dusty Hill are as rough as the Texas sand, matched only by that of Billy Gibbons (who was a favorite guitarist of Jimi Hendrix), backboned by Frank Beard's disciplined drumming. All of this makes for a tightly wound musicianship that never suffers from "Eliminator"'s synthesized element. The album spawned several hits, notably 'Legs,' 'Sharp Dressed Man,' and 'Gimme All Your Lovin'. 'Got Me Under Pressure' is just as legendary, being an enduring ZZ Top favorite. The one-of-a-kind 'Thug' meanwhile is a darker tale, and features an incredinbly funky bass texture, while the likes of 'TV Dinners' and the incredibly eye-roll inducing 'I Got the Six' are somewhat less serious, but just as memorable. 'I Need You Tonight' however is surprisingly sympathetic and features some of Gibbons' best guitar work.
Although "Eliminator" became one the 80s most recognizable efforts, it finally gave ZZ Top the worldwide success they'd deserved since the early 70s. It is very much a male-ego album, containing the brilliant arrogance and flashiness that made ZZ Top so great in the first place.
on October 14, 2003
Some people claim this and the next couple are too "Slick" and "Polished" and all that [sounds like they're describing a car chassis] but they are good albums nonetheless. I don't like Eliminator as much as I like Afterburner but There are a bunch of songs that I thoroughly enjoy. It's probably the album I owe the most too, Because, as Lawrence M. Bernarbo points out, a lot of people would not have heard of ZZ TOP had it not been for MTV and this album, so I owe it to you, Eliminator. My Favourite songs: TV Dinners, Legs, Sharp-dressed Man, Thug, If I could only flag her down [the best song here!], Dirty Dog I need you tonight and Bad Girl. Still, I can't help but wonder why, if "Gimme all your lovvin" and "Sharp-dressed man" were HUGE hits, why weren't "Tube snake boogie" "Leila" "I'm Bad, "I'm nationwide" "El Diablo" "Pan Am highway blues" "Balinese" etc or even stuff like "Fearless boogie" "Black Fly" "Breakaway" "World of Swirl" "Tell it" "Hairdresser" etc.? Probably because MTV gave Elminator and Afterburner publicity and none of the other albums got publicity.
on November 23, 2002
I own this in LP. But I had heard on the radio before buying it, this was their first hard rock recording. And between the radio and MTV, I had heard enough of the songs from this album. I admit. I was impressed by how they did this. It separates the professionals from the amateurs. I will cover why.
One thing I like about this recording is, it was so little of a transition hardly anyone who had not heard this was a hard rock recording would not know it. They made little change in their style of music in this recording. But it was enough to classify as hard rock. I had heard earlier recordings of theirs. One is Tres Hombres. It was to be one of their last regular rock recordings for a while.
The guitars were a little deeper and heavier. They slowed down the tempo just enough. The drums had a harder beat. It was in all their songs in this recording.
I noticed why they only made a gradual transition. One was to keep their regular rock fans. The other was to pick up new hard rock fans. And they did succeed in both areas.
Of course, I noticed their next hard rock recording that came out in 1985, Afterburner, got a little harder yet. I liked their gradual approach. There is a reason.
There have been other regular rock groups who changed too rapidly into either hard or metal rock. They did not last.
Others chose not to change. And they faded as well. One is Pat Benatar. It was at an era when regular rock was fading. And hard and metal rock were on the rise. ZZ Top knew they had to change or fade out. And they knew to change gradually. Or they would risk losing their then current fans. And they would not be able to pick up hard rock fans. This is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
All I can say is to buy this CD from this site. Listen closely to their style. You will see as I have why they survived while others died. And they are still going strong. It is a momento in the 1980's history of rock 'n roll. It is well worth the investment.
