- Released: October 25, 1990
- Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
Q - 7/95, p.1414 Stars
- Excellent - "...a bursting to the seams treasure chest of high energy, high octane and high quality electronic pop with a dash of sequinned soul to keep it swinging....A notable collision between chart and dancefloor."
- 1.It Doesn't Have to Be
- 3.Don't Dance
- 4.If I Could
- 6.Victim of Love
- 7.Leave Me to Bleed
- 9.The Circus
- 11.In the Hall of the Mountain King
- 12.Sometimes - (extended mix)
- 13.It Doesn't Have to Be - (the boop oopa doo mix)
Erasure's second album, 1987's THE CIRCUS, is one of their most uncompromising in several ways. The duo's most unfailingly dancefloor-oriented release, much of THE CIRCUS consists of in-your-face Hi-NRG disco beats largely unvarnished by the pop savvy of later singles like "Stop!" or "Chains of Love." Similarly, THE CIRCUS finds singer Andy Bell in complete control of Erasure's lyrics--much of 1986's WONDERLAND had been written solely by partner Vince Clarke--and the emphatically gay singer bluntly tackles major themes on songs like "It Doesn't Have To Be" and "Hideaway." A powerful, sometimes unsettling album.
An important note: Later in 1987, THE CIRCUS was radically reworked into the remixed/re-recorded THE TWO RING CIRCUS. The two albums fundamentally differ enough that Erasure fans will want both. THE CIRCUS's bitterly sarcastic "Sexuality" and a reworking of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Edvard Grieg's PEER GYNT are not included on THE TWO RING CIRCUS.