Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: El Loco
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on December 21, 2011
Whoever said ZZ Top doesn't like to experiment needs to check out this album. First off, there's very little of the distortion and bite of earlier releases. New Wave was prominent at this point, and ZZ Top fully embraced the genre on 1981's El Loco. The Gibson dirt of earlier releases are replaced with a Fender sheen (This also was the first album where they were playing separated from each other in different booths, where as earlier releases had them all in the same room). The band was also experimenting with more robotic drum beats and chorus effects on guitar/vocals. Just listen to something like Tube Snake Boogie or Pearl Necklace and you'll hear the change from the past release.

Other than that, it's the same old ingredients. Texas-fried boogie done in a way that the Top could only cook it. This album contains some of their best work: The slow-burning It's So Hard and I Wanna Drive You Home, the party fun of Groovy Little Hippie Pad & Party On The Patio, and the nastiness of Tube Snake Boogie, Pearl Necklace, and one of my favorites, Ten Foot Pole.

However, not every experiment works. Leila has to be one of the worst songs the band have ever penned, a boring adult contemporary song that sounds like it could've fit on Days Of Our Lives. And that pedal steel is just awful. Also, what the hell were they thinking with Heaven, Hell Or Houston? Disco-sci fi? I dunno about that one. Too many drugs.

This marks the end of total consistency for ZZ Top. It had to happen, 6 great albums in a row isn't too bad though. After this marks the beginning of the "commercial" ZZ Top, which, isn't that bad, but it was never the same.
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on October 20, 1998
This is ZZ TOP at it's best the whole range of ZZ TOP'S music is here in this one album.Starting with the anthem 'TUBE SNAKE BOOGIE' to the rockin 'I WANT TO DRIVE YOU HOME',In which Billy Gibbons guitar licks are just awesome.If you like a good hard rockin album with the best guitar riffs and great lyrics this album from 'THAT LITTLE OL BAND FROM TEXAS'is a must.
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on May 28, 2005
Never being a "serious fan" of ZZ TOP, other than seeing their now familiar series of videos on MTV in the mid- Eighties, I never took the plunge and purchased a full length album from these legendary Texas rockers until a few years ago. A friend of mine turned me on to this cassette about ten years ago and I copied it, loving all the songs. Seriously fun, boogie-woogie blues, rockers, a few ballads, even a dance song ( the middle part of "Heaven Hell or Houston" has a great dance beat as well as some incrdeible guitar playing. ) ZZ TOP purists would probably hate me for saying this, but I think it's their best overall album ( I have since purchased quite a few of their discs. ) Oddly enough, my favourite track on this album is the most unconventional, most "this doesn't sound like ZZ TOP" song "Groovie Little Hippie Pad" starts with a few synth squiggles, then blasts off with a herky jerky rhythm and drum machine patterns that quite frankly wouldn't have sounded out of place on the first B-52's album ( and to me, that's not a bad thing.) Finally, a hard rocking album you can dance to. Great at parties, there's something here for literally everyone.
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on October 28, 2014
my favorite zz top album Killer tunes Tube snake boogie ,pearl necklace and party on the patio. (my two favorite zz top songs ever! And groovy little hippie pad. Heaven Hell Or Houston. ZZtop was peaking on this set!
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on May 12, 2013
ZZ TOP-EL LOCO: "That little ol' band from Texas"' sixth long-player EL LOCO continued the tradition of "south of the border" album titles, but little else familiar remained from the hard-churning blooze rock vision of TRES HOMBRES, FANDANGO or even the previous platter DEGUELLO. In place of the greasy bad-boy gravy ladled over previous staples TUSH and BEER DRINKERS AND HELL RAISERS are the sterile new wavey rhythm patterns of TUBE SNAKE BOOGIE, PEARL NECKLACE and PARTY ON THE PATIO, which are mostly devoid of BILLY GIBBONS' trademark sludge-axe solos and DUSTY HILL's funky southern rock vibe. Titles like HEAVEN, HELL OR HOUSTON, GROOVY LITTLE HIPPIE PAD and I WANNA DRIVE YOU HOME may have maintained TOP's wry sense of humor, but pointed less to the past than the slick MTV-ready direction taken on ELIMINATOR, which kicked off an unprecedented phase of popularity for the power trio. As a prequel to that gimmick-heavy, streamlined era, EL LOCO works...but for staunch fans of ZZ TOP's boogie-belchin' "old daze", everything makes a lot less sense.

