Elton John – Too Low for Zero: #815 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Why is Elton John’s Too Low for Zero on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

If you’re already standing, you might just remain so after listening to this one.

What does Elton John’s Too Low for Zero mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

It’s wild that when Too Low for Zero came out in 1983, it was already Elton John’s seventeenth studio album. I’ll age myself a little (okay, a lot) in saying this was the first version of Elton John that I encountered as a young lad.

Specifically, the super pop, upbeat, pumping “I’m Still Standing” was all over the place at a certain place and time, and it remains my favorite Elton John song.

I kind of associate “I’m Still Standing” with a hit from another legendary British solo artist who had also been around a long time by 1983, and who also had a smash hit by way of an upbeat, super early 1980s rocking pop hit: David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

Could “I’m Still Standing” be anymore 1980s? (If you’d like to read that last sentence in Chandler Bing voice, please be my guest.)

Collectively, “I’m Still Standing” and “Let’s Dance” provide part of the soundtrack of an iconic early 1980s mainstream pop sound. Even though these are two British artists, this is the sound of Reagan’s early 1980s in the United States to me, the doldrums of the 1970s thrown off in favor of pop sheen, synth production, and upbeat let’s all just have a good time, get our skinny ties and/or wild sunglasses going, and let’s turn the Fun Dial way up.

Not coincidentally? Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” off She’s So Unusual, was also released in 1983.

But back to Too Low for Zero. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” is an absolutely gorgeous number that shows off both John’s tremendous vocals and piano talents.

Okay, another quick aside as “tremendous vocalist + piano player + 1983” draws me to an artist from my homeland of Long Island, New York by the name of Billy Joel. In 1983, he released An Innocent Man (#432 of best 1,000 albums ever), which had a number of hit songs, including the super poppy and upbeat “Tell Her About It.”

Too Low for Zero is solid throughout, as songs like “Crystal” and “Whipping Boy” attest. Here’s the latter.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Elton John’s Too Low for Zero

So, the dark drama Less Than Zero came out in 1987, starring Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr, and Jami Gertz. And that’s four years after Elton John’s Too Low for Zero came out. Know what I mean? Lots of zero stuff going on back then.

Some stats & info about Elton John – Too Low for Zero  

Elton John’s Too Low for Zero on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.