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.