- You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides of this early British import LP – exceptionally quiet viny too
- There’s real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals and plenty of rock and roll energy
- I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – the best song Elton’s done in the last 35 years – is the a good reason to own the album
- One of engineer Bill Price’s best efforts behind the boards in the ’80s, and Chris Thomas’s production is State of the Art as usual
- 4 1/2 stars: “Happily, this is a reunion that works like gangbusters, capturing everybody at a near-peak of their form.”
Folks, this record is rarely found in audiophile playing condition, so rarely that this may be the only quiet one we’ve ever offered for sale. It will be a very long time – years I suspect – before another one this nice hits the site.
Much of the production – the smooth, sweet harmony vocals, the rich, grungy guitars, the solid, warm piano – reminds me of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, one of the classics from back in the day when Gus Dudgeon was running the show.
Caribou (1974) and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) have a similarly glossy, perfectionist approach to production as well. It was 1975’s Rock of the Westies that went off in another direction.
The next six albums, from Blue Moves to Jump Up, at least to these ears, don’t sound good enough or have the kind of consistent material that was the hallmark of the six albums recorded from 1970 to 1973. Four of those are in our Top 100 Rock and Pop album list, and all four are Must Owns in my book. Pop music just doesn’t get any better.
So if Too Low For Zero reminds us in any way of those albums, especially in the songwriting department now that Bernie Taupin has rejoined team Elton after a too-long hiatus, that is all to the good. (more…)