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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Rush Gem
This is an under-rated classic in every sense of the word. Tom Rush is one of those artists, who seems to get forgotten in the folk genre. He always had the knack of discovering songs by emerging artists. It shows what a selfless individual he was, because The Circle Game is littered by Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne songs. This collection also includes his greatest...
Published on 31 Jan 2006 by M. Olyett

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Circle Game Remastered
I had The Circle Game on vinyl when it first came out. Recently I saw Tom Rush play in small church in Brooklyn (totally brilliant, a master musician, and very funny - listen to his Trolling For Owls CD to hear that side of his personality), and subsequently bought the remastered version. I dislike the sound quality - the balance seems wrong, especially the amplified...
Published on 27 May 2010 by John Mathieson


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Rush Gem, 31 Jan 2006
By 
M. Olyett "Folk boy" (Watford, Herts) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Circle Game (Audio CD)
This is an under-rated classic in every sense of the word. Tom Rush is one of those artists, who seems to get forgotten in the folk genre. He always had the knack of discovering songs by emerging artists. It shows what a selfless individual he was, because The Circle Game is littered by Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne songs. This collection also includes his greatest composition, No Regrets.
This album is perfect for winter evenings, frosty mornings - well anytime really. Do yourself a favour and check it out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated album and artist, 24 Sep 2005
By 
A. Sandnes "Turbo-Tore" (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Circle Game (Audio CD)
I was in a for a 2-hour drive, and put this album straight from the mailbox into my CD-player, and there it stayed for the entire drive! This is classic mid-sixties folk rock, with Rush covering songs of then rising stars like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. The album cover tells you what to expect, sure-footed sad songs with guitar and the occasional horn. I had no knowlegde of this great voice! He interpretes these songs with force and gust.
If you like Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell et alia, send for this one straight away.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something in The Way He Interprets! A 1968 lost classic gets a superb 2008 update!, 26 Jun 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
Heavily steeped in the American Folk, Blues & Roots movements of the early to mid Sixties, Tom Rush was already a 27-year old 5-album veteran by the time he released "The Circle Game" in April 1968. The CD version of this lovely, but long-forgotten gem of an album has been available for almost 20 years with a slip of paper as an insert and useless hissy sound. Thankfully Rhino's May 2008 reissue finally addresses that travesty by giving this album the sonic upgrade its long deserved - a remastered 40th Anniversary Edition - complete with an upgraded booklet and 3 rare bonus tracks.

Here's the layout (52:12 minutes):
Tracks 1-11 make up the album "The Circle Game" issued on Elektra EKL 4018 (Mono)/EKS 74018 (Stereo) in April 1968 in both the USA and UK
Track 12 is the "UK Single Mix" to "Something In The Way She Moves" issued on Elektra EKSN 45032 which is different to the album version
Track 13 is the "US Single Mix" of "Urge For Going" issued on Elektra EKS-45607 again different to the album version
Track 14 is a previously unreleased version of "The Circle Game" (it's Take 1)

The 8-page booklet has an new essay and interview with Rush by the respected reviewer PETER DOGGETT and is filled out with session details, trade paper reviews and pictures of US and UK singles. The album artwork is beneath the see-through tray and the CD itself reflects the colour of the original US vinyl album label - all nice touches - and typical of Rhino's attention to detail.

Some might moan that the album's original MONO mix should have been included as well as the STEREO version - I'd take that as a valid point - but two of the bonus tracks are a real find and collectors I'm sure would prefer them.

In an odd sort of way, "The Circle Game" isn't remembered so much for Rush himself, but for the astonishing singer-songwriters he introduced to the world via the record - JONI MITCHELL, JACKSON BROWNE and JAMES TAYLOR - all three unsigned at the time. With these enormous talents providing the bulk of the songs and two cracking originals of his own, this unassuming little folk album practically kick-started the entire Californian singer-songwriter movement. The album's title is one of Joni's best compositions "The Circle Game" which she eventually put out on her 3rd album "Ladies Of The Canyon" in 1970. The other two covers are "Tin Angel" which turned up on her 2nd LP "Clouds" in 1969 and "Urge For Going", as beautiful a song as she has ever written and for me one of the real beauties on this record. Her own version didn't find its way onto vinyl until 1972, when it turned up as a B-side of "You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio". Its CD debut is on the wonderful "Hits" set from 1996 - a HDCD remaster in truly beautiful sound quality. When you hear just how touching her original is, it's easy to see why Rush nabbed the song as fast as he could!

James Taylor's two tracks fare less well. First up is "Something In The Way She Moves" which Rush unwisely speeds it up with funky brass fills ruining the beauty of the song - it's dated and awful. A few months later, Taylor left for London, signed to The Beatles Apple label and released his debut LP "James Taylor" in 1968 with his softer version of the song on it. It was such a lovely tune, several artists covered it almost immediately - best of which is MATTHEWS SOUTHERN COMFORT's version on the "Second Spring" album from 1970. However, Taylor aced all of them - including his own original - by re-recording the song for his first hits set in 1976 - the white covered "Greatest Hits" - it's the definitive version of a beautiful song. The 2nd Taylor track is "Sunshine Sunshine" - a far better jaunty love song complete with strings and 60's upbeat message.

