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4.8 out of 5 stars27
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 December 2008
Not only is 'Too Low For Zero' an excellent Elton John album, it is also one of the Lp's that remind you so much of the 80's. Containing the seminal 80's single 'I'm Still Standing', the rocky, rousing and fun 'Kiss The Bride', and two typical Elton John songs 'Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year)' and ' I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues' it contains plenty of hits. Just this fact alone is enough to make you dream back to those heady days of the 80's when the singles chart meant something and a hit was a hit because it sold records not downloads...

But, it is not just for nostalgic reasons that this album scores a perfect 5 stars. ALL of the songs on the original album are winners and there is plenty of variety. The title track and 'Crystal' have a synthy feel to them and are rather experimental, while 'Saint' is a nice romantic song (and could have been a single on a lesser record). 'One More Arrow' is a very sad song (something that Sir Elton has always excelled in) and all strings and violins and 'Whipping Boy' is a rocky fun song in the vein of 'Kiss The Bride'.

This remastered re-issue has other factors that add to the thrill however! There is another of John Tobler's insightful essays contained in the booklet, the re-mastered sound is great AND the cd has been intelligently put together so the 'extra tracks' have been put onto the disc after a suitable gap from the end of the original album set. This is important because (getting all nostalgic again) 'Too Low For Zero' comes from an era when the was a definite art to making an album. Tracks were not just 'squeezed' onto a cd to fill up 70 odd minutes, each song was carefully placed to create the perfect listen.

Finally, the extra tracks are a joy in themselves! 'Earn While You Learn' may well have been something that Elton and his band made up as a jamming session in the studio, but it is the kind of bluesy, rocking and rolling instrumental that you can imagine 'our Reg' enjoyed playing in his 'Bluesology days'. 'Dreamboat' meanwhile is one of those tracks that really should have been more than just a b side but, you can also see why it ended up as such. To different from anything else on the main album to fit in, and with lyrics not by Bernie, its fate was sealed but it is a great song and one that will now get a lot more plays because of its inclusion here. Lastly, 'The Retreat' is a classic Elton story song and, though from a slightly earlier period, it makes for a suitable finale to a great 63 or so minutes listen. ESSENTIAL for all Elton and 80's fans.
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on 15 November 2006
The last 3 tracks on this remaster are additional to the original 10 track 1983 release which ended with the very sad and emotional 'One More Arrow' which Elton sings mostly falsetto, and effectively so. The song appears to be about someone who died long before his time. There are some great songs on here, not least the singles 'I'm Still Standing' and 'I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues' along with the lovely but sad 'Cold As Christmas'. Try to catch up with 'Saint' if you can; it is a good listen. 'Whipping Boy' is weaker, but apart from that, the album stands up well and I think that that it is a good album in an era which is well-documented as not being his strongest. We had to wait until 2001 for something which would give us something as wonderful as his early 70's stuff.
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on 17 March 2012
I have just taken delivery of my remastered copy of Too Low For Zero by the one & only Elton John, back in 1985 I came across this album on LP & I can truly say I played it to death it's a classic I do have this album on CD but thought it worth buying the remastered version as I fined them as close to the original LP as you can get on CD format plus when playing these albums back there as fresh as the day they were recorded, Let me get back to this album, all the songs on the album are classic Elton John & Bernie Taupin we all know that I'm Still Standing & I guess That's Why They Call It The Blues were big hits but I love all the songs on the album One More Arrow & Saint to myself are first class.
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Ultimately, Elton will be remembered primarily for his string of hits in the seventies although he has continued to make great music ever since. Nevertheless, there have been some periods that have been more successful than others. Prior to the release of this album, Elton had been going through one of his less successful periods. There were signs of a revival on his previous album, which yielded the UK top ten hit, Blue eyes, but this album went way beyond that, giving him two major UK hits and two lesser UK hits, a pattern mirrored almost exactly in the USA.
The album reflects the time in which it was recorded. Synthesizers were fashionable in 1983 and plenty of use is made of them here, but they do not drown out the music or Elton's excellent vocals.
The two big hits here on both sides of the Atlantic were I'm still standing and I guess that's why they call it the blues. Kiss the bride was a lesser hit in both counties. Cold as Christmas also charted in the UK – I don't know whether it did or not in the USA. All these hits are excellent, but there are other fine songs here too, including the title track, Religion, Crystal and Saint. The most intriguing is One more arrow, obviously about somebody that Elton knew but I don't know who it might be. Whipping boy, the only track from the main album I haven't mentioned, is not quite as good as the other tracks here but it's OK. I have the original version of the CD without the bonus tracks but this album is worth it without them. If (as I am led to believe) the bonus tracks are not up to the standard of the main album, you can always stop the music when you reach those tracks.
Following the success of this album, Elton released more fine albums that yielded more big hits prior to another lean spell, but if you want to explore Elton's eighties music, this is the album to begin with – with or without those bonus tracks.
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on 22 December 2003
this is one of those albums that i listened to as a youngster, and then 15 years later you hear a song at a certain moment and it takes you right back and you know straight away where it came from. this is one of the best albums i've heard (i listen to anything and everything), for it's simplicity and 'perfect-for-winter' feel. if you've not heard elton's early-to-mid stuff, this is a very good place to start. enjoy!
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on 29 June 2014
This 1983 album is definitely one of Elton John's best albums and flows together beautifully.
The melancholy ballad Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year), the melodic I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues , the inspiring Religion , the upbeat I'm Still Standing and Kiss The Bride , the fast-paced Wipping Boy and the soulful Saint all add up to make this one of the greats of the mid 1980's.
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on 12 January 2014
A fair amount of dubious recordings were released by Elton John in the eighties. This album, however, remains one of his finest creations of that decade, in my opinion. The songwriting is absolutely astonishing throughout the album (if a mentioned downside is required,it will be 'Whipping Boy'). The obvious radio-hits of 'I'm Still Standing', 'Kiss the Bride' and 'I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues' are accompanied by every bit as compelling songs in 'Crystal', 'Too Low For Zero', 'Saint', 'Religion' and 'Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year)'.
I would obviously recommend this album to any Elton fan out there, or just about anyone with a taste for astonishing pop-songwriting.
5 stars!
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on 22 January 2010
I first bought the single Kiss the Bride from this album in 1983 and later bought the whole album on vinyl.

At the same time I was working in London and remember Kiss the Bride being played on the radio at that time.

Recently I bought this album on CD and it brought back memories for me of 1983.

This album reunited many of Elton's musicians and also Bernie Taupin in the writing department, who had been working in the US for a couple of years on other projects.

I enjoy the songs here they are very well crafted and recorded. It proves Elton was not a spent force after the success of the 1970's he enjoyed.

Indeed he has been active in music ever since and still writes and records quality music.
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on 1 September 2014
After taking a break from one another, Elton john and Bernie Taupin get together and produce this great comeback eighties album.
Classic tracks include: I'm Still Standing,Cold As Christmas,I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues and Kiss The Bride.A return to form on this album which put Elton John right back in the top of the charts both here in the UK and in America.A great comeback album with Steve Wonder playing Harmonica on I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues.
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on 1 December 2001
Have you grown up hearing the tune of 'i'm still standing' repeatidly on the telly and radio but didn't know where the timeless hit came from? Well, this is it! 'Too low for zero' is one of Elton John's finest albums ever made and a must for all his fans! A great collection of classic songs such as 'i guess thats why they call it the blues' and 'kiss the bride'. If you havn't got this album yet, GET IT NOW!
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