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DEVICE, VOICE, DRUM

Kansas

Symphonic Prog


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Kansas Device, Voice, Drum album cover
3.97 | 54 ratings | 8 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Live, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (0:15)
2. Belexes (6:41)
3. Icarus II (7:15)
4. Icarus (6:23)
5. Song for America (9:22)
6. Howlin' at the Moon (1:59)
7. The Wall (5:36)
8. The Preacher (4:08)
9. Journey from Mariabronn (9:19)
10. Dust in the Wind (4:25)
11. Cheyenne Anthem (7:18)
12. Child of Innocence (4:59)
13. Miracles Out of Nowhere (6:31)
14. Point of Know Return (3:19)
15. Portriat/Pinnacle (7:44)
16. Fight Fire With Fire (3:24)
17. Play the Game Tonight (3:47)
18. Carry on Wayward Son (9:45)

Total Time: 102:10

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Walsh / keyboards, vocals
- Phil Ehart / drums
- Billy Greer / bass, vocals
- Robbie Steinhardt / violin, vocals
- Richard Williams / guitars

Releases information

Compendia 9380

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to clemofnazareth for the last updates
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Compendia 2002
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KANSAS Device, Voice, Drum ratings distribution


3.97
(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
21%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (28%)
28%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

KANSAS Device, Voice, Drum reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Since about 6 months ago I'm searching for this DVD because Kansas is not a popular band in Perú so nobody takes the risk, a few weeks ago a cousin came from USA but instead of the DVD he brought me the double CD, I was very disappointed. BIG MISTAKE, the album is very good. The guys are older, Walsh loses the high notes and Kerry Livegren isn't anymore with them but the band sounds great. Steve Walsh's best day as vocalist is over, he almost doesn't reach the higher notes, but with his keyboards is better than ever.Billy Greer is always accurate with the bass, maybe some times too loud, but that's a minor problem. Rich Williams is impeccable as always. Phil Ehart is simply amazing especially for a band like KANSAS that needs a drummer capable of very complex interpretations and abrupt changes. Robby Steinhardt is the highest point of the band, perfect with his violin, and excellent in vocals when leading some songs and also covers Walsh weakness when doing backing vocals.

The CD doesn't start as strong as it could be, the intro is good but nothing else, "Belexes" is an almost unknown song, not the best choice to start a concert and warm the audience. "Icarus II" is a good song but the band could help Walsh lowering the tone so he was able to reach the higher notes without almost losing his neck veins because of the effort. At this point they choose better, "Icarus" is a classic and Steinhardt's violin is perfect with Walsh keyboards, "Song for America" is a great song that always sounds well, again the duo Walsh - Steinhardt is perfect.

Howling to the moon is a good filler, nothing else, but the next song "The Wall" is outstanding even Walsh's voice is perfect for this one. "The Preacher" (which I never heard before) is surprising, they even use a Gospel Chorus that fits perfectly, then comes Journey To Mariabronn which is a classic that always sounds well, followed by a good version of "Dust in the Wind", specially because Robby's violin is enhanced by a string quartet, great version of one of their weakest songs. "Cheyenne Anthem" is mainly sung by Steinhardt, whose voice is perfect for the song, followed by "Child of Innocence", which IMO is only another filler. Then comes the best track from the concert Miracles Out of Nowhere, simply incredible, al the members are absolutely perfect, not a weak moment in the song, Rich's guitar is better than ever and Robby's vocals help a lot, this song alone could make the CD worth to be bought.

Of course no KANSAS concert is complete without "Point of Know Return", but this version is not as good as others, sounds a bit too simple. Portrait again is a high point where Greer and Walsh are perfect. The two next songs "(Fight Fire with Fire" and "Play the Game Tonight") from Vinyl Confessions never were my favorites (as everything from the Elephante lineup) but surprisingly are good enough. The concert ends with another classic, Carry on my Wayward Son where the almost the entire band except Ehart collaborate with the vocals, a great closing track.

