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 Hard rock
Length 52:49
Label Island, Mercury
Producer John Shanks, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora
Bon Jovi chronology
Lost Highway
(2007)
The Circle
(2009)
Greatest Hits
(2010)
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. Released on November 10, 2009, the album was produced by John Shanks.[1] The album debuted at #1 in several countries, including the U.S., where it sold 163,000 copies in its first week.[2]

The Circle takes the band back to the rock roots after their prior Nashville country music influenced album Lost Highway.

Recording and production[edit]

In an interview given to Rolling Stone Magazine, former Bon Jovi 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."[3]

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."[4]

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, all of which featuring music videos. 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.[5]

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
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 52/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[7]
Billboard 4/5 stars[8]
Entertainment Weekly C[9]
Los Angeles Times 1.5/4 stars[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[11]
The Boston Globe (mixed)[12]

The Circle received mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 52 out of 100, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" based on 10 reviews.[6] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic gave the album 2 stars out of 5 stating that "A knack for oversized choruses remains hardwired in Bon Jovi, but in this gloomy context, they act as reminders that they once sounded like they were a working band for working men instead of rich men fretting about a world they've long left behind".[7] Gary Graff from Billboard gave the album 4 out of 5 stars saying that "The New Jersey group gets back to the business of rocking on its 11th studio album, The Circle".[8] Whitney Pastorek from Entertainment Weekly gave the album C grade by saying "Between cliches and Jon's strained voice, The Circle just feels tired".[9] Mikael Wood from Los Angeles Times gave the album 1.5 stars out of 4 stating that "The Circle shows off Bon Jovi's still-sharp knack for wedding blandly optimistic sentiments to predictably soaring choruses. Unfortunately, it's getting pretty hard to tell one song from the next".[10] Christian Hoard from Rolling Stone Magazine gave the album 3 stars out of 5 by saying "It does rock--if your idea of rock is Aerosmith doing Diane Warren songs".[11] Scott McLennan from The Boston Globe made a mixed review about the album stating that "Slick production and beer-ad bombast grease these 12 tracks. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi has yet to meet a cliche he can’t work into a song".[12]

The album topped the Billboard 200 chart when it debuted, but by the next week, it suddenly dropped to #19. Not only is this the tenth-largest drop from the top (shared with Sia's 1000 Forms of Fear and Muse's Drones), it makes Bon Jovi the only band to have more than one album fall far from #1 (as 2016's This House Is Not for Sale holds the record for the largest drop as of January 2017).

The Circle debuted at the number-one position with 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, Bon Jovi tied the Oricon charts' record for having five number-one albums as a Western artist, which was held by Mariah Carey and Simon & Garfunkel.[13]

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: 52:47

Personnel[edit]

Bon Jovi
Additional musicians
Technical personnel

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Japan November 4, 2009 Island CD UICL-1092[54]
March 20, 2013 Universal Music International SHM-CD UICY-20458[55]
November 18, 2016 Island double LP 470-3095[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "Bon Jovi Comes Full 'Circle' at No. 1 on Billboard 200". billboard.com. November 18, 2009.
  3. ^ Greg Prato. "Bon Jovi Get "Back to Rock & Roll" On November Album : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  4. ^ Jon Bon Jovi Interview with Ben Jones, Absolute Radio, September 22, 2009
  5. ^ Savage, Mark (November 6, 2009). "Bon Jovi: 'We're not supposed to be here'". BBC News. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "The Circle – Bon Jovi". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-01-07. 
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Bon Jovi: The Circle". Allmusic. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Graff, Gary. "Bon Jovi, "The Circle"". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Pastorek, Whitney. "The Circle - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Wood, Mikael. "Album Review: Bon Jovi's 'The Circle'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. "Bon Jovi: The Circle". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b McLennan, Scott. "Bon Jovi, 'The Circle' - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v The Circle (Album). Bon Jovi. New York City: Island. 2009. p. 10. 602527245607. 
  15. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in German). Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in French). Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Bon Jovi.
  20. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga.
  21. ^ "Top Kombiniranih [Top Combined]" (in Croatian). Top Combined Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga.
  22. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 200946 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data.
  23. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Hits of the World - European Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 21, 2009. p. 47. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Bon Jovi: The Circle" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  27. ^ "Lescharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  29. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2009. 46. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ.
  30. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 45, 2009". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2009-11-11" (in Japanese). Oricon.
  33. ^ "Mexicancharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  35. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  36. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  38. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  39. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Hung Medien.
  41. ^ "Bon Jovi | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
  42. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  43. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Bon Jovi.
  44. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Digital Albums for Bon Jovi.
  45. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Bon Jovi.
  46. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Top Tastemaker Albums for Bon Jovi.
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  48. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle". Music Canada. 
  49. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bon Jovi; 'The Circle')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  50. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Bon Jovi – The Circle" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 
  51. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'The Circle')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  52. ^ "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
  53. ^ "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
  54. ^ "BON JOVI ボン・ジョヴィ - ザ・サークル - UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN". Universal Music. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2017-01-07. 
  55. ^ "BON JOVI ボン・ジョヴィ - ザ・サークル - UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN". Universal Music. 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2017-01-07. 
  56. ^ "BON JOVI ボン・ジョヴィ - ザ・サークル - UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN". Universal Music. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2017-01-07.