ZZ Top Is Rick Rubin’s Latest High-Profile Comeback Production

anthonyjmiccio | July 2, 2008 4:00 am

ZZ Top! Of course! The trio will celebrate its 40th anniversary by herding into the studio with Rick Rubin later this year, after they wrap up a co-headlining tour with Brooks & Dunn. The band is aiming a sound more “La Grange” than “Sleeping Bag” (aw, can’t they do both?), and Rick Rubin does seem the painfully obvious choice for a high-profile authenticity move. The band has also signed to Rubin’s American Recordings, which heightens the prospect that its forthcoming album will get his full attention, rather than being one of eight projects he watches through a large telescope from inside his ashram. In recent years Rubin has worked with the Dixie Chicks, Linkin Park, Metallica, Weezer, U2, Kanye, Green Day, the dude from Semisonic… is there any respected figure in music that Rubin has yet to work with? I was able to come up with five who would be definite collaboration coups for both sides.

1. Paul McCartney “Well, Paul… I think… we should go back… to Ram…”

2. Ian MacKaye If the Evens ever break up, with Jeff Nelson not even in D.C., I’m sure the god of authenticity cash-ins would be happy to come down to Inner Ear and console Ian. “Maybe Henry… could fly in and join you… for some duets. I want to capture… your friendship.”

3. Nickelback “I want to hear… Canada… in you. I want to bring out… the Randy Bachman… in Nickelback.”

4. Bruce Springsteen They’re both associated with Columbia, you know. And judging from Magic, the Boss could really use a fresh pair of ears. “Bruce… I only want… one song… about a motorcycle. But make it… definitive.”

5. The Beastie Boys Everyone’s older, everyone’s wiser, and the Beastie Boys clearly need help from somebody.

Plus, there’s always Ray Stevens.

Exclusive: ZZ Top Signs To American Recordings [Billboard] In The Studio With Rick Rubin And Ray Stevens [YouTube]