I believe this CD is a must have for every KANSAS fan and for any person who likes good music and if you can also get the DVD, you'll have a perfect set.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#21955) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In the late Seventies this was one of the most exciting progrock revalations for me, what a killer sound: swirling violin, excellent hard-edged guitarwork, powerful floods of organ, spectacular synthesizer runs and strong vocals. The songs were alternating and the climates shifted frequently, from classical or romantic to heavy and bombastic. On this DVD you can perfectly witness the unique, often very captivating sound from Kansas. The band gives an inspired impression and plays a lot of strong compositions from the past (I'm mainly a fan from their early work, until the album "Point of know return") like "Icarus", "Journey from Mariabronn", Dust in the wind" "Point of know return" and "Carry on my wayward son". Four of the five members are from the original line-up (Walsh, Ehart, Steinhardt and Williams). The lightshow is not at the level of Pink Floyd but still a tasteful element. This DVD doesn't generate the excitement as on the extra DVD (live 1975) from the "Sail on" box set but nonetheless this reunion concert is a great performance, delivering a lot of joy for the nostalgic fans. The DVD also includes band interviews, a band discography and The making of the DVD.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#21956) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 02, 2005

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Coming off the surprise new studio album Somewhere to Elsewhere in 2000 Kansas seemed to have a bit of a resurgence in popularity, with an increased tour schedule that hasn't let up yet, and a rapid-fire series of reengineered back-catalog albums, compilations, and reissued live releases. In the summer of 2002 the band auctioned off several hundred premium tickets for this concert at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, and drummer Phil Ehart realized a long-time desire to record a full-length concert of the band in a small-venue setting. The result was the two-disc "Device - Voice - Drum", released with little fanfare by Compendium Music Group. This was an unexpected release that may have been largely old material, but offered fans a rare chance to pick up a lovingly produced representation of the band in their current form and a setting where they shine the brightest - in front of their fans. If you are a fan of the band, even just of their ten hits singles (or even just of "Dust in the Wind"), this is a show well worth having.

The opening track is a version of "Belexes" that features an extended instrumental from Rich Williams that adds to the guitar-driven flavor of the original. One thing I've always loved about this song is the long, patient sustains, which I believe were originally played by Kerry Livgren. Williams seems to rush them just ever-so-slightly, but his aggressive work during the instrumental passages mostly makes up for this tiny faux pas. Steve Walsh wisely restrains his strained vocals for the most part, and overall this is a very strong and welcome opening track.

Next up is "Icarus II" from the surprise 2000 studio album Somewhere to Elsewhere, probably the only time this one will ever appear on a live album. This tribute to World War II fighter pilots is one of Kansas' best new songs in many years, again with a heavy emphasis on Williams' guitar. Walsh actually manages to sound even better than he did on the studio version, and the band's timing is impeccable. It never ceases to amaze me how strong these guys sound live, and I'm surely not the only fan that regrets there aren't more recordings available of their heyday concerts of the late 70s and early 80s. The only follow-up that makes sense is the original "Icarus - Borne on Wings of Steel" from 1975's Masque album, titled as just "Icarus" here. The pipe organ intro is different and Walsh's voice clearly doesn't have the range it did thirty years ago, but then whose does? All in all this is actually a pretty good version of this old fan favorite. Robbie Steinhardt is strong on violin, but once again Williams really steals the limelight here.

The crowd is pumped by the time the band rolls into "Song for America", a tune the band could probably nail in their sleep. This is a near perfect note-for-note rendition of the original, proving once again the band has lost nothing in terms of their live performances. I have to wonder if the band chose instrumental-heavy tracks early in the show to preserve Walsh's voice. If so, the fans benefit since most of these aren't played much in concert anymore, and the result is a much more progressive sound than some of the band's later live collections like Live at the Whiskey and the King Biscuit concert.

Williams said in a 90s interview that the band hardly ever plays "Magnum Opus" in concert anymore because it eats up too much of the ninety minutes or so the band usually plays. Too bad, but at least we're treated to a small snippet with the "Howling at the Moon" portion, complete with Walsh's cheesy wolf yelps.

Much better is the next track "The Wall". This was one of my favorites back in the day ("the day" being the late 70s), and Walsh's keyboards and vocals are both surprisingly sharp in this rare live versions. Speaking of Walsh, he's really getting into the show by now, and trying to hit a few notes he can't quite reach, but just when it sounds like he might overdue it, Steinhardt kicks in his violin solo and all ends well with the familiar violin and drum climax.

The New Advent Choir chimes in for "The Preacher", and the sound separation is quite good. I never really liked this on the In the Spirit of Things album, but live with the gospel choir it comes off stronger than I remembered the original. Williams clearly doesn't have the range Steve Morse did on the original, but considering he stuck around with the band and Morse didn't, he gets kudos for the effort.

