Overrated: ZZ Top & Aerosmith

Who Sucks More?  Aerosmith or ZZ Top?

It is ironic that two of the most overrated bands of all time comprise the book-ends of the alphabet.  Let’s start with Aerosmith, where the music is at least more tolerable compared to the unlistenable ZZ Top.  Could there be any more of a sell-out, over-hyped, lyrically-challenged band than Aerosmith?  A commercial success that I’m frustratingly jealous of, but I may rather listen to interstate traffic in a rainstorm than these guys.  And then ZZ Top, ugh… what do you say about these guys…. their music makes my stomach heave like a gallon of curdled milk would.  They just suck.  So let’s take up the challenge of who sucks more…


Steven+Tyler+2011+NBA+Star+Game+Performances+Wl_jW5xn9Wvl – VS – zztop

I heard Steven Tyler once described as having the mannerisms of a Tibetan Spider Monkey and the wardrobe of Bea Arthur from Golden Girls.  That’s pretty appropriate.  The guy looks like he weighs 80 lbs soaking wet and all the feathers in his hair, long cloaks and makeup can’t change his near-death appearance.  That being said, it’s hard to beat the inexplainable beards that made ZZ Top.  Let’s be honest, without their signature look, you would have missed out on such classic hits as Tube Snake Boogie and Sharp Dressed Man.  Perhaps we would be the better for this.


Both groups have set back songwriting, if not the English language, immeasurably.  Let’s compare:  First, here are some ZZ Top classics:

From the Tube Snake Boogie we get:

I got a girl she lives on the block,
She kinda funky with her pink and black socks.
She likes to boogie,
She do the tube snake boogie.
Well now boogie woogie baby,
Boogie woogie all night long.

And then we get the classic from Legs:

She’s got legs, she knows how to use them.

But, just not to be outdone, from Sleeping Bag:

When it’s cold outside and you want to sleep in
Go for a pallet that’s so nice and thin.
Zip it on around while it’s on the ground,
Spread it out and lay it on down.
Slip inside my sleeping bag,
Slip inside my sleeping bag.

Give the bearded-boys (actually, did you know the drummer’s last name is Beard and doesn’t have the signature beard… trivial, but interesting) their due.  These intolerable lyrics are outstanding in their terribleness but just when you thought their oral vomit couldn’t be topped, let’s take a look at Aerosmith’s effort:

First, the classic Dream On:

Dream On  (repeat 17x with only two interruptions of “Dream until your dreams come true”)

Next, F.I.N.E.

I feel like I’m hung up on the line
I’d die for you but we were partners in the crime
Everything about you is so f-i-n-e- FINE

And the icing on the cake: Love in an Elevator

Workin’ like a dog for the boss man (Oh!)
Workin’ for the company (Oh, yeah!)
I’m bettin’ on the dice I’m tossin’ (Oh!)
I’m gonna have a fantasy (Oh, yeah!)
But where am I gonna look?
They tell me that love is blind
I really need a girl like an open book
to read between the lines

You gotta appreciate the simplicity of the message from Aerosmith, right?  In case you weren’t sure, they repeat Dream On 17 times in a row, which makes Jordan Spark’s epic “Battlefield” seem creative in its effort.  Spelling of lyrics?  I suppose this says something about audience, no?


Thanks to Run DMC’s collaboration in “Walk this Way”, Aerosmith relaunched their career which almost died peacefully while we were all unaware.  Elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and selling more than any other American rock and roll band puts their legacy safely where it doesn’t belong in the immortal category.  But just to be sure their sell-out of every endorsement deal, promotion and video game will make sure they stay around forever.  Generations will know them, which is ultimately not going to be the case for ZZ Top, who despite their inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (does everyone get in? Geesh?) will go down as “those guys with the beards”.


They both suck and are both extremely overrated.  But ZZ Top sucks more.

Double Conclusion – 3 years later

A lot folks will say that Nickelback is worse than both of these.  I’d argue differently.  Here’s why:

  1. They are Canadian which mean they would apologize politely for sucking.  You gotta give some grace.
  2. They are irrelevant and no one seems to bother with them.
  3. Some great jokes come from this and their memes.



  1. Finally, something I agree with you on. ZZ Top is the worst, and, probably for the first time in one of your rants, actually overrated (I like scones and my wife works at a library). You could probably take the lyrics from any song and they would sound silly, but ZZ Top’s are just ridiculous. That said, you have to hand it to them. They’ve made millions off putting different lyrics to the same song over and over again.

    • I’m reading you as saying that you like scones and you don’t want to tell your wife you agree with me about libraries. That’s my take on your statement. And, if you have to rely on a gimmick like long beards to make you memorable then it really isn’t about the music is it?

  2. chris steva says:

    zz top is not about the lyrics. Not one word from you about their ability to do what is lacking from so many bands…drive that rock and roll beat. Catch them live up close and still tell us they suck. There are many bands that I don’t care for but not because their not good. It’s because I don’t care for that style of music. Because you don’t care for their type of music does not make them suck as a band. All three guys are top flight musicians. Nobody lasts for 41 years with the credibility they have if they suck

  3. I hate them both equally the same….zztop BC of the stupid videos from the 80’s which most likely lifted them to the level it did same video for the almost same 3 songs. Aerosmith for the overplaying they do on the radio of the worst ballad ever made and the fact that the 80 lb front man reminds me of my ex husband who I despise. On that note I can’t believe you left out the infamous ‘pink, like the sheets that we lay on and pink is my favorite crayon’

  4. They both started with mindnumbingly average music and quickly morphed into novelty-ridden self-parody bands. Aerosmith put the last nail in their already-heavily-spiked coffin when they made those insufferable Diane Warrenish ballads and Steven “No, Really, I’m Sober” Tyler put his daughter in them as a sex object (uh, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew). If it weren’t for their beards, ZZ Top would be George Thorogood without the slide guitar. It’s like two “Spinal Tap” sequels that think they’re “Apocalypse Now”.

  5. Alice Coop says:

    ZZtop enjoys this weird celbrity where people pay to see them then spend 90% of the show walking around getting beer etc. These people don’t even know the so called “obscure” records they claim is the reason they like ZZtop because they look clueless until somethis from Eliminator comes up.

    People decide whats cool and will pay $100 to go even though they have no idea what they are seeing they just gotta be part of the crowd.

    Look at bands like Motley Crue. The are probably the worst sounding live band to ever walk the planet. But people will go see them. Vince Neil doesn’t even try to remember the words. He only sings half anyway and the high pitched mickey mouse half singing melody is the same no matter what song the rest of the band is playing. But people will pay several hundred to go and they say “oh man the crue rules” …. what rules exactly? The fact that Vince Neil cannot sing at all or that Nikki Sixx now outweighs him? I though they were gods when I was 14. But it isn’t 1984 anymore and I am not going to convince myself that squaling pig Vince can sing or that Fat Nikki is anymore more than Gene Simmons in disguise.

  6. Name (required) says:


  7. ZZ Top is overrated, but Aerosmith put out some strong albums in the mid-seventies like Rocks and Draw The Line.

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