Buried Treasure: Circus 2000

Formed in Turin in 1969, Circus 2000 released their self-titled debut album the following year, to critical acclaim. It’s a delightful record that oozes psychedelic spirit blended with fuzzy pop merriment. Their general style has similarities to Jefferson Airplane-meets-Dutch progressive pop legends Earth & Fire.

Need is a perfect example of how far Circus 2000 had progressed and where they were at by their second album. It has an infectious wah-wah riff, it breaks down, jazzes up, chills out and is a thoroughly enjoyable mini-trip. When The Sun Refuses To Shine is by far the band’s most surreal, haunting and epic moment. Its atmosphere evokes a post‑apocalyptic wonderland of death imagery on a bad yet somehow spine-tingling and intriguing journey.

Both Circus 2000 albums are highly recommended. Some may find the debut easier to get into, but An Escape From A Box is far more unique.

The follow-up, 1972’s An Escape From A Box, is a different story. Opener Hey Man could have been a strong contender for Italy’s 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, with its folky, hook-laden singalong chorus.

From there the album takes a series of twists and turns, dark, vibrant, eerie, psychedelic, progressive, jazzy and poppy at the same time. Charismatic vocalist Silvana Aliotta had the perfect voice to front a band such as this, her delivery blending soft, dramatic, bluesy and wildly out-there atmospheres.

Circus 2000 - An Escape From A Box, 1972, RIFI, Italy. £700.

Classic Rock 212: News & Regulars

Lee Dorrian

Lee Dorrian is best known as a former member of grindcore band Napalm Death and later frontman of doom metal band Cathedral. Currently a member of stoner metal supergroup With the Dead, he founded his own record label, Rise Above Records, in 1988. They've released albums by Ghost, Twin Temple, Orange Goblin, Pentagram, Sunn O))) and many more. He writes the Buried Treasure column for Classic Rock magazine, about rare underground rock records.