If Tres Hombres built the launchpad for ZZ Top’s success, 1983’s Eliminator shot them into orbit. The band doubled down on everything that made their first seven albums great — the Southern blues boogie rock sound, the irreverent lyrics, the style — and blended it with a more 80s sensibility and sound. The addition of popular 80s instrumentation like synthesizers and sequencers added depth to an already one-of-a-kind band, creating a unique new “synthesizer meets soul” sound.
The result is a tight, polished album that’s considered one of the great rock ‘n’ roll records, and ZZ Top’s only Diamond album (10 million or more units sold). While it has a B side, it has no B sides: all the tracks thump. The album produced multiple 80s standards like “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” and “Got Me Under Pressure” that were radio regulars at the time, and continue to be played on classic rock stations today. In addition to the music itself, the music videos produced for Eliminator were in constant rotation on MTV, putting ZZ Top on the map for a new generation.