The Circle

Released on November 10, 2009

Sanctuary Sound II, New Jersey, USA

Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA



01. We Weren't Born To Follow - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 4:03

02. When We Were Beautiful - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Billy Falcon - 5:18

03. Work For The Working Man - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Darrell Brown - 4:04

04. Superman Tonight - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Billy Falcon - 5:12

05. Bullet - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 3:50

06. Thorn In My Side - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 4:05

07. Live Before You Die - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 4:17

08. Brokenpromiseland - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, John Shanks, Desmond Child - 4:57

09. Love's The Only Rule - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Billy Falcon - 4:38

10. Fast Cars - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 3:16

11. Happy Now - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 4:21

12. Learn To Love - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 4:39



Jon Bon Jovi - lead vocals, guitar

Richie Sambora - lead guitar, backing vocals

Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals

Tico Torres - drums, percussion

David Bryan - keyboards, backing vocals


Additional personnel

Charlie Judge - additional keyboards and strings



Jeff Rothschild

Mike Rew

Obie O'Brien

Alex Gibson


John Shanks

Jon Bon Jovi

Richie Sambora




 Chartname                                                       Peak position                                    Weeks in chart

US Billboard 200

German Top 100

U.K Top 100









We Weren't Born To Follow

released on August 31, 2009


US Adult Top 40

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100


Superman Tonight

released onJanuary 25, 2010


US Adult Top 40

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100


When We Were Beautiful

released on May 20, 2010


US Adult Top 40

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100










































The Videos




  • After the band's trip to country music with Lost Highway, with The Circle they returned to their usual pop-rock sound.


  • About the album title, Jon stated that it represents the fact that a circle is never ending and that it also refers to Bon Jovi's inner circle because "in this organization, the circle is very difficult to get into, and even more difficult to get out of."


  • Richie described the album as a return to rock and roll: "There’s going to be some big choruses on there. It sounds like Bon Jovi, but it sounds fresh. We experimented with a lot of new sounds [...] John Shanks and I did a lot of weaseling with the guitar sounds. There are a lot of really good guitar sounds and new kind atmospheres on the new Bon Jovi record, that I think makes it really modern. I think people are going to dig it, man. And it rocks hard."


  • It's the first album since New Jersey in 1988 without any bonus tracks. Jon later stated that he had kept some tracks for the Greatest Hits album which got released the following year.


  • The album debuted at No. 1 in the Billboards 200 but dropped to No. 19 already in its second week


  • We Weren't Born To Follow was the last song to be written for the album. It became the lead single but failed to make a bigger impact in the charts. The song is about the 2008/2009 economic crisis and the rough times people are experiencing. The version that got first released misses a guitar solo. After the fans started a little rebellion Richie had to come back to the studio to record a solo for that song.


  • Superman Tonight was originally labeled by Jon as "the only boy-girl song on the album". By the time the band released it as a single though, he changed the narrative to a "more socially conscious background" in order to promote the tune in a different light. This was accompanied by the video having different people appearing in the end (like fireworkers) and holding up boards with their "good work" written on it. When the single got released, Bon Jovi cooperated with an American TV network, so Superman Tonight was featured in shows such as In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, Psych, White Collar, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.


  • Work For The Working Man was released as a promo single. It was Jon's attempt to talk to the blue collar workers the way Bruce does it all the time. But the Bon Jovi audience didn't believe in Jon's words so that the song tanked in fan circles. Jon wrote that song about the DHL plant that got closed in Wilmington, Ohio.


  • When We Were Beautiful was the first song to be written for the album. An early version can be heard at the end of the documentary of the same name about the band's Lost Highway tour.


  • Happy Now is about the election of President Obama and the hope that America will revive under his presidency.


  • Bullet treats the shooting of Jennifer Hudson's family one Sunday morning.


  • For the rest of the songs no further information are known.


  • A song called This Ain't Love was written for The Circle as well. It later became This Is Love This Is Life and was released on the Greatest Hits. According to Richie they changed the title so that it sounded "less harsh"





  • Live Before You Die, Fast Cars and Learn To Love never were played live.


  • Even during the 2010/2011 run, We Weren't Born To Follow was the album's only real setlist staple and remains as that until now.


  • When We Were Beautiful and Work For The Working Man were played at 83% and 85% of the shows during 2010/2011. While When We Were beautiful got played quite regularly the following tours as well, Work For The Working only appeared regularly at the beginning of the Because We Can tour before it got the status of a rarity.


  • Although Superman Tonight being a single, it only got played about every second show in 2010/2011. Afterwards it appeared as kind of a regular rarity during the Because We Can tour and was played once again on their 2015 tour through Asia before it was laid to rest.


  • Love's The Only Rule got played at every second show during 2010/2011. It returned for 8 shows in 2013 before it disappeared for good. It is pretty much on of the only (live) fan favourites from The Circle.


  • Thorn In My Side was played with a nice guitar jam by both Jon and Richie at the end. In 2010 for a string of dates it used to be the first encore but didn't make it as a setlist staple. In 2011 they only played it 5 times and it didn't return afterwards again.


  • Brokenpromiseland only got played once in Show #2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was obvious that the band didn't rehearse it very well and thus the performance was a bit low. It's a shame that the band never gave it another chance.


  • Happy Now was played at about 20% of the concerts in 2010/2011 and even opened some of the shows. It returned for 3 shows in 2013 but never got played afterwards again.


  • Bullet was played 3 times in 2010 and afterwards disappeared forever. This is also one of those songs that could have made a bigger impact in the set if the band gave it a chance to develop and work it out more often.