on November 22, 2002
Yep, this is the album that broke Top forever, pushing over 8 million copies. Gone are the simple but educated blues patterns of "LaGrange," "I Heard it on the X," and "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide," they've been replaced with the '80s space boogie of "Got Me Under Pressure" and "Sharp Dressed Man." But let's not forget to mention some of the lesser known but none the less outstanding tracks such as the atmospheric ballad "I Need You Tonight," thump rocker "I Got the Six" (love those double entendre lyrics), and one of my fave straight-ahead rockers that never gets a mention, "Dirty Dog." The approach on this album was certainly a novel idea for a band like Top back in '83, and no other band has really completed such a mind-boggling transition so successfully since. I place this one up on the "party rack" along with AC/DC's "Back in Black," Kiss' "Alive," Whitesnake's "Saints an' Sinners" and The Four Horseman's "Gettin' Pretty Good at Barely Gettin' By." Let the good times roll!
Just think of all those poor souls out there who never would have enjoyed ZZ Top is MTV had not come along. Clearly "Eliminator" is the biggest mountain peak in the uneven career of the power blues trio from Texas (and it has the best close up of "the car" on the cover to boot). Hard to believe how much water went down the arroyo during the decade it took for Gibbons, Hill and Beard to come back from their one hit wonder stage with "La Grange." If "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man," and "Legs" are not ZZ Top's three best songs I still have to believe they would be on the first hand you used to start listing off their best. This is the only other ZZ Top album I have besides their "Greatest Hits" collection, and while that is certainly the CD you want to have if you are only going to own one ZZ Top CD, "Eliminator" is the one album you want to have if you disdain greatest hits collections on ideological grounds (or whatever).
on November 17, 2003
Some people like slick, some like gritty. Some like their music to have a polished studio sound, others an organic natural grunge. I happen to like both and this ZZ Top title satisfies my ears and mind just right ! Hardcore ZZ Top fans have bashed this album for its early MTV pop appeal and others who grew up glued to MTV love it. I am in neither category but am able to appreciate and enjoy Eliminator just the same after all these years. Yes, it's electronically slick. Yet, that ZZ Top trademark sound of blues/rock is unmistakeable and easily identifiable despite the "studio-electricity" flowing through it (yes, I have heard some of their earlier works as well). Eliminator had it's own unique individual and distinctive electric guitar and bass, drum driven sound that no other pop-rock bands or new wave groups of the time possessed or dared to even come close to !
on March 27, 2004
Eleminator, wow what a great album, the last good ZZ Top album for like 10 years though! You know who I blame for that, MTV, they killed so many good bands and made so many killer rock bands go soft! This could have been a five star album had it not been so MTV. But they must have done something right because I think this was their biggest selling album ever.
All the hits off this album 'Gimme All Your Lovin' 'Got Me Under Pressure' 'Sharp Dressed Man' and 'Legs' are all killer songs but there are other good songs on the album as well. Of all the songs that are not hits 'TV Dinners' is my favorite. 'I Need You Tonight' is a sweet little ballady type sympathtic song with some killer guitar.
This is a killer rock album that could have been better had it not been so synthed out and poppy, but over all this is one of ZZ Top's best albums.
on May 21, 2004
I think this is one of the defining rock albums of the early 80's. The first six tracks on this album are outstanding rock classics ("Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Got Me Under Pressure," "Sharp Dressed Man," "I Need You Tonight," "I Got the Six," and "Legs"). Unfortunately, the quality drops off slightly after that. "Thug," "TV Dinners," "Dirty Dog," and "If I Could Only Flag Her Down" are rather boring and uninspiring. And the final track, "Bad Girl," seems rather forced to me. However, I think the strong tracks on the first half of the CD more than make up for the somewhat withered ending. Any rock fan who grew up in the 80s should have this album in their collection.
on December 31, 2014
A CLASSIC this has been around for quite a while now however the songs ensconced within the tracks of this disc make this ONE Disc a real MUST HAVE for any single collection. Sharp Dressed Man, Legs, TV Dinners ( personal fav' ) The Three tracks laid out here are the tracks that made the airwaves from this disc, well not TV DINNERS but I loved that song. Came out in 1983 and has more or less stayed around ever since. ELIMINATOR, one of the groups perennial favorites at any party along with Tres Hombres, and many many more. Spigomars