ZZ Top has released an updated live version of their 1975 gem “Heard It on the X” as the latest advance digital track from their upcoming album, Raw, which is due out July 22.
As previously reported, Raw was recorded in conjunction with the famed blues-rock trio’s 2019 documentary, That Little Ol’ Band from Texas. It’s being released as a tribute to longtime bassist Dusty Hill, who died in July 2021 at age 72.
For the movie, ZZ Top’s classic lineup of singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons, Hill and drummer Frank Beard played an intimate set of songs from their back catalog at historic Gruene Hall, known as “the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas,” which was filmed and recorded. That “raw” performance serves as the basis for the new album.
“Heard It on the X” originally appeared on ZZ Top’s fourth album, 1975’s Fandango!, which also included the classic hit “Tush.”
“Heard It on the X,” which featured Gibbons and Hill trading lead vocal lines, was an homage to the famous “border blaster” high-wattage AM radio stations that would broadcast from Mexico and that featured the call letters that started with “X.”
“Even though Dusty, Frank, and I grew up in different part of Texas we listened to the same stations, particularly the ‘X’ stations,” Gibbons notes, “and, as a result, we gained a lot of the same musical and cultural points of reference.”
You can check out a video of ZZ Top performing “Heard It on the X” at Gruene Hall at the band’s YouTube channel.
Raw, which was produced by Gibbons, can be preordered now and will be available as a 180-gram vinyl LP, on CD and via digital formats.
Here’s Raw‘s full track:
“Just Got Paid”
“Heard It on the X”
“I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”
“Gimme All Your Lovin'”
“Blue Jean Blues”
“Tube Snake Boogie”
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