The songs on The Circle were inspired by the events in the second half of 2008, when the banking crisis threatened a worldwide economic catastrophe and America elected a black president. Jon Bon Jovi told The Guardian November 5, 2009: "The themes were based on what was happening in the world. When you read into the lyrics of Can We Be Happy Now, that's our president getting elected."
Jon Bon Jovi told Q magazine December 2009 that he wrote this confessional rocker for Barack Obama. He added: "we wrote it the day after he got elected. I want to take it in and play it to him."
The Naughty by Nature hit "O.P.P." doesn't have any curse words, but many oversensitive radio stations played a "clean" version with the word "kitten" edited out, surely the first time that word was censured.
Phil Oakey recorded his vocals for "Don't You Want Me" in the studio bathroom. The recording was disrupted by guitarist Jo Callis reaching through an open window from outside to repeatedly flush one of the toilets.