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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1014 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars It seems appropriate that the my first review on PA should be the first album that I ever purchased back in 1976 at the ripe age of twelve years old. It took me a month to earn enough money to buy it and I didn't know the name of the album or the band and with my cheap radio, I couldn't even understand the lyrics. But after humming the melody to Carry On Wayward Son, I was impressed when the gentleman at the record store reached into the bin and pulled out Leftoverture by Kansas. I quickly gave up my hard-earned $5.99 and rushed home, eager to listen to this song which had mesmerized me.

Now the story goes that Steve Walsh the keyboard player/vocalist with one of the finest voices in Rock was having some creative difficulty writing new material for this album. Therefore, it fell upon guitarist Kerry Livgren to take over as chief songwriter. Livgren later remarked that it is was as if God himself directed his pen and the lyrics and music flowed naturally like a fountain. In short time the album was completed and ready for submission when Livgren informed the band that he had one more song that they should hear. After he played Carry On Wayward Son, they wisely agreed that it should be included on Leftoverture and the rest is history.

Back to me riding my bicycle home from the record store. I enthusiastically and repeatedly queued up my favorite song and settled into a state of bliss, but what's this! There are seven more tunes here and much to my surprise, several were better than my beloved Wayward Son! I remember playing the song Miracles out of Nowhere for my friend who did not like Rock music and watching his jaw hit the floor as he listened in amazement at the opening organ followed up by the violin, rich acoustic guitar and finally, the perfect vocal exchange between Robby Steinhardt and Steve Walsh. Although Walsh is credited with much of the bands vocal prowess, Steinhardt also has a remarkable voice. To this day, my friend credits that moment for his musical awakening.

Even after many years, this album has aged well and it is still in my Top 10. Every song is good and many of them are great with some of the most memorable melodies. There is some resemblance to Premiata Forneria Marconi in this respect. In addition, the sound quality and particularly the stereo separation on side two of the original album is fantastic. This is one of those recordings that makes a good set of headphones a worthwhile purchase. I read that many European reviewers have some issue with the big American sound but I would have it no other way. My favorite song here is Cheyenne Anthem and the clarity and purity of each instrument can be heard, each precisely located on a virtual stage, just beautiful in my opinion. Some people ask me what is so special about this album, is it the lyrics or the quality playing? Truthfully, I believe that it is the instrumentation. With six band members it is easy to be selfish and overplay but there is none of that here. As Mozart once said, the number of notes is exactly correct.

My highest recommendation and I am happy to discover and contribute to this great online resource!

PTFKC | 5/5 |


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