Brain dead, totally tired, I needed a pick-me-up and here are the boys with a real doozie, ZZ Top Sleeping Bag. Not only that but it’s on a pharaoh shaped picture disc, a vinyl shape that has in exhaustive scientific tests been found to be up to 39.56% more perky and restorative than normal boring round vinyl.
I really loved their Afterburner LP, okay so it lacked the guitar bite of Eliminator, but you go back to it now and there are some really great tunes in there. I suppose it may depend on your tolerance for Texan robo-synth-blues-boogie. I’ve never had much resistance to it personally, especially when, like most of my favourite music, almost every lyric is just a big steaming double entendre; it really might be about time I grew up past the age of 15.
The title track of Sleeping Bag is a case in point. Billy Gibbons sings of spreading it out and laying on down and then hits us with ‘we’ll tuck it in until it’s clean out of sight’, hmm ladies and gentlemen, I think this might just be some of that sex talk stuff I’ve read about. Poor ladies, I bet they didn’t stand a chance with all that metaphorin’ going down. A passing verse about Egypt, gives us the really rather cool image for the picture disc.
The B-side is ‘Party On The Patio’ from 1981’s El Loco, not an LP I ever got on with, in fact I sold my copy about a year after getting it and this hasn’t really prompted me to revisit it*. It was a bit too treated and synthesized for me – I know I’m being a hypocrite here, maybe ZZ Top just got much better at doing it that way.
Never mind I’m happy again, pharaoh-shaped happy.
Let’s go out to Egypt ’cause it’s in the plan,
sleep beside the pharaohs in the shifting sand.
We’ll look at some pyramids and check out some heads**
Oh, we’ll whip out our mattress ’cause there ain’t no beds.
Slip inside my sleeping bag,
slip inside my sleeping bag
PS – this is dedicated to Mr Victim Of The Fury, a man who crosses the Nile every day on his way to work – how cool?
*Anyone out there rate El Loco more than I do? I just think it’s lacking some bollocks.
**I always heard that as ‘hash’, rather than ‘heads’ before today. True story.