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The critics have had their say and, basically, some of them don't like it much. The late seventies and early eighties are generally considered to be a dodgy period in Elton's career, following his brilliance during the early to mid seventies, but before his return to form in the mid eighties. Now, I'm not claiming that everything Elton recorded in the interim was wonderful, but I like some of the albums from the supposedly dodgy period, especially this one. Furthermore, the hits still came even though they may have been fewer and generally smaller than during his best periods.

This album featured three songs featuring lyrics by Bernie Taupin, Elton's most renowned song writing collaborator, these being Chasing the crown, White lady white powder and the song that could have been a single but wasn't, Two rooms at the end of the world. The first and most important single from the album, Little Jeannie, had lyrics that were written by Gary Osborne, who had been the lyricist on Elton`s 1979 album, A single man. Little Jeannie made the top three in America though it was only a minor hit in Britain. The follow-up, Sartorial eloquence, were co-written by Tom Robinson (famous for 2-4-6-8 motorway) with Elton, became a minor hit in both countries. Dear God, another track featuring Gary Osborne's lyrics, failed to chart.

So the album yielded just one big American hit and no big hit in Britain, but the album came close to the top ten in both countries without quite making it in either, but did they choose the right tracks for single release? Apart from Two rooms at the end of the world (supposedly about Elton and Bernie), another song that should have been considered for single release is Take me back, the third track on the album to feature Gary Osborne's lyrics. Brenda Lee, by then pursuing a career as a career, covered the song and it became the title track to one of her albums.

Another fine track is the album closer, Give me the love, which Elton co-wrote with Judie Tzuke, a singer who never really got the recognition she deserved but is best remembered for her hit, Stay with me till dawn.. No, you won't hear her voice on this album, as she doesn't even contribute backing vocals, but Elton performs this fine ballad superbly on his own. Surely it must have at least been considered for release as a single.

I'm not going to claim that this is Elton's strongest album, but it is a very enjoyable album and I rate it much more highly than some of the critics do. It easily justifies a five-star rating in my book, as most of Elton's albums do.
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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2012
As a Elton John fan in the 70s I eagerly bought this in 1980 on its release, played it to death for a year, lent it to a friend of a friend in 1981 and never to it back. I remembered it so fondly I recently splashed out on the CD version and its stood the test of time to a certain extent - it's certainly aged, but there are some good tracks here. Little Jeanie has dated somewhat, even if it was the UK hit, but Sartorial Eloquence is a great song, and Two Rooms and Dear God are solid, although the latter suffers from from cheesy backing vocals singing "ooooh". Of the other tracks White Lady White Powder (an explicit homage to cocaine) and Never Gonna Fall In Love are pretty good, but the rest are fairly so-so. I think today this would receive fairly poor reviews, but I find myself rounding up to 4 rather than down to 3, if only just for vivid 30 year old memories and the power of Satorial Eloquence and its staccato chorus of "don't you wanna play this game no more?".
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on 11 December 2014
This was Elton's 21st studio album at the age of 33 ( hence the title ) and sees him collaborating with a variety of lyricists using Gary Osborne,Tom Robinson and Judy Tzuke as well as Bernie Taupin. The album is often overlooked probably due to following on from the middle of the road 'A Single Man' and the awful 'Victim Of Love' offerings..

It did have a couple of minor hit singles (the pop / radio friendly 'Little Jeannie' and the excellent 'Sartorial Eloquence') but was not, if I recall, a huge success in the UK although I did buy it on vinyl. That said it is a competent album and well worth revisiting. 'Never Gonna Fall In Love Again' is a great track.
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on 27 February 2002
Elton's 21st studio album at the age of 33 ( hence the title ) finds him using Gary Osborne,Tom Robinson and Judy Tzuke as well as Bernie Taupin.
After the disasterous 'Victim of Love'and below par 'A Single Man' Elton was still looking for musical direction, and trying to regain his place in the Sun.
There is warmth and depth in Elton's voice here that wasn't apparant on the Thom Bell sessions a year earlier, and the best lyrics since Blue Moves.
The album opens in style with 'Chasing the Crown' before giving way to the wonderful 'Little Jeanie', one of Elton's finest moments. This song saw Elton's return to the top 3 in the USA but was only a minor hit in the UK. 'Sartorial Eloquence' and ' Dear God ' were also released as singles but failed to impress.
'Two rooms...' says that the relationship between Elton and Bernie hadn't broken down,and went on to become the title of a tribute album over a decade later.' White Lady ' tells the vicious circle of drug use.
'Steal Away Child' is one of my favourite Elton tracks, yet was chosen as a B side to 'Dear God' and would have been well worthy of inclusion on this album.
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on 29 November 2003
Some people think this album is just a nothing. But really it is actually quite good? My favourite song off here is TWO ROOMS AT THE END OF THE WORLD. This is where (i guess) they got the name for the 'Two Rooms' documentary from.
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on 19 September 2014
Cracking album, me and my mate Lee used to blast 'Sartorial eloquence' out of the halls of residence windows till the neighbors went blue in the face and reported it to the council.
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on 12 November 2014
an excellent addition to my record collection .
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on 25 July 2015
Excellent as always
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on 10 February 2014
Big EJ fan and buying older CD's. Not his best but a few tracks ok. Don't waste your money on this unless it is £3 or less.
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on 5 May 2016
Good album.
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