ZZ Top – ‘Brown Sugar’ (c) ZZ Top/BMG

With ‘Brown Sugar’, American rock icons ZZ Top have released the first single from their new live album, RAW, set for release on July 22, via Shelter Records/BMG.

The album was recorded in connection with the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 Netflix documentary That Little Ol’ Band From Texas. The Grammy-nominated feature from Banger Films and director Sam Dunn includes an interlude that finds the group’s classic lineup – Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, and the late Dusty Hill – gathering for a very intimate session at Gruene Hall, “the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas.” That performance provided the basis for the RAW album release.

Billy F Gibbons served as producer with engineering by Jake Mann and Gary Moon; RAW was mixed by Ryan Hewitt. The album’s twelve tracks recall the very beginning of the band’s recording career (‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Certified Blues’ from ZZ Top’s First Album) and feature many of their major hits including ‘Legs’, ‘Tush’, ‘LaGrange’, and ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’’.

RAW will be released on 180-gram vinyl, CD, and through digital platforms and is dedicated “In righteous memory of Dusty Hill.”  

Gibbons and Beard said: “(…) It was, in a very real way, a return to our roots. Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour busses. Just us and the music. We knew right then it was a very special circumstance, all of us in the same place at the same time, and what a time it most certainly was! It was as bare-bones as when we first started touring in a behemoth Chrysler station wagon, driving vast stretches between those early far-flung shows under blackened Texas skies and first hearing our records on the radio. We were bonded as brothers. ‘The Dust’ may have left the building but he’s still very much with us.”

In December 2021, BMG and global investment firm KKR announced that they have acquired the entire music interests of ZZ Top. The agreement includes a buyout of the band’s publishing catalogue and their income from recorded royalties and performance royalties. Previously, BMG served as co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalogue.