- Album name: The Circle Game
- Artist name: Tom Rush
- Year: 1968
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Elektra Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Who owned it: I think this could have belonged to either of my parents.
- Buy it on Amazon: $11.75
Level of familiarity before listening
I’m vaguely familiar with Tom Rush as a folk musician, and he made an appearance on The Bitter End Years (1974), but I don’t know much about him, and also might have mentally conflated him with Mark Rudd. Oops!
What I expected
Folk, maybe folk rock.
Also, the credits indicate that The Circle Game is the Joni Mitchell song from Ladies of the Canyon (1970) and Miles of Aisles (1974), and Something in the Way She Moves is the James Taylor song from James Taylor (1968).
What it was actually like
This was not really a folk record, and was mostly a collection of cover songs (with a bunch of originals, too) done in a country-influenced folk rock style.
The opening notes of Something in the Way She Moves sounded like a tribute to Bob Dylan, but it quickly turned into a fast, fun blues rock song with a great rhythm that was vastly better than James Taylor’s version, though still nothing at all like George Harrison’s song.
This version of Sunshine, Sunshine, another James Taylor song, was easy listening and totally forgettable.
I strongly disliked Rush’s version of the title track The Circle Game, which not only did not sound like the original (no great sin), but kind of reminded me of William Shatner’s version of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Rush’s version of Urge for Going, another Joni Mitchell song, sounded like a Gordon Lightfoot song because he used Lightfoot’s annoying vocal style.
The weirdest song on the record was probably The Glory of Love. It really was not bad, but was just a rather poor version of a Benny Goodman classic (here’s Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman & Ella Fitzgerald doing it, and here’s The Five Keys).
I did like his upbeat version of the Charlie Rich song So Long, however, especially its country rhythm guitar (here’s the original).
Rockport Sunday was a guitar instrumental that sounded like Neil Young a bit, or at least reminded me of him, and No Regrets also reminded me slightly of Neil Young – but from the era when he was not making good music, probably the late 1970s or 1980s.
3/5: interesting, but not for me