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CIRKUS ONE

Cirkus

Eclectic Prog


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Cirkus Cirkus One album cover
3.35 | 27 ratings | 7 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. You Are (3:20)
2. Seasons (3:37)
3. April '73 (5:04)
4. Song For Tavish (4:35)
5. A Prayer (5:37)
6. Brotherly Love (3:49)
7. Those Were The Days (3:54)
8. Jenny (4:09)
9. Title Track
a. Breach (4:19)
b. Ad Infinitum (3:12)

Bonus Tracks from the remastered Audio Archives CD:
10. Castles (2:51)
11. The Heaviest Stone (4:56)
12. Amsterdam (4:03)
13. Melissa (3:22)
14. Pickupaphone (3:26)

Total Time: 60:33
Tracks 1-9 recorded in 1973. Tracks 10 & 11 recorded in 1971. Tracks 12-14 recorded in 1976.

Lyrics

Search CIRKUS Cirkus One lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search CIRKUS Cirkus One tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Robson / lead vocals
- John Taylor / bass
- Derek G. Miller / organ, piano, mellotron
- Stu McDade / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Dogg / electric and acoustic guitars
- Alan Roadhouse (replaces Paul Robson on tracks 12 & 14) / lead vocals, saxophone

Releases information

LP - RCB - 1971
(Reissued on CD by Five Hours Back - TOCK 1 - in 1986)
(Reissued on CD by Audio Archives - AACD 009 - in 1995 and in 2002 with three bonus tracks taken from the "Melissa" EP plus two extra tracks recorded in 1971)
Reissued on CD by Black Widow - BWR 044

Thanks to ANDREW for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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LaylowLaylow
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CIRKUS Cirkus One ratings distribution


3.35
(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

CIRKUS Cirkus One reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars BEWARE!, folks interested in progressive rock! This rare record has not much to do with that! Moreover the band's name (spelled with a 'k') should not be mixed up with the Swiss band CIRCUS who did the great album "Movin' On" four years later. Actually for me it looks rather odd to have both in the same category supporting once again the idea to consider ART ROCK as a kinda "grocer store" which is really not justified especially since it had been revaluated just recently by the addition of bands like VDGG,KC or Gentle Giant.

I've been heard already since a while that there was an English band with this name existing in the 70s and just for curiousity I was looking for them and now finally I was able to borrow the remastered CD (luckily I did not have to spend any precious bucks). So what type of music we can listen to here? I would say rather 60s alike sounding simple albeit nicely orchestrated songs to be compared let's say with some of the early work of ELO. Actually overall very nice to listen but definitely sounding too much dated for the year of 1973. Probably the only track eventually deserving the term ART ROCK (in the original meaning that was nothing else than Progressive Rock) would be the one called "Title track" which is as well the longest one and subdivided into two parts. But I doubt that just this song is sufficient to make the album worth buying for a prog fan. The bonus tracks on the CD are by the way not worth mentioning at all.

Only interesting for the general collector of 60s/70s music! (Thus an undoubtful case for a 2-star rating, at least on this place here!)

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#79158) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
3 stars (2,5 *) Dieter's review is not clearly 'wrong' anyhow, but I'd like to give a little more positive insight to this curiosity. I borrowed it 2 years ago without ANY knowledge about the band, but as soon as I had listened to it I categorized it as prog/art rock of the minor league and as a good example of the big amount of mostly one-album arty British groups of the early 70's. And that obscure field is always very interesting to visit and sometimes quite rewarding too - although I wouldn't risk my own money with it. The CIRKUS' music didn't hit me like e.g. SPRING and CRESSIDA had done, but I liked it generally. The singer Paul Robson is quite OK if you don't mind a bit naive emotional character in his singing, and the band's sound is pleasant; yes, it is dated for the year '73 (it even has some Mellotron that was beginning to be passé, sadly) but so what. Often it is the datedness that appeals to old school progholes.

My thought of this being recognizably prog (lesser but anyway) is based more on the sound and arty arrangements than the composition structure, which isn't exactly mindblowing or 'progressive' in the strict sense. I must confess my memory of the album is now limited to only a few tracks. 'Seasons' and 'Song for Tavish' I remember liking, and the soft songs 'Prayer' and 'Jenny'. The former has a spiritual feeling and the latter tells of a woman who wants to become friends with a kid in the playground cos she can't have own children. Your imagination can continue the story even into a psychotic kidnapping thriller if you like. The bonus tracks didn't impress me if I remember right. But all in all an album worth hearing if you get a chance.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#79164) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album showcases the problems with the current rating on Prog Archives because my rating alternates between a 2 star possibility ("for fans only") and 3 stars ("good but not essential"). In my opinion it does harm to this album if I categorize it as 2 stars but giving it 3 stars could mislead progheads while reading the review. So I rate it with 2,5 stars and I will tell you why. As a huge fan of the Early British Progressive Rock Movement (bands like Gracious, Rare Bird, Julian's Treatment, Spring and Beggar's Opera), I was very curious to this album so I bought the original LP many years ago (so I have not heard the bonus tracks on the CD re-issue). In that time it was a kind of 'cult album', in my opinion that's the reason why in general the expectations towards this album are a bit high, also with me when I listened to it. To me this album sounds as pleasant variant on the abovementioned bands but less compelling and less interesting. The vocals are OK, we can enjoy some waves of the unsurpassed Mellotron and the climates sound warm but I miss a spark, only at some moments I got a bit excited. My conclusion: don't expect progrock at the level of Beggar's Opera, Spring or Gracious, just enjoy this fine music if you want to be pleased by the very distinctive sound of the early Seventies British Progressive Rock Movement. And now I have to click on 3 stars .. I just explained you why.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#79167) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars This Northeast England Geordie group had just one self-released album, which had become very sought-after by collectors. Indeed this might just be one of the most impressive private release albums ever in terms of production. The quintet (a the standard prog quartet plus Robson as the singer) develops a light rock with some light prog twist and heavy ever-present orchestrations that sort of enhance the compositions (some good concise songwriting), but also renders the rock side of the album unbearably light. Graced with a spacey artwork, the gatefold album actually leads you a bit in error, because of the nine short tracks (all loaded with a heavy- handed orchestra, present on ALL tracks), in majority written by their drummer, are never really far away from possible wide radio- airplay, precisely because of the lush sounding strings.

