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Symphonic Prog • United States

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Kansas biography
Original members Kerry LIVGREN (guitar) and Phil EHART (drums) combined their two separate bands into one large band. Kerry's band was called SARATOGA, and Phil's was called WHITE CLOVER. The band changed its name to KANSAS. They were from the beginning just an ordinary rock band, but were quickly compared to other progressive bands in the 70's like GENESIS, YES and KING CRIMSON. Combining the musical complexities of British prog-rock with the soul and instrumentation of the American heartland, KANSAS became one of the biggest selling and most successful touring acts of the 1970s. With huge hits like "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust In The Wind", they helped define the sound of "classic rock". They are loved all over the world.

I- THE 1970s
The Early Days: Their self-titled debut album was released in 1974, but nationwide response was slow. Their second album, "Song For America", saw a softening of KANSAS' sound, with more classical influences evident. The third album, "Masque", featured more pop songs and lyrically quite dark. They suffered ridicule from people around the world, because they wore overalls and had a violonist, which made people think that they were a country music group.
The Best of Times: "Leftoverture", with the popular single "Carry On Wayward Son", became a signature piece and pushed the album to platinum success. The followup, "Point Of Know Return" (1977) contained the ever-popular acoustic "Dust In The Wind". During their tour, they recorded their first live album, "Two For The Show" (1978) and the next studio album "Monolith" (1979).

II- THE 1980s
Seeds Of Change: A year later, the band followed up with "Audio Visions", the last production of the original band lineup. WALSH left the band due to creative differences. "Vinyl Confessions" had Christian lyrical content. The next album, "Drastic Measures" (1983), had some hard rock material on it, including the song "Mainstream". In 1984, the band released a greatest hits compilation, "The Best Of Kansas", which featured one new song, "Perfect Lover".
The Second Generation: The group split in 1983, only to reform in 1986 with the albums "Power" and with "The Spirit Of Things" (1988). Sales of these two albums were not very strong. Thus, the second generation of KANSAS had come to an abrupt end.

III- THE 1990s: The Third Generation
The new lineup released their second live album, "Live At The Whiskey", and featured live renditions of their classics. In...
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Buy KANSAS Music

