1983 Elton John – Too Low For Zero

Too Low for Zero is the seventeenth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1983.

For the first time since Blue Moves in 1976, all lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, who has continued in this role to the present day. At the insistence of Taupin, John decided to go back to basics and returned to working with Taupin full-time. John also reunited with the core of his backing band of the early ’70s: Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone as well as Ray Cooper, Kiki Dee and Skaila Kanga (who played harp on John’s self-titled album and Tumbleweed Connection) – two other musicians were intended to join the line-up, but dropped out. The album was produced by Chris Thomas and recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat (the same studio for Jump Up!) and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood. For the first time since A Single Man, John played synthesisers in addition to piano, since James Newton-Howard left the band. John felt that synths allowed him to write better fast rock songs, having not been entirely happy with such compositions performed on piano. The album was written and recorded in approximately two weeks, with overdubs completed in a week.


1  Cold As Christmas (In the Middle of the Year) (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 4:21
2  I’m Still Standing (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 3:03
3  Too Low For Zero (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 5:46
4  Religion (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 4:06
5  I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues (Elton John, Davey Johnstone) 4:45
6  Crystal (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 5:06
7  Kiss The Bride (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 4:22
8  Whipping Boy (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 3:44
9  Saint (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 5:20
10  One More Arrow (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 3:47
11  Earn While You Learn (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 6:46
12  Dreamboat (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 7:34
13  The Retreat (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 4:46



Bass Dee Murray
Drums Nigel Olson
Guitar Davey Johnstone
Keyboards Elton John
Background Vocals Davey Johnstone
Background Vocals Dee Murray
Background Vocals Keith Olson

Other Musicians

1 Cold As Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)

Percussion Ray Cooper
Harp Skaila Kanga
Vocals Kiki Dee

5 I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues

Harmonica Stevie Wonder

11 Earn While You Learn

Bass Clive Franks
Drums Steve Holly
Guitar Tim Renwick
Piano Elton John
Percussion Ray Cooper

12 Dreamboat

Bass Clive Franks
Drums Steve Holly
Guitar Tim Renwick
Piano Elton John
Percussion Ray Cooper

13 The Retreat

Bass Reginald McBride
Drums Alvin Taylor
Guitar Steve Lukather
Organ David Paich
Synthesizer Elton John

Liner Notes

Producer, Mastered – Chris Thomas
Arranged By (Strings), Conductor – James Newton Howard
Recorded By – Bill Price

Art Direction – Rod Dyer
Design – Clive Piercy

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Happenstance Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Big Pig Music Ltd.
Pressed By – PRS Ltd.
Marketed By – Phonogram Ltd.
Distributed By – Phonogram Ltd.
Published By – Big Pig Music Ltd.
Recorded At – AIR Studios, Montserrat
Recorded At – Sunset Sound Recorders
Mixed At – Air Studios
Lacquer Cut At – CBS Studios, London