Most of the tunes are extremely catchy, especially the opening You Are and Those Were the days, as well as the more serious Seasons (penned by keyboardist Miller) and Brotherly Love; but this is nevertheless a prog album as there are clear influences from Yes, Crimson (but not the sombre side of the group) and some other UK proto-prog ala Cressida or Spring. However, there are some sugar-bombs that provoke cavities in the proghead's dentition, such as the overly sweet Jenny and the catchier Song For Tavish (sounding lifted from Bowie). Of the album, clearly the highlight is the two-part 7-min+ Title Track (yes that's its name), where the group shows short signs of upping the ante, but it is quickly calmed down, but picks up again a bit later. Clearly McDade's drums are having a ball on most of the album, but particularly on this track.

While it is hard to call such an album essential, I feel like giving it fourth star, partly because of the extremely positive moods (not always the case with the lyrics, but the music is certainly so) of the album, but also partly because some of my colleague reviewers should maybe get another ear on this little baby. Never heard the bonus tracks.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#127396) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Great, just great with one strange trick(s)y thing, bonus tracks are sometimes even better than "real deal", album ones. Depends on what you seek. If it's prog, quite good deal of it (forget about year where this was released, because it more like fits into late 60's with overall feeling (except some more modern elements). Never mind it, that doesn't matter to me much (don't crucify me please), but this album is so much full of emotions, beautiful melodies (Flagship of this topic is April 73) and so dense atmosphere of optimistic sound colors that you then may be struck back by symphonic orchestra arrangements. And playfulness, just listen to guitar on A Prayer, which is really "nice-guy" track amongst other pleasant ones. Welcome to Pleasantville I would say. Including organ "orgasms" (sorry for pun, it was irresistible). Brotherly Love is somehow worse, not managing to attract my attention so much. Even worse, I didn't feel so good while listening it. Probably bad riff or something, nothing big. Those Were the Days is better, but I don't like lyrics (therefore theme of the song - meaning). Title track with name Title Track is quite thrilling, almost reminding "Red Queen to Gryphon Three", doesn't it ?

4(+), amused, charmed, satisfied.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#266618) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cirkus One is the debut full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Cirkus. Thereīs a Swiss act with a C instead of a K in the name so beware which one you are purchasing. The original album contained 9 tracks but there is a couple of CD reissues with bonus tracks available.

The music on the album is progressive rock but of the more commercial sounding kind. The songs are generally not very long and pretty much follow a vers/ chorus form. In addition to bass, guitar and drums there are lots of mellotron on the album but also some orchestration. The vocals by Paul Robson are smooth and pleasant. Thatīs my general description of the music but to be honest I think this is a very cheesy commercial pop/ rock with only a slight connection to what I perceive as progressive music. The latter is not necessarily a bad thing as music donīt have to be progressive for me to find enjoyment in it. There are just several things that bug me here and I guess the words 70s kitch and cheesy covers my complaints pretty well. The songs are well composed and the production on the album is very good too so thereīs nothing wrong with those parts of the album. In addition to that the musicianship is excellent so again thereīs nothing wrong with that part of the album. Itīs the very soul of the music thatīs a problem IMO and thatīs probably the worst part there could be something wrong with. Iīm not moved and I found myself cringing my toes on more than one occasion during my listening sessions of this album. Again cheese comes to mind. Iīm reminded a bit of the later Beggars Opera albums.

So with that said I should probably rate Cirkus One with 2 stars but as the music is very well executed, the production is top notch and the songs are well written, if you view them from a compositional point of view, Iīll raise that rating to a 2.5 - 3 star rating. Personally I donīt appreciate the album one bit though and I find it quite obvious why this band never achieved any notable succes. They are kind of stuck between two chairs as they are not really progressive enough to satisfy a progressive audience and even though their music have lots of commercial sensibility that audience will probably find the music too challenging.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#269133) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 01, 2010

Latest members reviews

5 stars What some people say about this album proves that McCartney was true when he wrote "Some People Never Know." To compare Cirkus and their hugely expensive album to the music of The Beatles may not be wrong, but the group took late 60s influences and melded them together with symphonic keyboards ... (read more)

Report this review (#79264) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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