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album I album secondari

  Elton John - Too Low For Zero  (1983)

Too Low For Zero è stato il disco che ha rilanciato Elton John, anche grazie all'intuizione di ritornare ad una formula e a un gruppo ben consolidato: Bernie Taupin di nuovo paroliere in pianta stabile e il ritorno in blocco di Murray, Olsson e Johnstone.  Prodotto da Chris Thomas, l'album è stato molto apprezzato dai fans e ci ha regalato un paio di classici come I'm Still standing e I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues


1) Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year)
2) I'm Still Standing
3) Too Low For Zero
4) Religion
5) I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
6) Crystal
7) Kiss The Bride
8) Whipping Boy
9) Saint
10) One More Arrow


Stati Uniti:   25° posto
Inghilterra:  7°  posto
Italia: --  posto

da Stereoplay n° 110 - Agosto 1983

da All Music Guide

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.]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine All Music Guide

da Rolling Stone del 9 giugno 1983

Elton John and Bernte Taupin have written some great hit singles, but since the early Elton John LP, they have never produced an album of consistently first-rate material. And although Too Low for Zero is a big step up from losers like Blue Moves and A Single Man, it doesn't hang together, either.

The best tracks on the new album demonstrate John and Taupin's canny ability to synthesize hit pop tunes. The bracing, uptempo kickers "I'm Still Standing" and "Kiss the Bride" prove that John has faithfully kept up with hits by the Pointer Sisters; he blends their brisk energy with Beatles-esque "yeah yeah yeahs" on the former song and with some sloppy guitar work reminiscent of the Faces on the latter. And "Crystal" and "Too Low for Zero" are catchy numbers that mix acoustic instruments with synthesizers or drum machines in a way that recalls Joe Jackson's recent work.

The rest of the album exposes Bernie Taupin's fondness for building entire lyrics around such well-worn catch phrases as "time on my hands" or "heaven can wait." Even worse are the sentimental story songs: "Cold as Christmas" depicts the unhappy senescence of a retired couple in Florida (or, in Taupin's words, "a love burned out by silence in a marriage minus heart"), and "One More Arrow" is an icky recollection of a dead father who never showed his pain and now rests in "the soft, brown earth that holds him forever always young." Sorta makes ya wanna munch budgies with Ozzy Osbourne, know what I mean?



anno/label 1983 - ROCKET in UK, GEFFEN in USA 
produzione Chris Thomas
arrangiamenti orchestrali James Newton Howard
studio Air Studios, Montserrat; Sunset Sounds, Hollywood, USA
musicisti Nigel Olsson: batteria e cori; Dee Murray: basso e cori; Davey Johnstone: chitarre e cori; Kiki Dee: cori; Ray Cooper: percussioni; Skaila Kanga: arpa; Stevie Wonder: armonica; Elton: piano
note ritorno alla band originale e al grande successo di critica e di vendite, buono questa volta Chris Thomas; forse, con il tempo, ha perso un po' di smalto se paragonato a The Fox dello stesso periodo e molto sottovalutato, ma è un buon album.