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EXTENDED VERSIONS

Kansas

Symphonic Prog


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Kansas Extended Versions album cover
1.43 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 44% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Carry on Wayward Son
2. All I Wanted
3. T.O. Witcher
4. Dust in the Wind
5. Wall
6. Preacher
7. Paradox
8. Magnum Opus
9. One Big Sky
10. Miracles Out of Nowhere

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Walsh / vocals, keyboards
- Rich Williams / guitar
- Phil Ehart / drums
- Dave Hope / bass, autogyro
- Kerry Livgren / guitars, keyboards, percussion, whistling machine
- Robbie Steinhardt / vocals, cello, violin, viola

Releases information

Bmg Special Prod. B000066ALQ

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to clemofnazareth for the last updates
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KANSAS Extended Versions ratings distribution


1.43
(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
44%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
0%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (33%)
33%

KANSAS Extended Versions reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
1 stars I really hate to say this since Kansas is one of my all-time favorite bands, but this CD is an embarrassment. First off, it’s the exact same concert as the one that appears on the 1998 release ‘King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas’, which according to King Biscuit’s web site was recorded in August 1989 in New York City, and according to Amazon was recorded in February at the Tower Theater just outside Philadelphia. Who knows…. who cares?

This same concert was released as a ‘Greatest Hits Live’ CD by King Biscuit in 2003, pretty much exactly the same as the 1998 'King Biscuit Presents Kansas' release except for different packaging. The 'Carry on Wayward Son' track also appears on a rather obscure King Biscuit 'Best of' anniversary CD that was released in the mid-90s. It seems that King Biscuit / EMI got a lot of mileage off of this particular concert.

This 2000 release is part of a series of cutout bin, white-label recordings that make up the BMG ‘Extended Series’ collection. These are primarily marketed as ‘oldies’ collections in drug stores, budget department stores, and truck stops (which is where I bought this one), and range from bands like Survivor to the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

I’m not sure what demographic BMG was after here, but they certainly went to no expense. The packaging is a plain white cover with a stock promotional photo of the band and the track listing on the reverse side. That’s it. No liner notes, no credits to speak of, no interesting inner sleeve photos or anything else to add value or interest.

‘Extended Versions’ is a bit of false advertising, since none of the songs is more than a minute longer than its original studio version, and Magnum Opus is about six minutes shorter than the original Leftoverture version. The two versions of this concert that were released as the King Biscuit collections included a twelve-plus minute version of ‘House on Fire’ that is actually quite good (particularly Steve Morse’s guitar work), but that was cut off of this ‘Extended Versions’ release. So was a five and a half minute version of ‘Point of Know Return’. Otherwise, the closest thing to an ‘extended’ version is a couple minutes of extra guitar doodling on ‘One Big Sky’.

The order of the tracks is different than on the King Biscuit versions as well. On these, ‘Magnum Opus’ leads into ‘One Big Sky’, as does ‘The Preacher’ into ‘House on Fire’. Here the tracks are all cut off from each other, more in the style of a studio album. The cassette version is also missing ‘One Big Sky’ and ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere’, making it a paltry 36 minutes long (the CD version runs 48 minutes, while the King Biscuit versions run about 66 minutes).

The set-list is kind of interesting too, particularly if this represents the entire concert (and since it includes their two standard encores, ‘Dust in the Wind’ and ‘Carry on Wayward Son’, I have to assume it does include the entire concert). The concert was in support of the ‘In the Spirit of Things’ release in late 1988, and ‘T.O. Witcher’, ‘The Preacher’, and ‘One Big Sky’ are included from that album. ‘All I Wanted’, the band’s last Top-40 single (from the Power album), is also included. The remaining tracks are all from Leftoverture and Point of Know Return. Walsh’s voice is quite strained, although to his credit he is obviously working very hard both to stay in tune and to provide a prominent vocal track. There are several places where it appears Billy Greer takes up the vocals for Walsh, and many more (particularly on ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere’) where Walsh simply backs off trying to hit some of the higher ranges he was once so well known for. On ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ and ‘Miracles’, he even slips into a brief falsetto a couple of times, which I found quite disappointing, but those who stuck around for ‘Device-Voice- Drum’ and some of the later tours know it would get worse.

One other interesting note is on ‘Dust in the Wind’. The violin here is David Ragsdale, and on the King Biscuit version he does this kind of interesting little bit toward the end along with some faint (what I assume is) Steve Morse’s acoustic guitar weaving in and out that is quite nice. This lasts about a minute on King Biscuit, and then launches the band into ‘Miracles’. That sequence was cut out on this Extended Versions CD, I don’t have any idea why, and the song simply fades to black. Strange decision which I can only assume underscores the complete lack of appreciation for this incarnation of Kansas by the production engineers.

All in all I really am not sure why I spent this much time writing about this album. Like I started out saying, this was designed to be a bargain-bin collection, and was not at all targeted for those who actually know more about the band than their ‘Dust’ and ‘Wayward Son’ radio personas.

If you feel like you really need to have a live recording of the ‘Walsh-Greer-Morse- Robert-Williams-Ehart’ era of Kansas, buy either one of the King Biscuit releases since at least they actually have a couple of extended tracks, and they are a truer representation of the actual set-list of that 1989 concert. If you just want to hear the magic of Kansas live, this concert ain’t it – buy ‘Two For the Show’ and accept the fact that they will never be that good again.

I only give this one star because [email protected] apparently won’t allow zero. Don’t waste your money on this one.

peace

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
1 stars I almost feel as though albums from this BMG line of compilations, with their ludicrously deceptive headline of "Extended Versions," shouldn't exist except for the glimmer of hope that someone will catch one of these for two or three bucks in the discount bargain bin at a drug store or a gas station and find something beyond the radio hits that would be the impetus for their further appreciation. However, when the label releases material from what is in essence one of the most lackluster performances of the band, from a tour supporting one of their most lackluster albums, that hope isn't held very high. The music comes from the King Biscuit Flower Hour show, a decent performance, but instead of being "extended," the tracks are truncated and rearranged for reasons that can only make sense to a crew with money on their minds and with no appreciation for artistic decisions or accuracy. The performance was mediocre enough to begin with, and then to take that, cut it down, rearrange it, and then package it as "Extended Versions" is just laughable- I would not even recommend this disc to those new to Kansas- save the few bucks and put it toward a real album.

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