The Best of KansasThe Best of Kansas
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 1999
Audio CD$3.99
$2.99 (used)
Point Of Know ReturnPoint Of Know Return
Audio CD$3.94
$3.93 (used)
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$4.73
$4.72 (used)
The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)
Extra tracks
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$12.37
$12.36 (used)
Song For AmericaSong For America
Audio CD$3.94
$3.51 (used)
Audio CD$3.97
$3.96 (used)
Miracles Out of NowhereMiracles Out of Nowhere
Sony Legacy 2015
Audio CD$14.34
$16.98 (used)
The Prelude ImplicitThe Prelude Implicit
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$7.97
$6.99 (used)
The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition)The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition)
Limited Edition
Friday Music 2014
$26.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Holly Long-Leaving Kansas CD NEW USD $15.71 Buy It Now
Point of Know Return by Kansas (CD, Feb-2002, Epic) USD $3.01 Buy It Now
Kansas - On the Other Side - Kansas CD M4VG USD $4.98 Buy It Now
HARRISON, WILBERT-Kansas City - 1953-1962 Sides (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $12.09 Buy It Now
1973 Eastern Kansas Stage Band Unknown Private Rare Jazz Funk Audio House HEAR USD $70.00 Buy It Now
Kansas State Stage Band 1972 Private Jazz Funk Rare Unknown HEAR USD $70.00 Buy It Now
Ed Shaughnessy Juco Jazz Kansas 1977 Funk Unknown Rare Private HEAR USD $70.00 Buy It Now
Kansas State Stage Band Unknown Rare Private Jazz Funk Drum Breaks HEAR MP3 1970 USD $70.00 Buy It Now
Olathe High Kansas 1970 Chorale Private Teen Unknown Rare Folk Pop HEAR MP3 USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Wiley and Gene Kansas City Blues Take Away Those Blues 78 Columbia 37216 USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Julia Lee Kansas City Star Bear Family Box Set 5 CD Jazz Blues USD $65.00 Buy It Now
KERRY LIVGREN CD When Things Get Electric - 1994 - KANSAS USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Proto-Kaw Before Became After Promo Edition Kansas Kerry Livgren Thin Sleeve USD $16.49 Buy It Now
Kansas Boxed set of 2 Sealed CD's and booklet USD $6.99 [0 bids]
Trini Lopez (2378) Kansas City / Lonesome Traveler RELEASED 1963 USD $0.99 [0 bids]
Count Basie And The Kansas City 7 LP. USSR USD $5.53 Buy It Now
THUNDERS, JOHNNY - 1979 Live At Maxs Kansas City - CD sealed new USD $50.00 Buy It Now
Kansas Song For America Mini LP Blu-spec CD2 Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now
Kansas, All I Wanted ~ 1986 MCA 45 +PS USD $3.77 Buy It Now
GRAN MAX Take You Away / Let Me Know WHITE Vinyl / Kansas City / KYYS Radio USD $11.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS Masque CD epic.Legacy 2001 reissue/REMASTERED + 2 bonus tracks! STYX  USD $0.99 [1 bids]
Kansas Point Of Know Return Blu-spec CD2 Japanese with OBI USD $38.95 Buy It Now
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2 CDs! NEW CD Kansas: Live: Dust in the Wind Special Editio USD $19.00 Buy It Now
King Biscuit Flower Hour - "Kansas w/ King's X" CD Week of Jan 14 - 20, 1991 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Kansas by Knapp, Jennifer 1998-11-03 1998 by Knapp, Jennifer USD $11.89 Buy It Now
Grateful Dead Dave's Picks 11 Wizard Of Oz Art Wichita Kansas KS 11/17/1972 3 CD USD $159.99 Buy It Now 2m 46s
Grateful Dead Dave's Picks 11 Wizard Of Oz Kansas Wichita KS 11/17/1972 3 CD USD $139.99 Buy It Now 2m 46s
KANSAS - Drastic Measures (EPC25561, 1983) LP USD $6.44 [0 bids]
3m 20s
VINTAGE Kansas - Leftoverture Vintage 8 Track Tape Cartridge 1976 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 6m 50s
Prelude Implicit - Kansas Compact Disc USD $15.40 Buy It Now 7m 19s
The Kansas City Choral Ensemble, In Concert, To Thee We Sing, D-12995, 1970s USD $14.00 Buy It Now 7m 32s
Vinyl Record 12" LP Kansas masque with sleeve Album NICE pz33806 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 17m 10s
MB1065 Trini Lopez Lonesome Traveler / Kansas City 45 RPM Record USD $15.80 Buy It Now 38m 26s
Kansas - Play The Game Tonight BRAZIL ONLY PS 7" Single 1982 Epic USD $49.99 Buy It Now 48m 7s
Kansas Audio-Visions 1980 Kirshner Records LP Vinyl 12" Rock w Record insert USD $8.50 Buy It Now 55m 22s
VARIOUS: Kansas City Jump LP (UK, clear taped seams) Jazz USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 15m
Attempted: Live at Max's Kansas City 1980 by Suicide (CD, Mar-2004, Sympathy... USD $9.56 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Goin' to Kansas City [2003] by Jay McShann (CD, Sep-2003, Stony Plain (Canada)) USD $12.75 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Two for the Show [LP] by Kansas (Vinyl, May-2015, 2 Discs, Friday Music) USD $37.00 Buy It Now 1h 23m
1h 28m
KANSAS-POINT OF KNOW RETURN-YUGO PS 45rpm 1977-NEAR M. USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 36m
