Fandango! is the fourth album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in 1975. Half the tracks are selections from live shows, the rest are new songs from the studio. A remastered and expanded edition of this album was released on February 28, 2006.
Fandango, from which the album gets its name, is a type of dance similar to flamenco.
In the late 1980s a digitally remixed version of the recording was released on CD and the original 1975 mix version was discontinued. The remix version created controversy among fans because it significantly changed the sound of the instruments, especially drums. The remix version was used on all early CD copies and was the only version available for over 20 years. A remastered and expanded edition of the album was released on February 28, 2006, containing three bonus live tracks. The 2006 edition is the first CD version to use Terry Manning’s original 1975 mix. The album was re-released in 2009 on 180 gram vinyl using the original master tapes. It appears exactly the same except that it had a 180 gram vinyl LP sticker, by Back to Vinyl records.
The only single released from the album was “Tush”. The single peaked at #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it the band’s first top 40 single.
Tracks 1-3 (side A of the original LP) were recorded live at The Warehouse in New Orleans on April 12 1974, “captured as it came down-hot, spontaneous and presented to you honestly, without the assistance of studio gimmicks”. Tracks 4-9 (side B) were new studio recordings. (by wikipedia)
Blessed with their first full-fledged hit album, ZZ Top followed it up with Fandango!, a record split between a side of live tracks and a side of new studio cuts. In a way, this might have made sense, since they were a kick-ass live band, and they do sound good here, but it’s hard not to see this as a bit of a wasted opportunity in retrospect. Why? Because the studio side is a worthy successor to the all-fine Tres Hombres, driven by “Tush” and “Heard It on the X,” two of their greatest songs that build on that album by consolidating their sound and amplifying their humor. If they had sustained this energy and quality throughout a full studio album, it would have been their greatest, but instead the mood is broken by the live cuts. Now, these are really good live cuts — and “Backdoor Medley” and “Jailhouse Rock” were fine interpretations, making familiar songs sound utterly comfortable in their signature sound — and Fandango! remains one of their better albums, but it’s hard not to think that it could have been even better. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill (bass, keyboards, background vocals, vocals on 02., “Balinese”, and “Tush”, co-lead vocals on “Backdoor Medley” and “Heard It on the X”
Side one (live):
01. Thunderbird (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.10
02. Jailhouse Rock (Leiber/Stoller) 1.56
03. Backdoor Medley (9.25):
03.01. Backdoor Love Affair (Gibbons/Ham) 1.10
03.02. Mellow Down Easy (Dixon) 3.39
03.04. Backdoor Love Affair No. 2 (Gibbons) 2.05
03.04. Long Distance Boogie (Hooker) 2.32
Side two (in the studio):
04. Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.45
05. Blue Jean Blues (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.45
06. Balinese (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.38
07. Mexican Blackbird (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 3.05
08. Heard It On The X (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.23
09. Tush (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.16