The Circle (Bon Jovi album)

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The Circle
Bon Jovi - The Circle.jpg
Studio album by Bon Jovi
Released November 10, 2009
Recorded 2008–09
Genre Rock[1][2]
Length 52:49
Label Island
Bon Jovi chronology
Lost Highway
The Circle
Greatest Hits
Singles from The Circle
  1. "We Weren't Born to Follow"
    Released: August 31, 2009
  2. "Superman Tonight"
    Released: January 25, 2010
  3. "When We Were Beautiful"
    Released: May 20, 2010
  4. "Work For The Working Man (Promo)"
    Released: 2010

The Circle is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. Produced by John Shanks, the album was released November 10, 2009.[3] The album debuted at #1 in several countries, including the U.S., where it sold 163,000 copies in its first week debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200.[4]

The Circle takes the band back to the rock roots after their prior Nashville country music influenced album Lost Highway. The Circle was inspired by the economic meltdown and political turmoil around the world.

Recording and production[edit]

In an interview given to Rolling Stone Magazine, guitarist Richie Sambora says the album is a return to "rock and roll" and said "There’s going to be some big choruses on there. It sounds like Bon Jovi, but it sounds fresh. We experimented with a lot of new sounds and had a really good time working with John Shanks, who is also a really good guitar player, so he and I did a lot of ‘weaseling’ with the guitar sounds. There are a lot of really good guitar sounds and new kind atmospheres on the new Bon Jovi record, that I think makes it really modern. I think people are going to dig it, man. And it rocks hard."[5]

In an interview on UK radio station Absolute Radio, Jon Bon Jovi stated the album title has multiple meanings. It stands for the fact that a circle is never ending, and that it also refers to Bon Jovi's inner circle – stating that "in this organization, the circle is very difficult to get into, and even more difficult to get out of."[6]

The lead single, "We Weren't Born To Follow" is about the tough times we are experiencing in this economic crisis. "Superman Tonight" was released as the second single followed by "When We Were Beautiful" as the third single. Work For The Working Man which was released as a promo single was also written about the DHL plant that closed in Ohio. Before the official release of the album, U.S. President Barack Obama's chief adviser David Axelrod had the lyrics to "Work for the Working Man" framed and hung in his White House office.[7]

The album is the first record since 1988's "New Jersey" not to feature bonus tracks (all the subsequent albums from 1992's Keep The Faith through to 2007's Lost Highway have included songs not available in the USA). Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi has stated that there were one or two songs that he left off the album that could have been bonus tracks which he wanted to keep for the Greatest Hits.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[9]
BBC Music (favorable)[1] (unfavorable)[10]
Entertainment Weekly (C)[11]
The Guardian (favorable)[13]
The Independent 2/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times 1.5/4 stars[15]
The New York Times (favorable)[12] 6/10 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[2]

The Circle debuted at the number-one position with sales of 163,000 copies on the U.S. Billboard 200.[4] It debuted at the number-one position with the sales of around 67,000 copies on the Japanese Oricon weekly album charts, becoming their fifth number-one album on the Japanese chart. Because of the album's number-one debut, the band tied the Oricon charts' record of having five number-one albums as a Western artist, which was held by Mariah Carey and Simon & Garfunkel.[16]

Initial critical response to The Circle was average. Nigel Britto of the Times of India observed that the album marked a 'return to tradition' and served as a 'breath of fresh air' to those that found the band's recent material corny.[17] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 52, based on ten reviews. The album received a 79/100 from praising the group for returning to their rock roots.[18]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "We Weren't Born to Follow"   Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora 4:03
2. "When We Were Beautiful"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Billy Falcon 5:18
3. "Work for the Working Man"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Darrell Brown 4:04
4. "Superman Tonight"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Falcon 5:12
5. "Bullet"   Bon Jovi, Sambora 3:50
6. "Thorn in My Side"   Bon Jovi, Sambora 4:05
7. "Live Before You Die"   Bon Jovi, Sambora 4:17
8. "Brokenpromiseland"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, John Shanks, Desmond Child 4:57
9. "Love's the Only Rule"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Falcon 4:38
10. "Fast Cars"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 3:16
11. "Happy Now"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 4:21
12. "Learn to Love"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 4:39
Total length:




Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[39] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Platinum 80,000^
Germany (BVMI)[41] Gold 100,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[42] Gold 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[43] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format
Germany October 30, 2009[46] Universal Music CD, CD+DVD, Digital download
Ireland October 30, 2009[47] Mercury Records
Japan November 4, 2009[48] Universal Music CD, CD+DVD, Digital download, SHM-CD
Australia November 6, 2009 CD, CD+DVD, Digital download
France November 9, 2009[49] Mercury Records, Universal Music
United States November 10, 2009[50] Island Records, Mercury Nashville[51]
Canada November 10, 2009[52] Universal Music
Europe November 11, 2009
Brazil November 27, 2009[53]


  1. ^ a b BBC review link
  2. ^ a b Rolling Stone review link
  3. ^ Daniel Kreps. "Bon Jovi Return to Rock With "The Circle" On November 10 : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith. "Bon Jovi Comes Full 'Circle' at No. 1 on Billboard 200". November 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Greg Prato. "Bon Jovi Get "Back to Rock & Roll" On November Album : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ Jon Bon Jovi Interview with Ben Jones, Absolute Radio, September 22, 2009
  7. ^ Savage, Mark (November 6, 2009). "Bon Jovi: 'We're not supposed to be here'". BBC News. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ Oitmann, Pierre. "Review: The Circle". Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  9. ^ Allmusic review link
  10. ^ review link
  11. ^ Entertainment Weekly link
  12. ^ New York Times review link
  13. ^ The Guardian link
  14. ^ Independent review link
  15. ^ Los Angeles Times review link
  16. ^ a b ボン・ジョヴィ洋楽史上最多5作目首位「日本のファンに感謝」. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. November 10, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  17. ^ Crest, TOI (November 7, 2009). "Sonic Boom". The Times Of India. 
  18. ^ "Bon Jovi:The Circle (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Australian Albums Chart". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Austrian Albums Chart" (in German). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  21. ^ John Williams (November 18, 2009). "Bon Jovi nails 3rd straight No. 1". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Dutch Albums Chart" (in French). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  23. ^ "European Albums – Week of November 21, 2009". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Finnish Albums Chart". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Bon Jovi – Suchergebnisse in den deutschen Charts" (in German). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  26. ^ "TOP 75 ARTIST ALBUM, WEEK ENDING 5 November 2009". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Portuguese Albums Chart". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Spanish Albums Chart". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Bon Jovi – The Circle (album) – Swiss Albums Chart" (in German). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Chart Stats – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  31. ^ "JAHRESHITPARADE 2009" (in German). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  32. ^ "ARIA Chart Top 100 Albums of 2009". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2009". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  34. ^ "The Official UK Year-End Top 200 Charts for 2009" (PDF). Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Year End Charts – Top Billboard 200 – 2009". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Top Canadian Albums – European Top 100 Albums – 2010". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Year End Charts – European Top 100 Albums – 2010". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Year End Charts – Top Billboard 200 – 2010". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Music Canada. 
  41. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bon Jovi; 'The Circle')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  42. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 2009年11月 on the drop-down menu
  43. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'The Circle')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Circle in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  46. ^ "The Circle: Bon Jovi: Musik". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  47. ^ "The Circle: Bon Jovi: Music". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  48. ^ " ザ・サークル: ボン・ジョヴィ: 音楽". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  49. ^ "The Circle: Bon Jovi: Musique". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  50. ^ "The Circle [CD/DVD]: Bon Jovi: Music". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Bon Jovi : Releases : The Circle". Mercury Nashville. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  52. ^ "The Circle". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  53. ^ "The Circle – Brazil". Retrieved November 18, 2009.