ST-12121 Circle of Love
production credits unknown
Released on October 1981
US CHART POSITION #26 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
ST-12121 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A fter a pair of multiplatinum records (Fly Like An Eagle, Book of Dreams), Steve Miller took an unprecedented four years to release another album. Circle of Love was a lightweight collection of likeable songs on the first side and a side-long funk experiment on the flip. The record produced two singles, “Heart Like A Wheel” and “Circle of Love,” then quietly faded. The highly anticipated comeback would have to wait another year, when Abracadabra nearly topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The decent thing to do, I suppose, would be to ignore Circle of Love as a premature comeback. Despite very clean production, the man clearly didn’t put a lot of time into writing the five songs that constitute this circle. The pop songs on the first side are cute, inoffensive, catchy in that sweetly tart way that Miller has perfected, but they make “True Fine Love” sound like “Jungle Love.” If the man were any more mellow they’d have to wheel him up to the microphone. Then there’s the perplexing flip side to consider: 18 minutes of funk rap music, the last six of which sound like an extended remix tacked on to fill up the rest of the record. Today, you can pull Circle out of time and enjoy it for what it is: half an album of cute 80s pop that rocks about as hard as Kenny Loggins. Subsequent albums confirmed the suspicion that Miller had mostly exhausted his creative fire, though he could still be counted on for a few songs that harked back to his earlier hits (“Keeps Me Wondering Why,” “I Want To Make The World Turn Around”). I’ve softened on this some and no longer consider it a “flop,” just an unexpectedly early deflating of a career that not so long ago had flown like an eagle.

ST-12121 back cover ST-12121 picture sleeve
ST-12121 back cover ST-12121 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HEART LIKE A WHEEL    3:55
  2. GET ON HOME    (traditional arr. with new lyrics by Steve Miller)    3:58
  3. BABY WANNA DANCE    2:11
  4. CIRCLE OF LOVE    6:22
  5. MACHO CITY    18:32

    All songs written by Steve Miller unless noted

CREDITS

BYRON ALLRED -- keyboards
GERALD JOHNSON -- bass
GARY MALLABER -- drums, percussion
STEVE MILLER -- guitar, vocals
Rick Fisher -- recording engineer
Stephen Peringer -- cover & inside illustration
John Browning/Ken Trimpe -- design
Greg Stadler -- calligraphy

return to THE STEVE MILLER BAND discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 1981 Capitol LP ST-12121 picture sleeve
UK/AUSL/GER/NET 1981 Mercury LP 6302 061 picture sleeve
US   Capitol CD CDP 7 94446  
GER   Mercury CD 800 043  
US 2002 Eagle CD EAMCD-043  

 

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