Sixty Watt Sarah - All Night To Kansas City [CD New] USD $15.50 Buy It Now 1h 42m
KANSAS POINT OF KNOW RETURN KIRSHNER 25AP 789 Japan Vinyl LP USD $11.20 [3 bids]
1h 44m
Count Basie, Count B - Kansas City Suite: Music of Benny Carter [New Vinyl] USD $38.68 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Earl Scruggs Revue - Live at Kansas State/Rockin' Cross The Country + (2017) 2CD USD $19.27 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Kansas (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $26.48 Buy It Now 2h 22m
Point Of Know Return - Kansas (CD Used Very Good) USD $4.16 Buy It Now 2h 22m
Evangelists Sing Gospel LP Album Kansas City MO USD $1.50 Buy It Now 2h 28m
Power by Kansas (CD, Mar-2003, Universal Special Products) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2h 30m
KANSAS New Sealed 2017 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 1976 LIVE CONCERT CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 37m
Kansas Leftoverture, Johnathan Edwards, Ozark Mountain Daredevils USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 38m
KANSAS - VINYL CONFESSIONS - 1982 Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Hard Rock AOR USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 40m
Sixty Watt Sarah - All Night to Kansas City [New CD] USD $19.79 Buy It Now 2h 43m
TRINI LOPEZ - KANSAS CITY - REPRISE 45 USD $6.44 Buy It Now 2h 47m
TRINI LOPEZ - KANSAS CITY + 3 - FRENCH EP USD $12.89 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Heartbreakers, The - Live At Max's Kansas City LP USD $12.89 Buy It Now 2h 55m
Ernest Tubb, Kansas City Blues / The Woman's Touch, Decca 29415, 78 RPM, Country USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2h 59m
Kansas State Stage Band 1974 Private Jazz Funk Unknown Santana Rare HEAR USD $70.00 Buy It Now 2h 59m
Various Artists - Max's Kansas City 1976 / Various [New Vinyl LP] Extended Editi USD $25.97 Buy It Now 3h 3m
Kansas City Suite - Count Basie (CD Used Very Good) USD $6.98 Buy It Now 3h 8m
SEVENTH KEY Seventh Key 2001 CD BILLY GREER KANSAS USD $26.55 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Kansas - Leftoverture (CD, 1991, Kirshner Records) EARLY PRESSING USD $7.91 Buy It Now 3h 13m
GARY PAXTON Kansas City~Sweet Senorita From Santa OG WHITE LABEL PROMO~N MINT USD $12.95 Buy It Now 3h 16m
KANSAS - Got To Rock On/No Room For A Stranger USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3h 27m
Kansas S/T Japan Mini LP Bonus Track USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 33m
COUNT BASIE & THE KANSAS CITY 7 LP w/OBI Insert Impulse Jazz JAPAN ISSUE USD $15.29 Buy It Now 3h 42m
Rev. Robert R. Allen, The Reverend in Concert, 1977 A&R Records Wichita, Kansas USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 48m
Galloway`S Wee Big Band, Jim-Kansas City Nights (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.26 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Kansas - Masque (LP,1975) USD $2.00 Buy It Now 4h 14m
Vernon Dalhart - The Prisoner's Song / Way Out West In Kansas - Edison 51459 USD $11.83 Buy It Now 4h 16m
Kansas - Two for the show Double LP Vinyl Album Original Gatefold USD $10.31 Buy It Now 4h 18m
KANSAS Power LP promo poster 33 x 23 1986 USD $19.33 Buy It Now 4h 21m
North Kansas City Stage Band 1974 Unknown Private Rare Jazz Funk HEAR USD $70.00 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Alleluia: An American Hymnal, Kansas City Chorale/Bruffy.., Excellent USD $17.31 Buy It Now 4h 23m
KANSAS: Got To Rock On (45) NM - Promo - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $4.95 Buy It Now 4h 24m
KANSAS: Carry On Wayward Son/ Questions of My Childhood (45) NM Ships WORLDWIDE USD $7.95 Buy It Now 4h 25m
KANSAS: Dust In The Wind/ Point of Know Return (45) NM - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $4.95 Buy It Now 4h 26m
KANSAS: Fight Fire With Fire/ Incident On A Bridge (45) VG+ - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 4h 27m
Bill Post Where In The World But Kansas Signed Private Pop Country Rare DJB USD $9.00 Buy It Now 4h 27m
KANSAS: Hold On/ Don't Open Your Eyes (45) - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $2.95 Buy It Now 4h 28m
KANSAS: People of the South Wing/ Stay Out of Trouble (45) VG+ Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 4h 29m
KANSAS: Play the Game Tonight/ Play On (45) VG+ - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 4h 31m
KANSAS: Point of Know Return/ Closet Chronicles (45) - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $2.95 Buy It Now 4h 32m
KANSAS: Portrait (He Knew)/ Lightning's Hand (45) - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 4h 33m
KANSAS: Reason To Be/ How My Soul Cries Out For You (45) NM - Ships WORLDWIDE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 4h 34m

