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Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Lenny Kravitz (vocals, electric guitar, Mini-Moog, drums); Craig Ross (acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin); Henry Hirsch (Mellotron, Wurlitzer electric piano, bass); Tony Breit (bass).
  • Recorded at Waterfront Studios, New Jersey; Chateau Des Conde, France; Compass Point Studios, Bahamas.
  • "Rock And Roll Is Dead" was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
  • With CIRCUS, Lenny Kravitz is four albums into a career of reinventing rock's best pieces, and flying further with them. CIRCUS is no change from this format, but proves why he's so successful at it.
  • "Rock And Roll Is Dead" snubs alternative rock and rap acts who "can't even sing or play an instrument," while Kravitz plays guitar, bass and drums with confidence and a well-learned sense of groove. His gift for molding AOR idioms into new forms jumps on the John Bonham wagon for the heavy wallop of "Beyond The 7th Sky"; his Hendrix-ian wah-wah mixes perfectly with some Sly Stone bump-and-grind on "Tunnel Vision"; and the Beatlesque guitar on "Can't Get You Off My Mind" proves that mimicry just may be the sincerest form of flattery. There is even a hint of Stevie Wonder on "God Is Love." And though you may spot the references as if they were highlighted on a map, CIRCUS pulls it off with precision and inspiration.
  • The flower-power and funk melodies throughout CIRCUS stir together a different era of sounds and effects for a '90s audience. They make Kravitz's appreciation for rock's foundation down-right contagious.
  • Personnel: Lenny Kravitz (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, wah-wah guitar, synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, drums); Craig Ross (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Henry Hirsch (electric piano, Wurlitzer organ, Mellotron).
  • Audio Mixers: David Domanich; Henry Hirsch; Lenny Kravitz.
  • Recording information: Chateau Des Conde, France; Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas; Waterfront Studios, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Photographer: Ruven Afanador.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: James Kaliardos; Mark Browne.
  • After the fuzz-rock revivalism of Are You Gonna Go My Way, Lenny Kravitz seems to have settled into a comfortable groove, alternating between early-'70s album rock and early-'70s soul, with the occasional Prince flourish thrown in for good measure. Circus is the weakest of Kravitz's albums, simply because he didn't change his style in a distinctive manner, replicating the sound of Are You Gonna Go My Way instead. To compound his problems, Kravitz kicks off the record with "Rock and Roll Is Dead," a workmanlike rewrite of "Are You Gonna Go My Way" that lacks hooks. However, after one more half-hearted rocker, Circus begins to open up, as Kravitz turns in a series of ballads and lightly psychedelic mid-tempo pop numbers, which prove to be his real strength. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Musician (10/95, pp.80-81) - "...another batch of irresistable tunes. The sound's more raw than anything he's done since LET LOVE RULE....CIRCUS is yet another demonstration of a classic equation: blistering rock guitar plus bruising funk rhythms equals excitement..."

NME (Magazine) (9/9/95, p.50) - 7 (out of 10) - "...Kravitz proves himself to be just as much a purveyor of record collection rock as he's ever been. But what most people fail to notice is that Len has got stone-cold impeccable taste....he is...a silver-suited messenger from a celestial Rock Circus, a one man multi-coloured pop shop..."
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