Remastered reissue of 1984 album for Geffen that's out-of-print domestically. Ten tracks including three Top 40 hits, 'Sad Songs (Say So Much)', 'Who Wears These Shoes?' & 'In Neon'. Features new sleevenotes. Rocket. 2... more »003.« less
Remastered reissue of 1984 album for Geffen that's out-of-print domestically. Ten tracks including three Top 40 hits, 'Sad Songs (Say So Much)', 'Who Wears These Shoes?' & 'In Neon'. Features new sleevenotes. Rocket. 2003.
brad niland | ft. dodge, iowa United States | 07/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the breaking hearts album was integral in elton's 1980's. it has some strong selections that rock like "restless" and "lil frigerator" and some great ballads that never were released as singles, like "in neon" and "burning buildings". the remastered cd is much better than the original cd release."
EJ Says So Much...Breaking Hearts
Keith T. Pells | Fort Myers, FL United States | 07/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1984, a year after the success of his "Too Low For Zero" album, Elton John continued his resurgance with this album. And while the former album was picture-perfect in it's arrangements and tight production values, "Breaking Hearts" went in the opposite direction, aiming more for a rock and (at times) country-esque feel. It was his most consistently rocking album since 1975's "Rock Of The Westies", as evident by the opening notes of the first track, "Restless". The country-tinged lead single, "Sad Songs (Say So Much)", rocketed to the Top 5 that Summer was all over the airwaves and media (thanks to a linkage of the song to Sassoon products). The video, like the one for his anthemic "I'm Still Standing" was memorable, with Elton in full video-mugging-for-the-camera mode.The follow-up single in America was "Who Wears These Shoes" (again with a country-tinge to it). It did nearly as well, peaking at #16. "Passengers" was released as the follow-up in the rest of the world. A percussive-reggae track dealing with racial tensions ("Deny the passenger, who wanna get on"), it was an oddity on the album, but hit the top of most European music charts. Other highlights include "Li'l Frigerator", which is easily his best straight-out rock track since "Street Kids" on "Rock Of The Westies". The title track is stripped down to EJ's voice and piano and drives the loneliness of the lyrics dead home. A modest third single in America was "In Neon", which is actually one of the few radio singles (that I can remember) to be written in a 3/4-waltz style and tempo. Again, very country-esque.But as with the other recently remastered albums from 1979-1984, this re-issue of "Breaking Hearts" would have been even better with bonus tracks (as done with his "Classic Years" re-issues). They could have added B-sides like "A Simple Man", "Lonely Boy" and "Tortured", thus giving the consumer (and the hard-core fans) more bang for the buck. *sigh*.But all in all, this is a strong, straight-ahead album, with the remastering enhancing the sound immencely. The packaging is also superb. Though still a "singles" artist during this time, "Breaking Hearts" is a worthy album in the piano-man's illustrious catalog."
David Sigler | Baltimore, Maryland | 05/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With Breaking Hearts, Elton and Taupin achieved something not normally associated with their releases: for the first time in years, they made an album that doesn't capitalize on the success of the previous release (Too Low For Zero).They've always tried to at least do something totally different while recording follow up releases or at least expand and make an even better pop album. For instance, will anybody ever confuse Caribou with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road? Of course not. But after making their classic, they delivered Caribou and basically told their audience, this one isn't going to be a great but hang in there because the next one is even better (which led to Captain Fantastic).Which is why Breaking Hearts is a slight let down after Too Low For Zero. Breaking Hearts has some great songs on it but the whole effort seems forced. Perhaps a different producer would have taken these songs to the next level. Producer Chris Thomas lets a great song such as Restless, languish. Probably the best Rolling Stones effort Elton ever attempted just doesn't get off the ground despite the excellent rhythm section of Nigel Olsson and Dee Murray. The sing along chorus is also great but with no where to go. The second song, Slow Down Georgie, has a slight country feel but is so fragmented that by the time the band has found the groove it breaks into instrumental interludes that destroy the cohesiveness of the overall melody. The song starts and stops like a train ride. Lil Frigerator laments the story of a cold hearted woman but really, can you actually sing a song when the chorus has the word 'frigerator' in it? Taupin should know better. But the band tries hard to make a great rock song over this absurd lyric to no avail. Meanwhile, Did He Shoot Her fires up a great old cowboy western lyric complete with shooting snythesizers that are a bit distracting. And the title track, Breaking Hearts, tells the story of a playboy whose best days are behind him. Elton and the band deliver a soothing vocal and beautiful harmonies but again, it takes itself very seriously with Elton's piano as the sole instrument.But for all that is wrong with this release, the other songs more than make up for it. Who Wears These Shoes, with a Motown feel (and a little of Hall & Oates Maneater bass line), strolls along nicely and is a great little pop tune. In Neon, a wonderful story of a faded starlet, has haunting backing vocals and one of Elton's best ever vocals. Burning Buildings, is another lost classic ballad that should be heard from more often. Passengers, is completely different with its sing song chorus and tells the tale of the struggles in South Africa. And the big hit off the album, Sad Songs, may not be the strongest song Elton has written but you can'd deny it's endearing appeal. It's just too catchy to ignore!Breaking Hearts seems like Elton was treading water. The overuse of synthesizers distracts from some of the songs here and a more organic sound would have been welcome. But some of the songs, had they been better produced, showed promise. This is a solid effort. It just doesn't really go anywhere. And after the fantastic Too Low For Zero, this one failed to build upon that success."
Another fine effort from Elton
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 05/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was always going to be hard to follow his hugely successful 1983 album, Too low for zero, which is regarded as something a comeback album. Not that Elton had ever been away, but his albums during the period 1977 to 1982 aren't generally held in such high regard as most of his early albums released between 1970 and 1976. Actually, Elton's albums from that period aren't all as bad as some would have you believe. I enjoy some of them, particularly Blue moves and 21 at 33, but it would be fair to say that Elton made some mistakes during that period, the biggest by far being the album Victim of love. So the 1983 comeback (if that's what it was) surprised a lot of people who had written Elton off as a has-been. But with this album, Elton proved that Too low for zero was no fluke. While Breaking hearts doesn't quite match the brilliance of its predecessor, it comes close. With basically the same people involved, and the same recording studio in Montserrat (some years before the volcanic eruption that devastated the island), the sound and style is similar to Too low for zero, the difference being in the songs.
Four of the songs here became British hits (though only two were big hits), while there were three hits in America, although only two hits were the same songs in both countries. The standout track on the album is Sad songs say so much. It made the American top five and the British top ten. The second and biggest British hit (where it made the top five) from the album was Passengers. The lyrics are difficult to understand, but the liner notes to this re-mastered CD suggest that it is actually about South African apartheid, so the train and its would-be passengers are metaphorical. Passengers never became an American single, for whatever reason. The third British single and the second American single was Who wears these shoes?. It made the top twenty in America but was only a minor British hit, perhaps because most people who wanted the song bought the album. The third American single, In neon, became a top forty hit there. In Britain, that song was relegated to the B-side, with the A-side being the album's title track, but it was only a minor hit. Again, any Brits who wanted it probably already had the album.
The five tracks already mentioned provide reasons enough to buy the album, but the other five tracks (Restless, Slow down Georgie she`s poison, Li'l 'frigate, Burning bridges, Did he shoot her?) are all worth a listen. Perhaps the pick of them is Burning bridges, but there's not a lot to choose between them quality-wise.
Buying this album shouldn't take precedence over Too low for zero or Elton's classic albums of the early to mid-seventies. Nevertheless, every self-respecting committed Elton John fan should buy this album eventually."