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KANSAS discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

KANSAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 534 ratings
4.13 | 624 ratings
Song For America
3.66 | 462 ratings
4.22 | 968 ratings
4.15 | 680 ratings
Point Of Know Return
3.19 | 324 ratings
3.04 | 250 ratings
2.71 | 200 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
2.21 | 190 ratings
Drastic Measures
2.70 | 206 ratings
2.86 | 178 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
3.59 | 15 ratings
The Christmas Album
3.23 | 188 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
3.39 | 129 ratings
Always Never The Same
3.49 | 235 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
3.85 | 213 ratings
The Prelude Implicit

KANSAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.31 | 221 ratings
Two for the Show
2.91 | 47 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
2.64 | 39 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
2.17 | 15 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
4.03 | 61 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2.15 | 9 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1.52 | 6 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2.06 | 7 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
4.13 | 53 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
4.30 | 10 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2.39 | 4 ratings
Carry on for no Return

KANSAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.28 | 14 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
4.21 | 62 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
4.58 | 56 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
4.25 | 17 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere

KANSAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 73 ratings
The Best of Kansas
3.83 | 41 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
3.14 | 13 ratings
The Definitive Collection
3.24 | 40 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1.35 | 8 ratings
Extended Versions
3.91 | 32 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
4.14 | 7 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
4.13 | 5 ratings
Dust In The Wind
4.18 | 32 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2.95 | 7 ratings
On The Other Side
2.41 | 8 ratings
Works In Progress
4.15 | 18 ratings
Original Album Classics
3.76 | 5 ratings
The Music of Kansas
4.32 | 13 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983

KANSAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
What's On My Mind
4.17 | 6 ratings
Point Of Know Return
4.04 | 7 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
3.75 | 4 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
4.04 | 7 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2.29 | 5 ratings
People Of The Southwind
3.24 | 6 ratings
Hold On
4.00 | 4 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
3.75 | 4 ratings
Right Away
3.75 | 4 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
2.29 | 5 ratings
All I Wanted
3.13 | 5 ratings
1.46 | 5 ratings
Stand Beside Me
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Light

KANSAS Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 213 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars I remember the disappointment I felt in 2000 when Somewhere to Elsewhere was released, not that it was a bad album, because it is pretty decent, but there was no magic. In that moment I felt that the KANSAS studio album years were over and they would have to survive as a cover band of their early glorious years. But yesterday I listened The Prelude Implicit and was really impressed, specially because I expected nothing above average.

Some people complain that the original members of the band are away and that's true, but let's be honest, Steve Walsh had lost the voice long time ago and Ronnie Platt has a very similar range, Dave Hope never was a key member and Billy Greer is more important to the band both as bassist and singer. Dave Ragsdale is a long time member of KANSAS successfully replacing the the once irreplaceable Robby Steinhardt, so with this guys the two original members who keep getting better plus Zak Rizvi and David Manion, the band is sounding as in their best days'..The only problem is the absence of Kerry in the composition, but seems they can survive without him with all the band joining efforts in songwriting.

