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In 1976, ZZ Top released Tejas, a countrified take on their Texas roadhouse blues format that failed to sell especially well. In the wake of that disappointment, the trio took a three-year break from recording music. When they finally returned, guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill had grown chest-length beards (drummer Frank Beard abstained), ushering in the next chapter of ZZ Top. The band signed with Warner Bros. and put out Deguello, a gritty return to form featuring two hit singles: “I Thank You” (a Sam & Dave cover) and “Cheap Sunglasses.” The latter, with its rock-hard riffs and crafty lyrics, set ZZ Top back on course.
Listen to ZZ Top perform “Cheap Sunglasses” on this date 38 years ago at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, N.J.