ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

‘Sharp Dressed Man’ is a song by American rock band ZZ Top, released on their 1983 album Eliminator. Eliminator was one of few albums that have sold over 10 million copies in America, earning Diamond certification. The guitar solo in the song was chosen by Guitar World as number 43 in their 2009 list of the 50 Greatest Guitar Solos.

ZZ Top were never considered sex symbols or fashion icons, but they were convincing in this song about how rich, well-dressed men are irresistible to women. This being the '80s, a silk suit was considered fashionable, although ZZ Top were much more comfortable in denim. In a 1985 interview with Spin magazine, bass player Dusty Hill explained: "Sharp-dressed depends on who you are. If you're on a motorcycle, really sharp leather is great. If you're a punk rocker, you can get sharp that way. You can be sharp or not sharp in any mode. It's all in your head. If you feel sharp, you be sharp." According to Billy Gibbons, he got the idea for this song when he saw a movie and a character was listed in the credits as "Sharp-Eyed Man" (possibly the 1981 film The Amateur).

The music video was the first that was a sequel. It picked up the story from the ‘Gimme All Your Lovin'’ video of the down-on-his-luck gas station worker who is swept away by three beautiful women. In ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ he's a valet, and he encounters the same three girls and is once again given the keys to the Eliminator, Billy Gibbons' 1933 Ford Hot Rod.

This song attracted a slew of new fans to ZZ Top when the video ran constantly on MTV. Their long beards made them instantly recognizable and the babes certainly helped, but the car was the real star. Previous ZZ Top albums had a Tex-Mex vibe, but when it came time to sort out visuals for the album, the hot rod was finally ready - Gibbons had been working on it for years. It was good timing, giving them an MTV-friendly focal point just when they needed it. They had never made videos before and had no acting experience, but their videos provided everything MTV's target audience craved: girls, rock and roll, and a really sweet ride.


Label – Warner Bros.
Songwriters – Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard
Producer – Bill Ham


[Verse 1]
Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don't know where I am goin' to
Silk suit, black tie (Black tie)
I don't need a reason why-hy-hy
They come runnin' just as fast as they can
'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man
[Verse 2]
Gold watch, diamond ring
I ain't missin' not a single thing
Cufflinks, stick pin
When I step out, I'm gonna do you in
They come runnin' just as fast as they can
'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man
[Guitar Solo]
[Verse 3]
Top coat, top hat
And I don't worry 'cause my wallet's fat
Black shades, white glove
Lookin' sharp, lookin' for love
They come runnin' just as fast as they can
'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man
Oh, you can't lose with the dress I use
That's right, real fine
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