Now let's talk about The Prelude Implicit, an album that sounds to me as a visit to the band's history, where each song represents a stage in the early development of the band.

With this Heart reminds me of Song for America with songs that flow gently based in a simpler but fluid violin sections. Visibility Zero is a nice homage to harder tracks like Carry on my Wayward Son, but with a nod to the AORISH sound of the late 70's. As a comment, it's nice to listen Dave Ragsdale leaving his classical oriented comfort zone towards a more aggressive sound that is typical of the band and reminds us of Robby.

The Unsung Heroes is one of my favorite songs, being that they blend a powerful but nostalgic blues based ballad with the pomp so characteristic of the band recreating the spirit of the mid 70's.

Ok now is the moment of change and Rhythm in the Spirit marks a turning point, even when they start with a pompous intro as in many Leftoverture tracks plus the violin and keyboard sound of Point of Know Return, they add a modern touch with more emphasis in blues and rock. A nice blend that I believe they should explore more.

Refugee IMO inspired in Cheyenne Anthem, they go for a more mystical and nostalgic approach, simply delightful from start to end and Ronnie Platt does an outstanding job well supported by David Manion on the keyboards. Another high point.

After listening the first notes of The Voyage of Eight Eighteen, songs as Opus Insert, Lamplight Symphony and Song for America come to my mind and even when they change their approach repeatedly jumping from pristine Symphonic to Heavy Rock, it's like a time machine that takes me back to 1977, the best track of the album by far.

Camouflage reminds me of Freaks of Nature, more oriented towards good classic Rock rather than Prog, very nice song, but the least transcendent, luckily is followed by the amazing Summer, the perfect balance between artistic and commercial music.

Crowded Isolation took me by surprise, this is something new, seems that this could be the sound that the new formation is looking for, and it's very good, with radical changes and great choirs'.It's interesting to notice that Phil Ehart maintains the high level despite the years passed, the guy is really a fantastic drummer.

The official release ends with Section 60, another track that takes me back to Point of Know Return era, simply breathtaking and the perfect closer for the official record.

The Deluxe edition has two bonus cover versions of traditional American songs Home On The Range (Hymn of Kansas) and Oh Shenandoah , as a tribute to their state and nation, but I always rate an album in base of their official songs, and The Prelude Implicit deserves no less than 4 solid stars, being that is their best release since Point of Know Return, but without reaching the level of their peak.

I won't ever make the mistake of dismissing KANSAS again, so will be waiting for their next album, seems that KANSAS still has gas for a few more years without having to survive as a caricature of their early years like other classic bands that looked at the Topeka boys over the shoulder in the 70's.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 213 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Know return to the point of know return

America's premiere progressive Rock band has finally returned with a new studio record - their first in 16 years! The current version of the band has a massive seven man line-up with some old faces and some newer faces. The leader of the band is drummer Phil Ehart who also is the band's manager. Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams are the only two founding members still with the band. Bass player Billy Greer has been with the band since 1985 while violinist David Ragsdale's association with the band goes back to the early 90's. Three new guys have now entered the band: Ronnie Platt on lead vocals, David Manion on keyboards, and Zak Rizvi on guitars.

Notable for their absence are Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, but despite the absence of these important men the band manages to stay faithful to the sound and spirit of the original band and the new guys do a very good job. The result is a true Kansas album, clearly modelled on the band's classic works from the 1970's. In my view, this new album is not quite as good as the band's previous album Somewhere To Elsewhere from 2000 (and neither is it as good as the first two albums by Livgren's excellent band Proto-Kaw), but The Prelude Implicit is however better than the Kansas albums from the 80's and 90's.