RATING: THREE HOMBRES
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on May 8, 2004
Wondering what they're doing in those greasy overalls shown on the cover? They were working very hard on another sweet album!
ZZ sounds more contemporary on this album than they ever had before, while at the same time throwing down some funky blues (Tube Snake Boogie, Don't Be Cruel), sweet 70's country-flavored ballads (Leila, It's So Hard), and a couple truly bizarre, genius tracks (10 Foot Pole, Heaven Hell or Houston).
As with Tejas, Billy's tones are more frequently in the Strat realm than the fat Les Paul territory he is widely known for. He doesn't hold back on this one, slingling his gun with great zeal. Tube Snake, Don't Be Cruel, and Heaven, Hell or Houston all feature some of his sweetest solo work, in my opinion.
Out of my five star rating I give one star to each of these tracks:
*Tube Snake
*10 Foot Pole
*Leila
*Don't Be Cruel
*It's So Hard
*Heaven, Hell or Houston
Whoops, that's 6 stars. It's just a sweet thing!
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on July 8, 1999
This really is a great album if you're into ZZTop. The old blues influence is still there but there's hints of their later mainstream stuff. I could do without a couple songs, like "Its So Hard" and "Don't Tease Me". But "Ten Foot Pole", "Tube Snake Boogie", "Groovy Little Hippie Pad" and "Heaven, Hell, or Houston" are enough of a reason to have this CD in your collection.
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on April 16, 2012
I'll keep this short and sweet. An amazing album and I feel one of their best overall.

I love all the songs, but especially Don't Tease Me and Leila. The latter could be played in any honky tonk or country bar and would fit right in, even more so than much of today's country. Great music and lyrics make this a must have for any ZZ Top fan or even first-time listener.
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on July 9, 2013
El Loco is where the synthesizers and electronic drums begins. The band moves about as far from their blues rock roots as they ever get, and end up with a pretty weak album overall. There are some classic tracks. Tube Snake Boogie, Pearl Necklace, and Party On The Patio have become Classic Rock FM staples. A few come close. Let Me Drive You Home continues the sexual double entendre of Tube Snake Boogie. Groovy Little Hippie Pad is a fun little song. It comes across as a fun little experiment, but little did we know at the time that it was the blueprint for the future. The problem is that the songwriting just doesn't measure up to the (then) odd idea of crossing blues rock with 80s production. Of course, we all know that ZZ Top didn't give up on the idea, but instead refined it and hit one right out of the park on the follow-up Eliminator. And as we all know, they hung on to this sound way too long, even remixing earlier albums to match the same sound, confounding fans for years. Despite some of the one and two star reviews here, El Loco DID NOT get the remix treatment - it was the first ZZ Top album to intentionally have that type of production from inception. It just doesn't have the strong songs like Eliminator does, or Deguello before it. You can find this one cheap in the discount bins, but if all you want are two or three songs, might be better off downloading them.
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on August 6, 2003
For a ZZ Top album this is quite Mellow and has a lot of variety. There is also a lot of experimentation, especially experimenting with guitar tones.

There are some very strong songs on El Loco, The country-ballad 'Leila' is quite heartfelt and has some beautiful steel-guitar playing, though I'm not sure if it's a real steel guitar. The zany 'Groovy Little Hippie Pad' has a very strong main hook 'groooooovy little hippie paaadd' or so Billy sings it like that, is very memorable and catchy, and really grows on you. The track 'I Wanna Drive You Home' seems like a lyrical continuation of 'She likes my automobile', and it's another winner, with an awesome hook and great guitar grooves.

'Don't Tease Me' and 'It's So Hard' are fifties pop sounding, a bit insincere actually, but enjoyable enough. Then 'Tube Snake Boogie' and 'Party on the Patio' are fifties rock 'n' roll songs. The other songs are more experimental, interesting and with some good guitar.

Mellow and synthetic guitar tones dominate this album, that also tries to look back at more roots music, there are also a few rather bizarre and experimental songs. It's still an enjoyable album, a bit uneven, so about 2.5 to 3.0 stars.
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