"When Elton John went in for throat surgery after his "Live In Australia" album, his longtime fans really were left in the dark as to his future in the music business.While this album really doesn't stand up to his gems of the 70s, most of the songs here really do hit hard.Take the first release "I Don't Wanna." This song finds Elton in a similar mode to "I'm Still Standing" . . . it's a gut-wrenching, in-your-face runaway train of a song. Elton lets you know that he isn't pulling any punches, both lyrically, and with his wild abandon piano playing."A Word in Spanish" is a nifty sounding song that features some great guitar work, and smooth EJ vocals throughout.This is not really for the casual Elton listener, but it is essential for the true fan."
nix | croatia | 03/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought it,i didn't like it too much, but now...I'm listening it almost every day. It's so full of energy, Elton's voice is great and 100 times better than on LEATHER JACKETS. I Don't Wanna Go On With U Like That is great uptempo song, Since God Invented Girls is one of his best ballads,Poor Cow is great and very interesting. There are only 3 easy listening songs on this album. This album was revenge to all people who are expected Elton to die from cancer...but hey, he is THE MAN WHO NEVER DIED."
Elton's best of the late 80's!
nix | 03/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's not as good as Elton's major success in the early 70's, but it's still one of my favorite Elton CD. the opening track, Town of Plenty, is my favorite song on the CD and is also one of my favorite Elton songs altogether(along with Bennie and the Jets and I'm Still Standing). Poor Cow is a great song and is also one of my favorites. Also featured on this CD is Mona Lisas and Madhatters (part two). What a great way to bring back memories of such a great song on Honky Cheteau! Most of the songs on this CD are more up-tempo such as I don't want to go on with you like that(a great song too), but there are a few good slow songs, like Since God Invented Girls or A word in Spanish, which is OK, but it's not bad. Really, the only poor song is Japaneese Hands, which is OK, but not good. Goodbye Marlon Brando is a great anti-80's song. Heavy Traffic, a song co-written by guitarist Davey Johnstone is good up-tempo example. It's a fun song such as early 70's songs such as Jamica Jerk-Off from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. And last but definetly not least (they leave that place to Japaneese Hands), The Camera Never Lies, a good late 80's-type song. This is one of my favorite Elton CDs. It is very fun. Don't let Japaneese Hands make you think differently. Cos as I said there are some great songs as Town of Plenty and Poor Cow."
nix | 01/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I Don't Want To Go On With You Like That is one of the most under-rated songs of all time. Great video too. This is a fine cd. A Word In Spanish is great and so are many others on this cd."
Looking like a true survivor
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 06/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The "Strikes Back" portion of this title was apt at the time. Elton had completed surgery on his vocal chords that - as he had been warned - could have resulted in his never being able to sing again. He'd also won a pair of important legal issues; He and Bernie Taupin had succeeded in their challenge to Dick James Music for royalty payments owed, and Elton's lawsuit against a tabloid for slander had been ruled in his favor. So it was a renewed and feisty Elton who was ready to record "Reg Strikes Back."
It shows the reinvigoration. While "Reg Strikes Back" is still very much an 80's album (heavy on synths and drum machines), the songs are uniformly strong. He even went as far as to update "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" from "Honky Chateau," and then perform the two as a medley in concert. Pete Townsend plays guitar on the peppy opener "Town Of Plenty," and the Beach Boys chime in on "When God Invented Girls." There are a couple mistakes here; "Poor Cow" is stupidly misogynistic and I never quite got the atmospheric "Japanese Hands."
With that in place, this was also the album with one of Elton's best mid-80's hits. His friendship with George Michael had clearly given his pop-sense a jolt of energy. The Wham-like "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That" became his highest charting single of that decade. It was everything his 'recovery' embodied. It is an energetic, sassy and danable record, with an added irony that it was George Michael who held Elton out of the number one position.
This was the album where Elton decided to reclaim his personality, as the great Sothby's sell-off of his old gear on the cover shows. He and Bernie set out to craft songs that emphasized their resurgent popularity and succeeded here, and started the third chapter in Elton's illustrious career. Get this because it is Elton's second best 80's album after "Too Low for Zero," and you'll be satisfied."