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Kansas - The Best of Kansas CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.55 | 82 ratings

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2 stars This compilation is very often the first Kansas album a person owns. It was certainly the first purchase I made, and in retrospect I can avow that it did a decent job of distilling some of the group's strengths. It let me know that beyond the brilliance of Kansas two momumental singles Carry On Wayward Son and Dust In The Wind lay some great tunes like Song For America. In fact, I often insist that people listen to Song For America (which I still think is Kansas' finest prog acheivement) before talking about Kansas.

However, what this Best Of also shows is Kansas' sad decline through the late 70s. Songs like Hold On and No One Together are from the tail-end of the classic line-up's tenure and don't hold a candle to true Kansas prog gems like Journey From Mariabronn, Death Of Mother Nature Suite, Icarus (Borne On Wings Of Steel) and Mircales Out Of Nowhere. And don't get me started on just how awful the John Elefante songs are. Perfect Lover and Fight Fire With Fire sound woefully out of place here.

I must hasten to add that the version I own is the older (1984) shorter one with 10 tracks, In 1999 the collection was remastered and issued with three additional tracks The Pinnacle, Devil Game and Closet Chronicles (you won't miss Perfect Lover which was dropped), making it more relevant as an introduction to Kansas. I'd actually give that new version an extra star. This may well be all the Kansas most people need, although it's worth pointing out that I now value each of the first 5 albums more than I value this collection. ... 44% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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