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Kansas - Original Album Classics CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars For a library user these multi-album sets are very handy! This contains the first five albums of the American Symphonic / Hard Prog legend Kansas, covering their best era. As usual, the original vinyl covers are duplicated as they are, which causes some uncomfort if one wishes to read the texts. The printing is really tiny and there are no details such as tracks' running times, or band members listed. Also information concerning bonus live tracks are missing (they seem to be the same bonuses as the CD editions of the individual albums have had). Therefor it would be very friendly from Sony to accompany these minimalistic sets with an additional sheet of paper giving at least some information, if not the original liner notes having appeared elsewhere than outer cover.

Pardon me for concentrating on the physical aspects. Just a few words on the music. Even though I have probably heard three or four of these albums some long time ago, it was - at this point of my prog journey - very useful to listen to them all at once. I found many good proggy tracks (more or less new to me), such as 'Apercu' from the debut, and 'Lamplight Symphony' and 'Incomudro - Hymn To The Atman' from the second album.

While I agree with the common idea that Leftoverture and its follower Point Of Know Return were Kansas' highest achievements both artistically and commercially, the three earlier albums have some great stuff that have unjustly remained less well-known. The two albums of classic status may be better executed on the whole, as the band's weakest - the least interesting ones for a prog listener, that is - straight rock songs are to be found on their earlier albums. So, especially with a band like this, whose style operates between Brit-influenced Symphonic Prog and American Hard Rock with a certain 'big country' feel to it, this is really the best way to get a fresh close look at their halcyon days.

Matti | 4/5 |


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