"Journey from Mariabronn" is the lone offering from the band's 1974 debut album, and it clearly suffers here from the lack of the two strong keyboardists that the original had. Here again is another song with extended instrumental passages with plenty of tempo changes and individual highlights, particularly from Steinhardt and Williams. Walsh's vocals here sound remarkably like those on Somewhere to Elsewhere, slightly more gruff than his younger years but with a strong command of his pitch and timing. Billy Greer manages to deliver a strong bass line that rivals Dave Hope's original version as well.

The ubiquitous "Dust in the Wind" offers a brief respite with the band pulling up their stools for a reflective rendition. There is a string backing arrangement here that adds even more beauty to that universally familiar acoustic guitar and violin solo. This isn't quite as impressive as the full orchestra version on Always Never the Same, but it sure comes close.

"Cheyenne Anthem" is a song that most Wheatheads cherish, but rarely gets played live. I think this is mostly because Walsh has gone on record in the past saying he's not too fond of the song, but the fans respond warmly here, particularly when Greer covers the last vocal passage that was sung by the childrens' choir on the studio version. Walsh must have had a hand in the arrangement, as the middle instrumental passage of keyboards has been largely supplanted by a series of power chord guitar riffs instead. I have to say I think this is an improvement on the original. This is one of the best live versions of the song available.

I was a bit surprised to hear the rather obscure "Child of Innocence" here, but I suppose this was included because it features mostly Steinhardt on vocals, and is another heavy guitar song that doesn't tax Walsh too much on keyboards. A decent performance, but a bit of an odd choice considering the many other songs the band could have chosen.

The second CD is a bit odd because it includes an "enhanced" track, which is basically a Quicktime video of the new track "Distant Vision". Obviously you need a computer to play this one.

On the audio portion of the CD is "Miracles Out of Nowhere", always been a crowd favorite and I don't see how the band could have done a live album without it. Walsh does a surprisingly decent job of managing the vocals on this one, mostly by laying off the really high notes, although by this point in the concert his voice is definitely showing signs of fatigue. If you watch him on the DVD version of the album you can see that he's really struggling to hit his notes, but he's definitely having a good time and the crowd is loving it.

The band kind of rushes through "Point of Know Return", and I can't be the only one who listens through the song thinking just one thing - why couldn't the band have found a way to get Kerry Livgren to show up and at least play this one? I love this song but it has never sounded right to me without Kerry.

Probably the high point of the album is the 'medley' "Portrait (He Knew)/The Pinnacle". Walsh kicks off with a shout to the crowd and those so-familiar keyboards, with Williams and Steinhardt coming in right on cue. Williams flat out rocks on guitar on this one, and at times I can't separate Steinhardt's violin, Williams' guitar, and Walsh's keyboards. Very tight delivery even if the 'Pinnacle' portion is shortchanged.

I really have no idea why the band decided to include the almost forgotten "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Play the Game Tonight" from the John Elephante period of the band. The round-robin vocals between Walsh, Steinhardt, and Greer just sound forced, and frankly these may have been radio hits but never represented this band's real sound. The only real saving grace here is Williams, but I will say that Walsh's vocals on "Play the Game Tonight" give that song more life than Elephante ever did.

The concert closes with the band's second biggest hit, "Carry on Wayward Son". Even though Walsh is a bit self-indulgent in leading up to the song, it sounds great, even after all these years. Here's another where Williams gives a good effort, but no one can play the guitar lead on this song like Livgren could.

The video file for "Distant Vision" is clearly an advertisement for the DVD, but I'm sure glad it was included anyway. The quality is a bit grainy and flat since the show was shot with film instead of digitally, but this also gives the performance kind of a timeless feel.

All told this is a very good snapshot of the band at what is probably the twilight of a very long career of nearly thirty-five years of live shows. Walsh's voice seems to be the biggest topic of conversation for most of Kansas' live shows anymore, but I have to say that for a guy who's over fifty years old and has been singing since his teenage years, he's doing a hell of a lot better than any of us could. The song selection for the most part is great, although I would have liked to have seen "Child of Innocence" substituted for having "The Pinnacle" played out fully.

But these are minor quibbles, and I think the overall package is better than just good, so it must be excellent. Four stars, but pick up the DVD instead if you can.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#88561) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 31, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The last two Kansas studio albums were very good. They brilliantly re-introduced a violin player in the line-up like in the good old days. Two of the legendary members even joined for the last one : Livgren and Steinhardt. On this live release, Livgren will not be playing, unfortunately.

When looking at the track list, the veteran Kansas fans must be very pleased : several of their anthems are played and lots of good songs are featured as well.

