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Circus

Artist: Circus (11)
Label: Transatlantic Records
Catalog#: TRA 207
Format: Vinyl
Country: UK
Released: 1969-09
Tracklist
A1 Norwegian Wood 7:22
  Notes:

Lennon-McCartney - Written-By

A2 Pleasures Of A Lifetime 8:21
  Notes:

Mel Collins - Written-By

A3 St. Thomas 3:33
  Notes:

Sonny Rollins - Written-By

A4 Goodnight John Morgan 1:47
  Notes:

Mel Collins - Written-By

B1 Father Of My Daughter 3:19
  Notes:

Mel Collins - Written-By

B2 II B.S. 6:28
  Notes:

Charles Mingus - Written-By

B3 Monday Monday 4:18
  Notes:

John Phillips - Written-By

B4 Don't Make Promises 4:42
  Notes:

Tim Hardin - Written-By

Credits

Kirk Riddle - Bass, Guitar
John Whitehead - Directed By [Production Co-ordinator]
Chris Burrows - Drums
Andy Johns - Engineer
Mel Collins - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Ian David Jelfs - Guitar, Vocals
Derek Jewell - Liner Notes
Mark Hanau - Photography By
Ray Singer - Producer

Notes

First pressing in a fold-out cover, released on a white Translatlantic label with a purple logo around the spindle hole on both sides.

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The Surrey-based Stormsville Shakers had their start in 1961. Like The Yardbirds, also from Surrey, they gigged relentlessly, playing R&B and often backing American musicians visiting the UK. Prior to recording a couple of singles in the late 60s, the Shakers changed their name to the more contemporary sounding Circus. Released in 1967, their first single "Gone Are the Songs of Yesterday" b/w "Sink or Swim" was written by the Shakers' founder, Phillip Goodhand-Tait. Yet following one more single, Goodhand-Tait left the band to concentrate on a career as a songwriter, following his success with Love Affair's cover of "Gone are the Songs of Yesterday" and a contract from Dick James Music. Now, Circus consisted of original bassist Kirk Riddle, guitarist and vocalist Ian Jelfs, and most famously to progressive fans, sax player and flautist Mel Collins. Prior to recording their debut album for Transatlantic Records, Chris Burrows joined on drums. A cover of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" opens the album. Clocking in at over seven minutes, the dirty rhythm of Riddle and Burrows propels the spirited interpretation, aided by Jelfs's thick-toned guitar. Collins's "Pleasures of a Lifetime" features a gentler tone and chords from Jelfs's guitar, and transitions to a swinging break with Collins's sax solo; it's a mature number, with sympathetic lyrics. Sonny Rollins's "St. Thomas" and the brief "Goodnight John Morgan" come across as jazz-by-numbers. "Father of My Daughter," also a Collins composition, is another gentle affair, benefited by tabla; while the Charles Mingus cover "II B.S." again shows the band's fiery blues side. But further covers, of John Phillips's "Monday Monday" and Tim Hardin's "Don't Make Promises," are mediocre at best. The band scored a residency at the Marquee Club in the spring of 1969, and a second album was reportedly in the can; but Collins received an offer to join King Crimson, and the rest, as they say, is history.
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