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Too Low for Zero

Elton John

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Album Review

Elton John began inching back into the mainstream with Jump Up, an uneven but strong record highlighted by "Empty Garden." Its success set the stage for Too Low for Zero, a full-fledged reunion with his best collaborator, Bernie Taupin, and his classic touring band. Happily, this is a reunion that works like gangbusters, capturing everybody at a near-peak of their form. That means there aren't just hit singles, but there are album tracks, like the opener, "Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)," that strongly (and favorably) recall Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. John hadn't been this engaging in years, not since Gerald Ford was in office. Why does this work so well? Well, the question isn't just consistency, since records like A Single Man were strong, but it's because each cut here showcases John at a peak. He's rocking with a vengeance on "I'm Still Standing" and "Kiss the Bride," crafting a gorgeous romantic standard with "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," while knocking songs as immaculately crafted as "Religion" — songs that anchor this album, giving the hits context. While this may not be as rich as his classic early period, it's a terrific record, an exemplary illustration of what a veteran artist could achieve in the early '80s. [The 1998 reissue — which didn't appear in the U.S. until 2001 — contains one bonus track, full artwork, extensive liner notes, and remastered sound.]

Customer Reviews

Too Low 4 Zero

graduated class of 82' fell in love with an older girl whogot married her name was crystal (perfect) followed by I want to kiss the of EJ's best .....ahhhh

Excellent album

Did you ever buy an album for just one song that you couldn't get out of your head? I bought this album for "I Guess that's why they call it the blues" and ended up loving the whole album. This album is a wonderful rare mix of energy and melancholy -- and for me, always succeeded in making me feel more energetic and less melancholy by the end of it. I reccommend starting with listening to "Crystal" and "Kiss the Bride" and if you're not hooked by those two songs then move on. The cassette I bought back in the 80s didn't have any of the last three tracks and I don't think I was missing much. Feel free to stop at "One More Arrow"

Looking Back

My all time favorite EJ. Reminds me of high school spring break with classmates on a trip to Greece....1984!! One of the rare albums of my high school years that left a memorable impression. Don't know if it was the time or the music; nonetheless, the two seemed to fit perfectly. MWhite


Born: March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s....
Full Bio

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