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Circus 2000

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Circus 2000 Circus 2000 album cover
3.31 | 54 ratings | 4 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Can't Believe
2. Try To Live
3. Must Walk Forever
4. Sun Will Shine
5. Just Can't Stay
6. I Am The Witch
7. Magic Beam
8. While You're Sleeping
9. Try All Day
10. The Lord, Ha Has No Hands

Line-up / Musicians

- Silvana Aliotta / vocals
- Marcello "Spooky" Quartarone / vocals, guitars
- Gianni Bianco / guitar, bass
- Johnny Betti / drums
- Franco "Dede" Lo Previte / drums

Releases information

Change released year! It's 1970! See below:
LP RiFi - RFL ST 14049 (1970)
CD Vinyl Magic VM 014 (1989)
CD Akarma Rec. AK (2003)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to randy zirkle for the last updates
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CIRCUS 2000 Circus 2000 ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (52%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

CIRCUS 2000 Circus 2000 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars One of Italy's early prog favourite of mine C2K's self-titled debut album is an outstanding piece of dream psych prog. The quartet (guitar trio plus the superb- sounding Aliotta singing) developed a great form of psychedelic prog, that can serve as the perfect example between psychedelic rock and pure prog rock, without sounding too much like most of the 60's groups (bar the Indian-laced Magic Bean) and the basic cheap psych artwork doesn't do justice to the music on the album. Careful with the track list as the chronology is not respected on the backsleeve (I hate that!!).

Some of those tracks (10 short ones) are pure joy and could've been easily written by Jefferson Airplane at their top form (a tad proggier though, but this came out two years after JA's creative peak) and, outside the closing Try All Day, there are no weak tracks. Among my faves are the superb opening I Can't Believe (Sonia leads her dog to Pavlov ;-) and its successor I Just Can't Stay, the Jeffersonian Must Walk Forever, the irresistible Try To Live (with its wild rhythms and moods), the enthralling The Lord, He Has No Hands (what a groovy tune) and the exciting I Am A Witch (and its weird incantations). The worst thing is that most of these songs appear way too short (longest just below 4 min) and you'd be curious as to how the group could've expanded on them.

Aliotta's voice is cross of Grace Slick and David Surkamp (of Pavlov's Dog), creating a bit a timbre and delivery between Madeleine Bell (Stones The Crow), Janita Haan (Babe Ruth) and Sonja Christina (Curved Air), but unlike the latter two, Sylvana can not only sing very well, but charm the hell out of us, singing in a fair English some proggy occult lyrics. But she's hardly alone in the group and Quartarone is an excellent guitarist, not afraid to use his fuzz box at good use, while drummer Lo Previte is shinning throughout the whole album (he will play in jazz-rock group Duello Madre) and Bianco's bass filling much of the gap when the other two compadres are running up and down all over the fretboards and toms. Some additional but un-credited flute (on I Just Can't Stay) and the odd sitar complete an album that does perfectly well without the slightest trace of keyboards.

A short album (just under the 30 min-mark), but indeed a real classic, all to sadly overlooked by progheads because of the lack of extended musical interplay, but I urge them to reconsider this album. Barely missing the flawless, this album is easily an essential piece of progdom, even comparing to their better-esteemed follow-up.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Circus 2000 were an Italian band that released two albums at the turn of the seventies. Listening to this you'd have no idea that they came from Italy, bearing no resemblance to the soon to be burgeoning prog scene that was about to explode there. Their sound had much more in common with the American west coast sound that developed in the late sixties, made all the more authentic by the use of English vocals.

The band centres around the powerful vocals of Silvana Aliotta, an excellent singer not unlike Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and indeed parallels can also be drawn on a musical level to the San Francisco band. Their sound is very derivative of the west coast scene playing bluesy psychedelic rock. They have a duel guitar line up with no keyboards, the guitars generally on the clean side leaving an uncluttered sound and there's some good if unspectacular playing going on. It sounds a little dated at times now but there's some more than decent songs here. All are on the short side though, often under the three minute mark. Best of the bunch being Try To Live and Sun Will Shine, both with insistent catchy melodies. Despite the obvious competencies of the band they'd be nothing without Aliotta's emotional vocal delivery which benefits from a high range, making the album a cut above the average.

Not an essential release by any stretch but nevertheless, despite their Italian origins an album that anyone who has more than a passing interest in the late sixties/early seventies USA west coast scene will be advised to check out.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars CIRCUS 2000 was one of the anomalies to have emerged out of Italy in the early years of the 60s beat / psychedelic rock scene morphing into the more complex styles that swept the early 70s. Described by some as Italy's version of Jefferson Airplane, CIRCUS 2000 did indeed buck the trend that Italian rock was undertaking at the time. While most bands of the day were staunchly fixed on using their own native tongue for lyrical expression as well steeping themselves in elements of classical and jazz rock, CIRCUS 2000 looked westward, the California scene more accurately for their inspiration. A surprising reverse scenario as at the time most Americans were looking towards Europe for much of theirs especially in the emerging prog scene.

The comparisons to Jefferson Airplane came not only from the fact that CIRCUS 2000 engaged in a psychedelically tinged form of progressive pop fronted by a charismatic female singer, in this case Silvana Aliotta who joined the already established group Best Genius and quickly changed their name (imposed change by the record company Ri-Fi), but also because even within their own nation, CIRCUS 2000 was mistaken for being an American band due to the fact that the song titles were in English as were the lyrics. The overall style does very much sound like something that would've emerged in the San Francisco scene rather than anything remotely Italian. Due to the band's crossover potential, the record label allowed the band to record the album in English but demanded that singles be released in Italian, however commercially speaking the band never really took off and released only two albums.

The eponymously titled debut album was released in 1970 and captured the zeitgeist of the changing times but mostly resides on the 60s side of the timeline. Firstly Silvana Aliotta exudes the perfect alter ego of Grace Slick with nearly identical vocal phrasings, stylistic flair with the hippie inspired mystical lyrics in full free love form, however i find she sounds a lot more like Mariska Veres of Shocking Blue who was also a disciple of Slick's feminine bravado. While similar with Jefferson Airplane stylistically speaking, CIRCUS 2000 doesn't sound like them exactly. More like the alternate universe version. While steeped in California psychedelic pop with catchy guitar rhythms augmented by bass and drums, CIRCUS 2000 eschewed any organs, utilizes tribal drumming and guitar slides that evoke some Indo-raga influences as well. An occasional harmonica is heard and of course at this stage, the blues is a major ingredient in the compositions.

While the attention getting album cover stands out amongst the burgeoning musical scene even by today's standards, the music doesn't. CIRCUS 2000 delivered a very pleasant slice of period piece psychedelic pop but in terms of catchy well-crafted hooky melodies doesn't reach the heights of either Jefferson Airplane or Shocking Blue for that matter. This debut is a rather short album just shy of the thirty minute mark and its 10 tracks are all very short and to the point, the perfect recipe for chart topping possibilities however the band never seems to shine in any way. While every track is performed nicely and flow into each other at an even keeled pace, CIRCUS 2000 hadn't quite mustered up enough individual flair for this to really stand out and despite falling into the camp of early progressive rock, this is much more pop oriented than many of the bands that were emerging in the scene by 1970. Still though, a pleasant listen and recommended for those who love to check out some of the obscurities of the era.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is a strange album. The main reason is that it bears very few similarities with other releases of Italian rock during the late 60's and early 70's. I always connected the sound of Circus 2000 with other bands like Analogy, Sandrose, Julian's Treatment, Babe Ruth and Earth And Fire (two fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#299596) | Posted by DeKay | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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