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Sometimes, as a parent, you just know when you’ve done a good job. It isn’t often that you feel this way, as more likely you’re surely just making everything up as you go along. On a day to day basis, your job seems to consist mostly of preventing your young ones from hurting themselves, and making sure they’re stuffing healthy food into their headholes. Actually effecting change and positive role modelling would be fairly low on the list, despite your best ideals, under these conditions.

But victories can happen. Look at Deke, recently, with his daughter’s ALS school project being about Jason Becker. That’s cool. Or when my three year old daughter, when asked what she thought of the Iron Maiden song that was playing in the car, gave me a great metal face AND metal horns with both hands.

It’s these little victories that make all the days of (seemingly) endless repetition and worry absolutely worth how tired you can feel in your bones (We love you and we thank you, oh blessed coffee gods!).

Well today, I had two such victories!

You see, it was a PD day at my son’s school, so I was home with both kids. This is, of course, opportunity for great hilarity and adventure and energy. By three o’clock this afternoon, though, the house looked like a bomb had gone off. Or perhaps more accurately, like Mötley Crüe had been over for lunch. It was time to clean up.

The kids whined and moaned, since cleaning up is not nearly as fun as making the mess. I suggested we have some Clean Up Music. I called up my iTunes and chose ZZ Top’s Eliminator at random. The kids went nuts.

They loved the energy of Gimme All Your Lovin’, Got Me Under Pressure, Sharp Dressed Man and If I Could Only Flag Her Down. There were breaks in the cleaning, of course, for example when they did a weird little dance during Legs, laughing like loons all the time. They also loved what my son called the “boinging” of Thugs, which is, of course, that fun bass line.

The house got clean by way of a lot of goofy dancing and finding weird ways to carry things to their proper homes. No matter. Now, when my lovely wife gets home from work, she’ll never know just how close this place came to being declared a UN disaster area!

Victory #1: The kids love ZZ Top.
Victory #2: The house got clean while they had fun!

Thank you, ZZ Top!

Series – Greatest Hits: ZZ Top

To avoid confusion, as I know there have been a few ZZ Top compilations over the years, this is the 1992 release, with the white cover and the boys standing on pedestals with the girls lounging around them. You know the one.

I’m going to do this one a bit differently, since we all know all of the songs here. Instead, I offer you some lists.

Things I Like About ZZ Top:

1) They were formative for me. The first album I ever bought for myself, with my own money, was a ZZ Top cassette of Eliminator. I was ten years old.

2) That Texas blues sound. Oh baby.

3) The only dude in the band who doesn’t have a big beard is the only one in the band who has the last name Beard.

4) They had a huge hit song about a girl who has legs “and she knows how to use them!” Like, if she didn’t know how, someone would have to teach her! And how would she have gotten to the age of the girl in the video without learning how? That always cracked me up. I mean, I know what they meant, of course… and yes, I’ve always seen things that wee bit weirdly…

5) This disc. It’s a solid mix, a pretty good one-stop shop for people who want the biggest hits. I also have the 2CD set, Rancho Texicano, but I had this one first and it stuck with me as it is.

Minor Complaints About This Disc And Its Contents:

1) Rough Boy is a good song idea, it just goes on about two minutes too long.

2) This disc is missing many, many songs. At a 72:43 running time, it’d be hard to cram much more onto the one disc, but maybe a 2nd CD could have been possible? I know, I know. I’m just greedy…

3) It’s not the album version of Legs. I suppose the assumption was that everyone who’d buy this would already have the album, but why they’d do that with (arguably) the biggest song here is a mystery of the making of Greatest Hits sets that I’ll never understand.

One Weird Thing About the Cover Art:

1) I always like the pictures of the hawt ladies, because I am a man and am wired to do so. We have all stared at that cover (admit it). Now, the blonde lady in the red shirt is, to me, equal parts pretty and a little scary. Just something about her is… unsettling. Could just be me.

In Sum:

This is a great 1CD set of a lot of ZZ Top’s big songs. Like I said, lots is missing, but it’s hard to argue when there’s this much awesome coming at you, song after song.

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