ZZ Top Revisits “Tube Snake Boogie” for New Recording Featured on Upcoming ‘Raw’ LP, Due 7/22

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

“Tube Snake Boogie” is the title of a new recording from Texas blues/rock legends ZZ Top. The band recently announced a new studio albumRaw: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas, which is dedicated “in righteous memory of Dusty Hill,” the bassist who passed away in July.

Raw was recorded in connection with That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, a 2019 Netflix documentary on the band that earned strong reviews when it premiered on the streaming service.

Here’s the new track, which arrived Friday with a performance video and is a new version of a classic ZZ Top set list staple:

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More on the song, its place in ZZ Top’s history and this new project in general:

“Tube Snake Boogie” debuted in 1981 as part of ZZ Top’s El Loco album and is one of their most enduring in-concert favorites, typically provoking frenzied audience participation. Upon its release as a single, “Tube Snake Boogie” entered the Top 5 of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart and became a mainstay of the format. The late Dusty Hill had characterized it as the ultimate “party song” while Billy Gibbons credits drummer Frank Beard for getting it up and running. He noted, “It really revolves around Frank’s opening which is kind of surf-meets-jungle.” For his part, Beard credits his drum intro as having been inspired by Sandy Nelson’s classic percussion-driven instrumental “Teen Beat.” While “Tube Snake Boogie,” written by Gibbons, Hill and Beard, has been one of ZZ Top’s signature songs for more than four decades, others have attempted to cover it, most notably Serbian rock band Cactus Jack, as well as Canadian blues artist Bill Durst.  

The new album’s liner notes by Gibbons and Beard note of the RAW sessions, “..it was, in a very real way, a return to our roots. Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour busses. Just us and the music. We knew right then it was a very special circumstance, all of us in the same place at the same time and what a time it most certainly was!”

“Brown Sugar,” released earlier as a preview of Raw, reaches back to ZZ Top’s 1971 debut record:

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