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Bobby Mcferrin Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $8.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 1997 $6.99  
Audio CD, 1997 $8.20  
Audio Cassette, 1997 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Circlesong 1 (Voice) 6:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Circlesong 2 (Voice) 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Circlesong 3 (Voice) 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Circlesong 4 (Voice) 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Circlesong 5 (Voice) 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Circlesong 6 (Voice) 7:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Circlesong 7 (Voice) 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Circlesong 8 (Voice) 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

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To some people, Bobby McFerrin will always be the guy who sang Don’t Worry Be Happy. And he is that guy; he wrote and sang that global number one hit more than twenty years ago. But if that song is all you know about Bobby McFerrin, we suggest the following: Go to YouTube, type in Bobby’s name, sit back and prepare for a serious boggling of the mind.

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Frequently Bought Together

Circlesongs + Medicine Music + VOCAbuLarieS
Price for all three: $28.71

Buy the selected items together
  • Medicine Music $8.56
  • VOCAbuLarieS $11.95

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029U2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,426 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

We can always expect something new from Mr. McFerrin. Circlesongs is a recording of eight spontaneous vocal improvisations sung by twelve singers and Bobby. Three basses, three tenors, three altos and three sopranos create the vocal textures around which Bobby weaves his lilting solos. The songs are very like chant because of the repeating and rhythmic sounds which truly have a circular sound. Words are eschewed in favor of syllables of sound, a style McFerrin explains, "I've always felt that singing a song without words makes one song a thousand songs because the people who hear it can bring their own stories to it."

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Layers April 6, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The last album I purchased by Bobby McFerrin was "Medicine Music", in which he explored everything from Latin grooves, to old time Spirituals, to celestial choral chamber music.
Since the release of that album--which I adored--I've not listened to any of McFerrin's subsequent albums. "Circlesongs" jumped out at me because of its freestyle nature, and I wasn't disappointed. Some of the other reviewers have rated it fairly low because of its repetitive nature; it's the chant-like feel of each of the song cycles that gives the album its depth. Listening to how each piece is built and morphs into something different brings "Circlesongs" its charm. The African influences are there, but the feel is less constrictive, more New Age (though I hate the term, it makes sense here!).
Circlesong One introduces the listener to how an improvised riff can build on itself to become a fully realized piece of music; the chant is deceptively complicated with its 7/4 rhythm, and McFerrin's voice weaves through subtle chord changes and layers. Circlesong Six is the real masterpiece of the album, with its heavy beat and rumbling bass--think "hip-hop meets Gregorian chant". It's with this song that Voicestra becomes one lovely, strong entity--I think it's here that the African influence is heaviest, with that good old call and response.
The album as a whole is a seamless tapestry, with each voice a gorgeous thread. Anyone who thinks of Bobby McFerrin as the "Don't Worry" man needs to listen to this.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing August 13, 2000
Format:Audio CD one of the best words to describe the contents of this recording. The performers are Bobby (sometimes multi-tracked) and 12 singers. The music is basically spontaneous, although there is a consistency to each Circlesong. This consistency is a germ of a musical idea, which Bobby apparently taught to the singers by rote -- one of the main tenets of the music herein is reliance on "oral tradition" as the means of communicating the music from one performer to another.
Speaking in terms of "Western" music (as contrasted with the African background that is obviously an influence), each Circlesong is based on some repeated idea, what could be called a round, or usually more accurately, a "ground bass". The 12 singers (it would be improper to call them either a choir or backup singers here) take the idea and build a structure of sound. Bobby then uses this structure as his jumping-off point, weaving in, out, and around. For American ears, the songs are essentially wordless, so words neither help nor hinder the musical experience.
In all, it is a tour de force of ensemble singing, and highly entertaining
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An African Masterpiece July 13, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Although I had no intentions of ever purchasing a Bobby McFerrin album, I am glad that I did. I've never heard anything quite like "Circlesongs." Bobby McFerrin and crew do a remarkable job of magically transporting the listener to a realm of African chants and verse. It helps for the listener to know that the "Circlesongs" were formed without any rehearsing, making the CD a delectible treat for your ears. In my eyes, this is the most pleasantly charming CD I have purchased to date. If traditional African beats and chants is what you're after, make this CD yours. Outstanding!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harmoniously Catchy September 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent CD. The parts are each sung very well, and the harmony is strangely pleasing. It's a tad too weird for me in a few places, but generally each track is very interesting, unique, and catchy. Speaking as a 2nd bass, if you love to sing I'm sure you'll find this CD worth your time and money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's just great! September 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A friend put this CD in my car at the start of a long, long trip, and I don't remember anything else from that drive except the music! It's a very powerful, beautiful album. You kinda start singing along even though you're not sure of the words. :)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars peaceful, trancey July 30, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This one is GREAT for doing yoga or if you need a little music to help you clear your mind and be quiet. I put it on "repeat" and practice an hour or more of yoga, it's just so envigorating and uplifting, without being distracting. Wonderfully circular.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great voices! October 1, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Im listening the record rigth now.Its an excelent and soft music.Its the modern barroque!the best voices actually.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant artist. January 29, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Due to the nature of circle songs, some may think this is a bit repetitive. What do you expect from rounds and circle songs?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A huge musical achievement
Like many people, I mostly knew McFerrin as the guy who wrote and sang "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Based just on that, I had no clue what an amazing musician and vocalist the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Novamike
5.0 out of 5 stars What a talent!
While I don't care for a majority of his music, there is undeniable raw talent in this man. This is a pure demonstration of his originality and vocal it! Read more
Published 14 months ago by V. Starr
4.0 out of 5 stars circlesongs
This is a unique expression of Bobby MeFerrin and provides an interesting and unique listening experience. Read more
Published on September 3, 2011 by M. Houden
3.0 out of 5 stars Bobby McFerrin
This CD has some excellent songs and some that I don't enjoy as much, but anything McFerrin is a joy.
Published on March 26, 2011 by Jan Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!
I heard this CD 10 years ago and put it on my list of CDs to buy and finally got around to buying it. My only regret is that I waited so long! Love it :)
Published on June 9, 2008 by flute2tbone
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listen... breaks down walls...
There are many great things about this album. First, the entire album is vocals, no instruments, just the human voice. Read more
Published on April 10, 2008 by L.A. SaxMan
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to write your dissertation too
Thats right, if your working on your dissertation (or any long paper) and can't quite figure out what to listen to, so you don't have to hear the buzz of the furnace and the whirr... Read more
Published on February 8, 2008 by C. Roenicke
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