The album holds ten tracks, ranging from four to eight minutes in length. Most of the songs are good and thoroughly enjoyable, but there is no real standout track like the majestic Icarus II from the aforementioned Somewhere To Elsewhere, and nothing here is as good as the band's greatest classic works from the 70's. The weakest spots on the album are the lame chorus of Summer (sung by Greer) which reminds me of Uriah Heep (Bernie Shaw-era) and the lounge-boogie of Unsung Heroes. Refugee is a strong tracks and this album's Dust In The Wind. It is a very emotional song and a plea to protect the refugee children and is thus very apt for the times.

The Prelude Implicit is a definitely a worthy album, and a very welcome return of one of my favourite bands. Recommended for all Kansas fans, but not quite an excellent album for me.

 Point Of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 680 ratings

Point Of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars For a good long time Kansas seem to have weaved a tricky course between attempting to establish serious progressive rock credentials on one hand and catering to commercial realities on the other. To my ears, it's on Point of Know Return that they find a golden balance between the two, and in the process of so doing create the sort of masterful pop-prog synthesis that precious few groups (Supertramp and Kayak among them) managed to accomplish in the 1970s.

Proving that you don't need long song lengths to create a sense of epic sweep or intricacy, and with a sound which finally manages to be catchy and accessible without commercial pandering, this to me is the essential Kansas, where they at last become the USA's major entry into the 1970s prog pantheon. Here is planted the seed that so many US prog acts would follow in turn.

 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.66 | 462 ratings

Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A mixed bag of an album - one wonders whether the title was Kansas' sneaky way of letting the world know that this didn't represent their real identity, but merely offered a veneer of commerciality for the sake of appeasing their record company. It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man) is just as vapid a piece of mid-1970s hard rock as the title implies, with occasional organ breaks from Steve Walsh which feel like a pastiche of Tony Kaye's playing on the Yes Album, only less prominent because we can't turn off those MOR radio listeners, can we?

From there the album veers between chasing a broader audience and catering to those fond of their more progressive style; Two Cents Worth feels like a failed attempt to mimic Steely Dan, for instance, whilst on tracks like Icarus (Bourne on Wings of Steel) or concluding micro-epic The Pinnacle the band offer polished, quality progressive pieces which demonstrate where their affections truly lie. It's only on such pieces that Kansas feel like they're actually expressing a distinct personality, rather than masquerading as one chart-topping AOR outfit or another.

Because of the presence of the superior pieces, this album isn't a complete waste of time, but at the same time it's rather badly sabotaged by the presence of some real clunkers, with the result that even if you are sold on Kansas' particular style of progressive rock, you may well find that you're better served if you can find a decent compilation or live album covering the better numbers from here and leaving the album itself on the shelf.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 213 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Starting this piece I should mention that I was never a fan of Kansas. I respect them a lot, I like their music the normal amount, I have some of their albums in my music collection, but that's all. So, when I heard about the release of the new album I didn't pay much attention. So, I am not going to write a detailed review, but I will write some of my thoughts instead. The Prelude Implicit is the first album that the band released after 16 years of silence. Their previous studio work was 'Somewhere to Elsewhere' that was released in 2009. I wasn't sure if that album was a good idea, especially since two of their most important members were not in the band anymore. (For those who are not so familiar with Kansas, I should mention that Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, who used to be the basic songwriters are not a part of Kansas anymore). But despite all that, I decided to give the album a try, and I was really surprised! The Prelude Impicit is a very good album and it includes all the classic elements and the typical sound of Kansas, that the band became famous for, and it is very pleasant to the ears. But further than the sound, there is one more very important matter. The singer! Steve Walsh had a very characteristic voice, and it is always a risk to replace the singer. But in this case, there is no problem at all. His replacement (Ronnie Platt) has a very similar voice and his overall performance is excellent! The album includes some fine moments, starting with the beautiful With this Heart, which is the opening song. As for the Progressive Rock fans, they will surely love 'The Voyage of Eight Eighteen', the longest song in the album, which is simply wonderful! The truth is that, The Prelude Implicit requires a few listenings in order to fully appreciate it, so give it some time before you make your final decision. In general, the album sounds 'fresh' enough, and the band seems to be in a good form. I definitely recommend this album, not only to the 'hard-core' fans of Kansas, (who already bought it I guess), but to all those who, like me, respect this great band and can appreciate a really good album. My rating would be 3.5 stars, but I will give 4. P.S: I think that as some point PA should allow us to rate the albums more detailed, and give half stars as well. Not only 1-2-3-4-5.
 Always Never The Same by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.39 | 129 ratings