In terms of old song, "Belexes" the first track (if you exclude the intro) brings us back to their first release. It is not my fave one from this very good album (one of their best, IMO), but it was probably a hint to the audience that they were going to get a very nice Kansas night. And indeed, they will. There is another very good point of this live effort (well, at least I like very much this aspect) : it will be recorded at one venue only. In my opinion, the best live album are the ones recorded at the same venue : one take. That's it.

One song could have been avoided without hurting the ensemble : "The Preacher" that I really can't stand (this choir stuff is just too much). Some other ones are just below par, like "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Play the Game Tonight". I guess that I must be the only Kansas fan (or mail me if you also think that way) that does not really like "Point of Know Return".

What could have been included is definitely a old track from their last album : "Myriad" and talking about old tracks I think that "Apercu" or "Death of Mother Nature Suite" from their first release would have been better than "Belexes". I will always miss a full live version of "Lamplight Symphony", I'm afraid. Same story for "The Pinnacle" I guess (which will only be shortly featured here).

My favorite songs on this live album do not belong to their most epic ones. I just find that "The Wall" is a sublime number (even in its studio form) and the meddley "Portrait- Pinnacle" is just phenomenal. Steinhardt is almost sublime.

There is also a video on CD2. It features one of the best songs of their last album : "Distant Vision". A true epic Kansas song. It is evident, when you see it, to figure out how much Livgren is missing. During several portions of the song, Walsh will play the keys with one hand while holding his microphone with the other one. Steinhardt will also release him a bit and provide some good vocals. This video is a very good teaser to their DVD which I will definitely consider.

This live album is very good. Only a few great songs are missing maybe, and Walsh's voice is not always super. Those are the little defects. Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#119301) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A very good performance by the (almost) classic line up of Kansas, who had briefly reunited after the Somewhere to Elsewhere sessions.. Of course Kerry Livgren is missing. Fortunatly Rich Williams is good enough guitarrist to hold things together through the whole show. Dave Hoep was a fine bassplayer, but so is Billy Greer. Besides, Greer has now a longer tenure in Kansas than Hope. Anyway, the band still can deliver the goods. Walsh does not have the same voide anymore, but he´s still a fine singer. The vocal harmonies are better now than ever, in fact, thanks to the added good voice of Greer.

The tracklist is very good, but could be a little better. The sound is excellent and the images are also fine. Like anyone else I wanted a state-of-art DVD of the original band in its heydey. I guess Device, Voice, Drum is the next best thing.

Essential for Kansas fans. For general prog heads it´s worth to get it, but hardly essential. 3,5 stars

