Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Soul SirkUS started originally as a project called PlanetUS which had Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. They demoed a couple songs, but it ended abruptly when Sammy and Michael returned to their small side gig called Van Halen. Neal and Deen wanted to continue so they needed a singer. Then in January 2004 at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, California. Neal had heard of Jeff Scott Soto thanks to Andrew McNiece at Melodicrock.com who was good friends with Jeff and mentioned it to Neal. At the NAMM Convention, Neal and Jeff met and jammed and the relationship between the two was born.

They pulled in the great bass player Marco Mendoza and now the band was complete. They recorded 11 songs and changed the name from PlanetUS to Soul SirkUS. The name had to have the US in the name as Neal wanted to show this as a continuation of what he started with PlanetUS. The Soul Sirkus parts each start with an S to represent Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. They spent time writing together, Neal on music and Soto on lyrics, but from what I gather, it was recorded in two days!! That is impressive. The album was complete and released on December 7, 2004. The cover was black which is different than the copy I have and I still need to get that copy.

While rehearsing for a tour, Deen Castronovo was exhausted and his health was not great after the long Journey tour that he and Neal just recently finished. Deen stepped away. But no one wanted the project to end so they recruited drummer Virgil Donati most notably from the band Planet X. The band didn’t want to go on the road as a band and support an album that not every member played on so they went back in the studio and had Virgil re-do all the drum parts. This gave them time to do a couple new songs as well. They re-released the album in March 2005 and this time the cover was a bright yellow and there were now 16 songs and not just the original 11 tracks.

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My Sunday Song – “New Position” by Soul Sirkus

For My Sunday Song #283, we are going to dissect the song “New Position” by Soul Sirkus which was a Jeff Scott Soto side project with Neal Schon (Journey), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Virgil Donati on drums. They had only one album called ‘World Play’ back in 2005. If you get the European edition of the release, there is a DVD with the video for the song as well. The song was technically a single, but I don’t know if it charting.

The song was written by Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto. It is seems to be about a woman and is full of sexual innuendos with the title alone. The singer has aching for this woman and so wants her and believes he can show her things that she may have forgotten about…hmmm…I wonder what that could be!! This isn’t rocket science lyrics, no sir. It is rock & roll baby!! Keep it simple, sexual and jamming…and they do just that.

Musically, the song opens with a machine gun barrage drum fills from Virgil showing he means business. Marco’s bass is slamming helping give us a fiery, groovetastic, good time song that will rock your ass off. Neal Schon’s guitar mastery is on full display as he lays down some killer riffs and don’t get me started on the solo. Man, he is killing it. Jeff Scott Soto is full of swagger and confidence as he delivers a stellar vocal full of harmonies and so much power. This album is a showcase of his talents and why Neal tapped him to lead Journey on tour, sadly, no album was ever done before Jeff was dismissed.

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COMING TO 2 LOUD 2 OLD MUSIC IN 2022 – THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES!!!

Let the Countdown begin!!!

Starting January 3rd, 2022, we will kick off the EPIC series covering one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto!! We will go through his entire career from where it all began in 1984 with Panther all the way to his latest solo album that came out this past October called ‘Duets’. Wait, I know it started with a band called Threshold in 1983 (not to be confused with the prog metal band years later), but I can’t find anything on that band or album so it is starting with Panther for this series as I have that album.

No stone will be left unturned! Okay, that isn’t true as we are not going in to any compilations or tribute albums where he wasn’t the featured singer as this will only be albums that Jeff is the Lead Singer and not just appearing on one song as we would be here forever if that was the case. We will also have some great little bonus pieces with Singles and E.P.’s I happen to have in my collection and interesting one-off projects he has done. Heck, I even have a digital bootleg of when Jeff Scott Soto toured as the lead singer with Journey. And as you can see below, it is quite a collection…if I do say so myself…

There will be over 65 Posts in the Series, you read that right, 65!! And that is at least 65 because I am sure he will release 1 to 2 to maybe even 4 albums by the time I’m done. I expect this to take over a year to complete because this isn’t all I’m going to do. No, not at all. We will still finish up the series of Cheap Trick and Aerosmith that we are currently doing in 2022 and when those end I am sure new series will be added in as well. Quite possibly Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Van Halen, Ace Frehley, Poison or even Def Leppard. It won’t be all, just a couple of them, but I can’t decide which ones yet. But heck, I do already have an idea of which epic artist I want to tackle after Jeff, but that will be 2023 and it could be huge. We will announce it next year.

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July 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CD

Another month gone by and a lot more purchases.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my CD purchases have skyrocketed over the last few months.  I have been to a bunch of shops that have CDs and have them cheap so I can’t help myself.  However, this first batch of CDs is not from a shop. They are mostly from Amazon as my kids gave me an Amazon gift card for Father’s Day as they weren’t sure what I didn’t have (which is a valid point).  So with these cards I continued my Jeff Scott Soto Collection and picked up 6 more discs (okay, one was from ebay).

I picked up Jeff Scott Soto – “Essential Ballads”; Soul Sirkus – “World Play”, W.E.T. – “W.E.T.” and “Earthrage”, SOTO – “Orgami” which is the last of the SOTO collection, and Talisman – “Talisman”.  This brings me up to over 20+ now in the JSS collection and still about 20+ more to go.

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Next up, my wife wanted to run back to 2nd & Charles as she needed  some books and I of course wanted to tag along as they have a great used CD collection and I always find something interesting and this time was no different.  I picked up a Bootleg Robbie Williams 2 CD compilation from Japan.  It is called Sexed Up and it has been outlawed for sale by Discogs, but I saw one an eBay for about $30+.  I payed about $3.  It is an HDCD, whatever that means.

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But that wasn’t the only thing I bought from there as they had a sale where you buy 2, get one free.  I picked up 8 more discs including 2 more Robbie Williams CDs, 3 Oasis CDs, Ozzy’s Just Say Ozzy E.P., Candlebox’s “Lucy” and Jude Cole’s “I Don’t Know Why I Act This Way”.  Not a bad haul.

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And on the way home, my wife saw Noble Records and asked if I wanted to stop in, and of course I said yes.  She is so awesome!!  I did a little damage there as well. I picked up 2 more CDs – Cheap Trick’s “At Budokon: The Complete Concert” CD set and Thriving Ivory’s “Through Yourself & Back Again”.

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I did get vinyl while I was there as well. I picked up Deep Purple’s ‘Machine Head’ and ZZ Top’s “La Futura” because I saw the documentary on Netflix and needed this album as I didn’t have it as I’m now on a ZZ Top kick.

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The next thing that was purchased was neither vinyl nor CD.  I have started my new obsession, Kiss Tour Books and first up is this one…not going to talk about it as I already have a post coming in August going in full detail…

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And that is it…until next month