” Oh What A Circus ” is by David Essex ( David Albert Cook ), the British musician, singer-songwriter and actor. The song was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The song was produced by Mike Batt, who is better known for writing the Number One single ” Bright Eyes ” from the film Watership Down and creating the Wombles novelty pop group, which were based on the books by Elisabeth Beresford.
Released as a single by Mercury Records in 1978, ” Oh What A Circus ” is from the hit 1976 musical Evita which was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
David played Che, better known as Che Guevara the Marxist revolutionary from Argentina who went to Cuba to help with the revolution and the overthrow of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
” Oh What A Circus ” is sung from his point of view and how he cynically looks at the emotional grief that swept Argentina when Evita ( Eva Perón ) died, hence the title of the song.
The song sounds the same as another song from the musical, the lyrics were changed from ” Don’t Cry For Me Argentina “, but the composition stayed the same, known in the industry as a contrafactum.
A contrafactum merely is where the lyrics are changed from another song, but the composition is kept as the original song intended.
” Oh What A Circus ” was a successful single for David, the song entered the UK Singles Chart and reached a peak of number three in 1978. It stayed in the Top Ten for five weeks and spent a total of eleven weeks on the UK chart.
Many artists have performed ” Oh What A Circus ” for a more recent version of the musical, Scottish musician Marti Pellow, Mandy Patinkin and Ricky Martin have all sung versions.
In 1996 a film adaptation was made with Antonio Banderas singing the song along with American singer Madonna.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 3
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 72, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 26, Ireland (IRMA) 8, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 18, Netherlands (Single Top 100) 20
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