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#130440) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars This album was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia with a relatively small crowd; I remember living in Georgia at the time and that I was wanting to go (it was around the time of my birthday), but I couldn't afford to do so. I consider it a lost opportunity. The music is clear and loud (especially on the low end, which I appreciate). Everyone who has heard any recent Kansas knows the deal with Steve Walsh's voice, and while this album is no exception, he still sounds great, albeit a bit muddy. The set list is indicative of the fact that many in the audience were diehard fans willing to shell out the cash to attend such a monumental event- the concert kicks off with "Belexis," a treasure from the very first album. It is a crisp rendition, full of new instrumental breaks and an exciting arrangement. The band goes from the first album all the way to most recent studio release with the breathtaking masterpiece "Icarus II." Quite naturally, the original "Icarus" comes in on the tail end of its successor, and is a heavier and energized performance. "Song for America," one of Kansas's best works, follows, and it's a solid rendition (if perhaps a tad slower in some parts), and of course I miss the synthesizer solo that begins the middle instrumental section, but this progressive rock greatness either way. Some say it's too bad "Magnum Opus" isn't played in its entirety anymore, but I really don't mind- if one wishes to hear a live version of it, there is one on Kansas's first live album. "The Wall" is a song that really can't be done wrong by this band, and this is no exception- the execution is full of its drama and power. "The Preacher," the first non-Livgren composition, is infused with power from Richard Williams's heavy guitar and grace from the New Advent choir. "Journey from Mariabronn" gets a facelift here, beginning with the instrumental section instead (I almost wish Robby Steinhardt hadn't introduced it), and Billy Greer is fantastic keeping it down on bass. Instead of a synthesizer following the violin solo, there's a heated guitar solo from the powerful Williams. One can understand Walsh's toying around with the vocal melody of a song like "Dust in the Wind," having played it show after show, and fortunately, he keeps those deviations to a minimum here. Also, there's a small orchestra to play the second violin part (instead of a silly synthesizer), and to my ears, that gives it a slight Spanish flavor. "Cheyenne Anthem," a song Steve Walsh has commented on as goofy (for the instrumental middle section) gets a fantastic heavier arrangement. Steinhardt's voice sounds warm and aged, like a grandfather speaking of the old ways to his descendants. The music overall (particularly the ending) is full of grandeur, and I feel blessed having been able to hear this piece live. Every Kansas live album features songs that don't get to go on the road often (if ever), and here we get a hard-hitting rendition of "Child of Innocence." Steinhardt is no longer sensitive and gentle; his vocals are gritty and appropriate for a song about the ravages of death. No Kansas live album would be complete without what is undoubtedly one of their greatest songs ever, "Miracles Out of Nowhere." Each version of this mesmerizing song takes on a life of its own, as various subtleties and nuances are introduced. This time, the organ solo is replaced by a dark, but ever-brightening synthesizer pad. The guitar solo is, as always, amazing. "Point of Know Return" is rushed through, perhaps because it's another of those obligatory tracks, but it's still very good. "Portrait" is also faster, particularly toward the end, and not much is changed from the original, except that it jumps right into the end of "The Pinnacle." While the entirety of "The Pinnacle" would have been perfect for this event, I really cannot complain- this two-disc set is a fantastic offering to true fans who have long since tired of seeing the seemingly endless string of "greatest hits" compilations. Despite Steinhardt's "good night," fans know that the show isn't over- "Carry on Wayward Son" hasn't been played yet! So of course there is an encore, but what's that? Is that music from Drastic Measure and Vinyl Confessions? Walsh sounds unbelievably good singing "Fight Fire with Fire" (Greer really helps out in the vocal department), and there's an exciting new instrumental arrangement that bridges right into "Play the Game Tonight," which itself is nothing special, but it's still great to know that the Walsh wasn't so prideful as to swear off any songs he didn't have a part in originally. The final song is "Carry on Wayward Son," and the acoustic introduction is an interesting way to begin it, if a bit indulgent. Walsh at this point doesn't even bother with the high notes in the chorus, wisely leaving those to Greer (Walsh sounds great on the low end anyway). One riff is played over and over at the end, increasing in speed until Phil Ehart can hit every drum on his kit at least a hundred times it seems, and with that, a phenomenal live set comes to an end. In the words of Robby, "Who says you can't rock when you're fifty-two-years-old?"

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#217100) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars There are few, if any, modern bands that can match the pedigree of the mighty Kansas. The fact they have even managed to have a hit single over here (back when that meant something) shows their appeal. They may no longer have their main songwriter Kerry Livgren on board and original bassist Dave Hope is also missing, but his place has been taken by long-time member Billy Greer and the others are all original. Phil Ehart (drums), Robby Steinhardt (vocals/violin), Richard Williams (guitar) and Steve Walsh (vocals/keys) were all there some thirty years ago and while they produce a sound that is timeless they certainly do not sound old.

This double CD live set was recorded at Earthlink Live! in 2002 and they were even joined at times by a 60 voice choir. This is a compilation of many of their finest moments and while fans will always moan that there is a song missing that they would have liked, no one can argue that these songs aren't representative of one of America's greatest bands. The songs span their career from the debut up to 'Somewhere From Elsewhere' from 2000. Both "Icarus II" and "Icarus" are here, as well as numbers such as "Journey From Mariabronn", "Point Of Know Return", "Dust In The Wind" or "Play The Game Tonight". Only seventeen audio tracks, it just doesn't seem enough somehow. It ends with a gentle acoustic introduction and Steve singing "Once I rose above the noise and confusion?" The shout goes up "Are you ready??" and the three part harmonies kick off the mighty "Carry On Wayward Son".

This double disc is being released in conjunction with a DVD and as a taster the CD has been enhanced with a video of the band performing "Distant Vision", as well as screensavers, photos and links to the website (www.kansasband.com). A great collection of superb melodic progressive rock. A must have for any fan of the genre.

Originally appeared in Feedback #72, Feb 03

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978669) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars A slightly stilted, made for TV Kansas. Some good song selections, marred by moderate performances (step forward Walsh and Williams) and a tame sound. It's great to have attempted a 'definative' live document of this great band- it's just a shame it's being done now, in the late evening of an illust ... (read more)

Report this review (#21954) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 31, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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