ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Was Once Impressed By Depeche Mode’s ‘Great Pop Music’
Billy Gibbons met music with the encouragement of his parents by taking to concerts and recording sessions of successful names like Elvis Presley and B.B King. After receiving a guitar on his thirteenth birthday, his passion for music increased by getting inspired by guitarists like Jimmy Reed. When he began to create his style of playing guitar, he became a great admirer of Jimi Hendrix, whom he had a chance to meet later.
ZZ Top, of which Gibbons is the vocalist-guitarist, embraced blues-rock style in their music. In the ’70s and ’80s, the band reached a successful point, with the singles called ‘La Grange’ and ‘Tush’ ranking high on the top charts. When the band achieved success in these years, they became known worldwide with ‘Eliminator,’ released in 1983.
The hit songs like ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’,’ ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ and ‘Legs’ were significant in the selling of ‘Eliminator’ more than 10 million copies. Disco-influenced rhythms with blues sounds and their humorous sides in the music videos were the factors that put them in a good place in the ’80s. ZZ Top inspired many names in the industry with albums like this but was also influenced by the works of names like B.B King, Muddy Waters, and even Depeche Mode.
Which Depeche Mode Album Inspired Billy Gibbons?
Depeche Mode made a massive impact on electronic music, especially with the ’80s albums named ‘Black Celebration’ and ‘Music for the Masses.’ They reached countless people on their tours towards the end of the ’80s. ‘Violator’ came out in the early ’90s, putting them in a notable place internationally.
Because Depeche Mode’s music style has been considered rock-pop, dance-rock, electronic-rock, and new wave, it is hard to think of them and blues-rock-based ZZ Top on the same page. However, Depeche Mode inspired ZZ Top’s guitarist and primary vocalist to create their works, even if it is not apparent from the outside.
Billy Gibbons has always appreciated Depeche Mode’s success with its unique writing style and sounds. Gibbons was inspired by the worldwide acceptance of the Depeche Mode in such a distinctive style. Although ZZ Top has not had electronic sounds as Depeche Mode has, there have been more profound influences from the band.
During the interview with Classic Rock, Gibbons revealed some of the albums that significantly impacted his rock career. In the list he created, there were Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Are You Experienced,’ The Rolling Stones’ ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request,’ and BB King’s ‘Live At The Regal,’ all of which he has always mentioned how were important influences on ZZ Top’s music.
Besides these names, Gibbons did not forget to talk about Depeche Mode’s ‘Some Great Reward.’ He admired how they showed the gloomy side of life with the pop sounds by mentioning two songs called ‘Master and Servant’ and ‘People Are People’ from the album. According to Billy, Depeche Mode has created valuable pop sounds with different elements of music.
Billy Gibbons said in his words:
“It’s the home of Master and Servant, and People are People. I am constantly impressed with how they meld a bleak worldview with synch and turn it all into great pop music. That’s alchemy!”
You can listen to Depeche Mode’s ‘Some Great Reward’ below.