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ZZ Top releases new version of band’s early song “Brown Sugar” as lead single from upcoming album, ‘Raw’

Shelter Records/BMG

ZZ Top has released their updated version of their 1971 song "Brown Sugar" as the first single from their upcoming album, Raw, which is due out on July 22.

As previously reported, Raw was recorded in conjunction with the blues-rock trio's 2019 documentary That Little Ol' Band from Texas, and is being released as a tribute to longtime bassist Dusty Hill, who died in July 2021 at age 72.

For the movie, ZZ Top's classic lineup of singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons, Hill and drummer Frank Beard played an intimate set of songs from their back catalog that was filmed and recorded at historic Gruene Hall, known as "the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas."  The new album features the audio of that "raw" performance.

In addition to "Brown Sugar," a Gibbons-penned tune that originally appeared on ZZ Top's 1971 debut album, the 12-track collection boasts versions of such classics as "Legs," "Tush," "La Grange" and "Gimme All Your Lovin'," and other gems like "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide" and "Tube Snake Boogie."

"'Brown Sugar' has been sweetening our concert sets for many decades now, so it seemed like the right song to kick off RAW," Gibbons notes. "The Gruene Hall session was a satisfying return to our roots and a very special circumstance that we're delighted to share with the friends and fans who have stuck with us all this time."

You can check out a video of ZZ Top performing "Brown Sugar" at Gruene Hall on YouTube now.

Raw can be pre-ordered now, and will be available as a 180-gram vinyl LP, on CD and via digital formats.

Prior to the album's release, ZZ Top will kick off a lengthy U.S. trek dubbed the Raw Whisky Tour on May 27 in San Diego.

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