|1. Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year)|
|2. I'm Still Standing|
|3. Too Low For Zero|
|5. I Guess Why They Call It The Blues|
|7. Kiss The Bride|
|8. Whipping Boy|
|10. One More Arrow|
|11. Earn While You Learn|
|13. The Retreat|
At the insistence of long time lyricist, Bernie Taupin, Elton decided to go back to basics and work with Taupin full time since 1976's Blue Moves. And, just as important, Elton reunited with the core of his backing band of the early 70s: Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone. This dynamic trio never sounded so good and they easily capture the romance and aura of the sound that made so many of Elton's early albums classics. Bernie Taupin also wrote lyrics with meaning and depth. He and Elton have always been better together than writing with other artists.
From the opening chords of the first track, Cold As Christmas, listeners are in for a treat. Elton's haunting vocal, coupled with the incredible backing vocals of the band, take the listener on a story of an elderly couple whose romantic flame as burned out. Then, as if on cue, Elton cuts right to the next song, I'm Still Standing and you can almost hear him saying: "Liked the first song? I knew you would. I'm back so take notice!" The transition is a bit jarring, but hey, he was feeling frisky and that's a great thing.
From there, the album slowly builds. The synthesizers are heavy (it's 1983 afterall) but they never intrude. They supplement the melody and reinforce Elton staying with the times. The title track should have been a single as it went over big on the tour that followed. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues remains an instant Elton classic with it's overtly sentimental lyric about pining for a love one. Stevie Wonder's express and sweet harmonic solo only add to the songs' nice touches. Elton and the band deliver a rock solid effort on this one.Read more ›