Circus is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Britney Spears. The album was first released on November 28, 2008 by Jive Records. Spears started work on the album in early 2008 with a range of producers including long-time producers Bloodshy & Avant and Danja. The album consists of electropop and dance-pop.
The album received positive reviews from critics and drew heavy comparisons to her previous studio album Blackout. Commercially the album also performed very well. In the United States the album debuted atop the Billboard 200 selling over half a million copies and 814,000 copies worldwide in first week. The feat also earned Spears a place on the Guinness Book of World Records due to Spears becoming the youngest female artist in history to have five number one albums. Elsewhere the album had a good commercial response topping charts in Canada and the European charts.
Circus is Spears' second album since ...Baby One More Time to have two top-ten hits and three top-twenty hits. The album gained a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording for "Womanizer," but lost to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." The album has become her biggest-selling album since In the Zone selling over eight million combined sales of digital tracks and over four million copies worldwide.
Spears embarked on her fifth concert tour to support the album named The Circus Starring Britney Spears. The tour kicked off on March 3, 2009 in New Orleans' New Orleans Arena and finished in Adelaide's Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Spears embarked on four legs of the tour visiting North America twice performing elsewhere in Europe and Australia. The tour gained controversy in Australia due to accusations of lip-synching. Elsewhere Spears promoted the album, performing on several television shows and releasing a promotional music video for the track "Kill The Lights".
During the summer of 2008, it was confirmed that Spears was in the process of recording her sixth studio album. With the album's announcement came the additional confirmation of the involvement of producers Sean Garrett, Guy Sigsworth, Danja and Bloodshy & Avant. During its development, Garrett and vocal producer Jim Beanz complimented Spears' work ethic after her much-publicized personal struggles the previous year.Spears chose to write much of the material for the album and worked to develop a more pop-influenced record with collaborators she had worked with earlier in her career. She stated that Circus marked the longest time she had spent recording an album, adding, "I think it is more urban [...] I'm writing every day, right here at the piano in this living room" and also described the album as her best work to date.
Spears commented of the album's title, "I like the fact that you're always on the edge of your seat when you're at a circus. You're never bored [...] You're just really engulfed in what's going on around you. And you want to know what's going to happen next." Circus was initially scheduled to be released worldwide on December 2, 2008, on Spears' 27th birthday. However, after unauthorized online leaks, imeem began streaming the album from their website on November 25. The album was released three days later.
U.S. Standard CD :
|1.||"Womanizer"||Nikesha Briscoe, Rafael Akinyemi||The Outsyders||3:43|
|2.||"Circus"||Lukasz Gottwald, Claude Kelly, Benjamin Levin||Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco||3:12|
|3.||"Out From Under"||Shelly Peiken, Arnthor Birgisson, Wayne Hector||Guy Sigsworth||3:54|
|4.||"Kill The Lights"||Nathaniel Hills, James Washington, Luke Boyd, Maracia Aracia||Danja, Jim Beanz||3:59|
|5.||"Shattered Glass"||Gottwald, Kelly, Levin||Dr. Luke, Blanco, Kelly||2:53|
|6.||"If U Seek Amy"||Max Martin, Shellback, Savan Kotecha, Alexander Kronlund||Martin||3:37|
|7.||"Unusual You"||Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg, Henrik Jonback, Kasia Livington||Bloodshy & Avant||4:23|
|8.||"Blur"||Hills, Stacy Barthe, Aracia||Danja||3:09|
|9.||"Mmm Papi"||Britney Spears, Henry Walter, Adrien Gough, Peter-John Kerr, Nicole Morier||Let's Go To War, Morier||3:22|
|10.||"Mannequin"||Spears, Harvey Mason Jr., Rob Knox, James Fauntleroy II||Mason Jr., Knox||4:06|
|11.||"Lace And Leather"||Gottwald, Levin, Frankie Storm, Ronnie Jackson||Dr. Luke, Blanco||2:48|
|12.||"My Baby"||Spears, Sigsworth||Sigsworth||3:20|
|13.||"Radar"||Karlsson, Winnberg, Jonback, Balewa Muhammad, Candice Nelson, Ezekiel Lewis, Patrick "J. Que" Smith||Bloodshy & Avant, The Clutch||3:49|
British and Japanese Standard CD bonus tracks:
|14.||"Amnesia"||Fernando Garibay, Livingston||Garibay||3:57|
Mexican Digital Edition bonus track:
|14.||"Rock Boy"||Hills, Aracia, Michael Shimshack||Danja||3:21|
U.S. deluxe version CD:
|14.||"Rock Me In"||Spears, Greg Kurstin, Morier||Kurstin, Morier||3:17|
|15.||"Phonography"||Karlsson, Winnberg, Jonback, Muhammad, Nelson, Lewis, Smith||Bloodshy & Avant, The Clutch||3:35|
European iTunes Store deluxe edition (bonus track):
|16.||"Quicksand"||Lady Gaga, Garibay||Garibay||4:05|
Amazon MP3 France deluxe edition (bonus track):
|16.||"Trouble"||Karlsson, Winnberg, Jonback, Muhammad, Nelson, Lewis, Smith||Bloodshy & Avant, The Clutch||3:34|
"Womanizer", the album's lead single, became a worldwide hit and broke records for registering the largest jump to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 after debuting at number ninety-six on the chart. The song became her best-selling single in the US since her debut single "...Baby One More Time".
"Circus", the album's second single, debuted and peaked at number 3 in the US, becoming Spears' second top ten hit from the album. The song's music video received positive reviews from critics, but was criticized by PETA for featuring "cruelly trained animals". However, the exhibitors denied these claims.
"If U Seek Amy", the album's third single, peaked at number 19 in the U.S. It caused controversy for its double entendre that is interpreted as "F-U-C-K Me"."Radar", the album's fourth and final single, was originally included on Blackout, and was intended to be released as the album's third single, but "Break the Ice" was chosen instead. The song was then supposed to be released as the album's fourth single, but was scrapped after Spears announced work on the album (Circus). The song was featured as a bonus track on the album and was released as its fourth and final single.
Fun facts Edit
- Circus was originally intended to be a re-release of Blackout, with 4 bonus tracks, remixes and a DVD on the production of the album, but was later changed to a full length album.
- "Mannequin" was supposed to be the fifth an final single off Circus, but was scrapped because Spears wanted to release The Singles Collection instead.
- Some songs were written by Spears, on piano ("My Baby").
- "Out From Under" was supposed to be released as the third single, but "If U Seek Amy" was chosen instead.
- The album was named Circus before the tracklist was even finished.
- Spears stated that the album title comes from the metaphor "for her life being a circus".
- Danja's intro on "Kill The Lights" was taken from an actual news report from 1938.
- "Unusual You" had a limited release in Australia and New Zealand, but was never actually released as a single.
- The album was supposed to be released in early/mid-2009 but Jive rush released it in late 2008 instead; this is most likely because they wanted to quickly do some damage control on Spears's image after the disaster of the Blackout era.