Jackson Browne's voice and sound is immediately evident in the chorus of "Shadow Dream Song" - a good song - and a pointer to what was to come years later in 1974's sublime "Late For The Sky".

The other two covers are "The Glory Of Love" made famous by Benny Goodman in 1936 with The Five Keys doing a number 1 doo-wop version of it in 1951 - Rush's version is more uptempo and only ok in my books, while "So Long" is an old Charlie Rich song from his days at Sun Records. But then - for me - comes the lethal double whammy of his own two compositions - the gorgeous instrumental "Rockport Sunday" and the classic and magical "No Regrets" (made a huge hit by The Walker Brothers in 1975). To hear them both in this improved sound quality is a genuine blast. The 6-second string curio that is "(Coda)" is just that - a curio tagged onto the end of the record. Two of the bonus tracks, "Urge For Going" and "The Circle Game", are sparse bare acoustic versions and beautiful for it - a real treat for fans.

Soundwise the improvement is enormous - it's still a little hissy on a lot of the tracks, but the clarity of the instruments and the depth of his huge voice are so much more to the fore now - a muscular and fabulous remaster by Rhino's tape-masters BILL INGLOT and DAN HERSCH.

To sum up - flawed in places for sure, but the good stuff is breathtaking - and this remastered reissue finally brings that out. A job well done and an album you need to investigate
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No regrets, 22 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
I'd ordered this CD really for one track, No Regrets, possibly made more famous by the Walker Brothers. I'd not been familiar with Tom Rush's music previously.

He doesn't have the most powerful voice, but it is interesting; he has excellent phrasing and I like his guitar style.

This is an excellent album and testamount to the fine music that was emerging in the late 60's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Circle Game Remastered, 27 May 2010
By 
John Mathieson (Northampton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
I had The Circle Game on vinyl when it first came out. Recently I saw Tom Rush play in small church in Brooklyn (totally brilliant, a master musician, and very funny - listen to his Trolling For Owls CD to hear that side of his personality), and subsequently bought the remastered version. I dislike the sound quality - the balance seems wrong, especially the amplified rim-shots from the drums, and the extra tracks add nothing. It's a great album, but I wish I'd gone for the original format.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Rush The Circle Game, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
Having got the original vinyl copy when it first came out, was pleased to hear this, even better than first time round!!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Folky classic from 1968, 8 Oct 2011
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
'The Circle Game' is a good matured and very ear friendly folk-pop album full of charm and emotional resonance. Its charm lies in its simplicity and emotional honesty. There's room here for the ups as well as the downs of love - from jaunty country flavoured tracks to the most haunting and spare of musical landscapes. Songs like the self- penned 'No Regrets' and the haunting 'Urge For Going' have a power and profundity that extends way after the last note has fallen away.

Tom Rush has the sort of baritone non-voice may take a little getting used to , but once you enter his world you appreciate his generosity of spirit and ability to feel deeply. Some of the arrangements are a little hokey and maybe tracks like 'Something in the Way She Moves' are perhaps ill advised, but such shortcomings simply add to the fun of it all. Its a great album, maybe even a bit of a forgotten classic. Great songs and it should be noted a very winsome instrumental by Rush called 'Rockport Sunday', one of the many highlights of this very entertaining album. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tom rush, 7 Sep 2010
This review is from: the circle game LP (Vinyl)
A classic album in every sense of the word, The Circle Game was Tom Rush's fith album recorded in 1968. A themed album portraying the promise of a relationship by way of some brilliant songs by fledgling songwriters Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Add a further couple of titles by Jackson Brown and Charlie Rich, and two originals from Tom. Rockport Sunday a wonderful sentimental guitar instrumental, and the often recorded No Regrets, but none come close to this brilliance.

I have No Regrets, because I own a copy.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic singer songwriters get their break through RUSH, 17 Sep 2007
By 
Miss S. K. Fox "Faerie" (Lichfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
Not the 3 piece prog rock outfit but Boston based folk bluesman TOM RUSH.His classic album from 1967 has been given a welcome re-release.Rush made his name playing just about every coffee house,folk club and blues venues ,mainly on the East coast.The Circle Game was Tom's third album for Elektra,which had a more laid back approach ,for the first time Tom was backed by a string section,but his fine guitar playing still shone through.This album showcased some of the singer-song writers who would eventually go on and become legends most notably James Taylor,Joni Mitchell,Jackson Browne whose material Rush would cover on other recordings.Standout tracks,the circle game ,an early Joni classic,Brownes obscure Shadow dream song and Rush's own No regrets,later to become chart hits for The Walker Bros.and MidgeUre!
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The Circle Game [Expanded & Remastered]
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