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Kansas - Two for the Show CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 230 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After a very prolific period (five albums in three years), Kansas only produced one live album in 1978. My favorite Kansas studio albums are "Kansas", their first one and "Song For America" from which very few tracks have been taken into consideration for this live set.

The opening track "Song For America is a bit emasculated but still very good. But frankly, to cut "Lamplight Symphony" by three to reach 2'39" is really a massacre. It is one of my preferred Kansas song and such a treament is really unforgivable. What a shame ! I am also missing "Incomudro", of course...

"Journey from Mariabronn" is just as beautiful as the studio version : violin and piano are great, the band at its hights : this is a fabulous rendering of this great song. A Kansas classic, with no doubt. "Lonely Wind", the ancestor of "Dust" as I mentioned in my review of their first studio album is sweet and subtle (although the instrumental intro is rather long here), but it is not the Kansas side I prefer, honestly. Too melowish for my ears.

But that's it for what I consider as their two best albums.

Two songs from "Masque" which sound better than in studio. "Icarus ..." which is played harder here, is very powerful. One of the real highlight on this album. "Mysteries and Mayhem" is a great hard-rock Kansas song. Vocals are maybe somewhat weaker maybe but guitar work is pretty nice.

Three songs from "Leftoverture" : "Carry On ..." is also shorter than the studio one (I quite not understand this habit to shorten original version. Usually, live versions are more extended (some times too much). Still, it is really a good piece of music of course. "The Wall" was probably the most emotional song of the studio album, and it sounds pretty much the same here : beautiful.

This live set ends with "Magnus Opus" : after a quite lenghty and noisy intro (2'37) the song finally starts but I really do not understand those barking vocals around 4'50" (sounds like in "Diamond Dogs" from Bowie but there, at least, they were relevant). Apart from that, it is wonderfully played and is with no doubt the vest song of this live album.

Four songs from "Point Of..." which is definitely not my fave one from the band. The title track which is very close to the original, then "Paradox" : this live version is quite superior to its studio counterpart and makes it another very good moment of this "Two For One". "Portrait" is fabulous : the most violent Kansas live track ever (on par with Purple). Probably the track that improves the most versus the studio one.

When you will have listened to this live version of "Dust In The Wind" you will be completely charmed : violin is really superb and the audience reaction shows how well this song is interpreted here. Another highlight (although this type of songs are not my fave ones).

These numbers were very well performed, the band is still in unison and at its peak in popularity. Track list is a bit too much "Point Of Know Return" oriented to my taste (but it was the supporting tour, so....). This is the best live album that Kansas will produce. Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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