The band holds the distinction of being among the few rock bands still composed of its original recording members for nearly 40 years and until September 2006, the same manager/producer/image maker, Bill Ham.
ZZ Top reached peak commercial success in the 1970s and 1980s, scoring many hit songs during that era, but they remain together today and are still touring and releasing albums. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004. Summarizing their music, Cub Koda wrote, "As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the hard rock idiom ... while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support." Their song lyrics often feature sexual innuendo and humor.
Nearly as well-known as their music is the group's image: Gibbons and Hill are almost always pictured wearing sunglasses (a nod to their 1979 song "Cheap Sunglasses"), similar if not matching clothing, and their trademark chest-length beards (ironically, in spite of his own surname, Beard almost always sports just a mustache). In 1984, the Gillette Company reportedly offered Gibbons and Hill $1 million each to shave their beards for a television commercial but they declined, stating "We're too ugly without 'em".