Always Never The Same
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars We're not in Kansas anymore

When looking at the track list of this album you will immediately notice several familiar song titles which might lead you to assume that this is either a live album or a compilation of some kind. It is not a compilation as all the material here is newly recorded. It isn't a live album either, though it does have a live feel. But neither is it a regular studio album. What we have here is the band re-recording some of their classic songs and a few new ones together with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The album was recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England and this location explains why they choose to open the album with a cover of a well-known band that is associated with the studio in question. This is followed by orchestral versions of Kansas classics like Song For America, Miracles Out Of Nowhere, Dust In The Wind, and Hold On, alternating with orchestral interludes and some newly written songs.

In my opinion, Kansas' wonderful music is not benefited by the orchestral treatment and the presence of the orchestra adds little of value. The novelty of the orchestra wears off pretty quickly and one is left wondering what the point of the whole exercise is.

Preamble is composed by conductor Larry Baird and functions like an intro to Song For America while Prelude And Introduction is an orchestral medley of some other Kansas songs. The most interesting new compositions are In Your Eyes, The Sky Is Falling, and Need To Know, all of which were written by Steve Walsh. These are not essential by any means, but at least they make this album worthwhile for the fans as they are not available elsewhere.

The selections from the band's back catalogue are rather predictable and most of these songs are featured in much better versions on multiple live albums. If you wish to hear Kansas performing with an orchestra with much better results than what can be heard on this album, I would recommend the very much better live concert video and album There's Know Place Like Home.

 Kansas - Live at the Whiskey by KANSAS album cover Live, 1992
2.91 | 47 ratings

Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars One for the money

Live At The Whiskey features a live performance recorded and filmed in 1992. The album was Kansas' second live album after 1978's Two For The Show and the video (released on VHS) was the band's second live video after 1982's Best Of Kansas Live. While the latter has been reissued on DVD (under the more appropriate title Live Confessions), the Live At The Whiskey video footage has never been reissued on DVD - and most probably never will be as the video quality is said to be poor (I haven't seen this film myself).

Since the band didn't have any new album out at this point the set list featured on Live At The Whiskey consists entirely of Kansas classics, primarily from the Point Of Know Return and Leftoverture albums. Almost all of the songs featured here were previously included on the fantastic Two For The Show and the band were doing themselves a certain disservice with this choice as it inevitably invites a comparison which is not favourable to Live At The Whiskey. They could have chosen a few more interesting songs that had not been featured on a live album before, but as it stands this set list is just too predictable. To be fair, they did change the arrangements a bit on some songs bringing in an element of surprise.

The European version of this album that I'm familiar with has Journey from Mariabronn (including Belexes) as an extra track while the American version oddly has a 1975 live recording of Lonely Street instead.

A good, but hardly necessary live album.

 The Best of Kansas by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1984
2.53 | 73 ratings

The Best of Kansas
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Not perfect for the lover of Kansas (or for the beginner)

The Best Of Kansas was the band's first compilation album, and like most releases of its kind it is almost useless. But in this case not completely useless as it does hold one track not available anywhere else: Perfect Lover. (I'm speaking here of the original version of Best Of Kansas released in 1984. The 1999 version omits Perfect Lover.) This song was written by the then current lead singer of the band John Elfante (together with his brother Dino, not a member of Kansas) and could have fitted well on the 1983 album Drastic Measures for which the Elfantes wrote the bulk of the material - and which, in my view, is the least good Kansas album ever. Fight Fire With Fire is one of these songs from that album which is also present on this compilation. Elfante first joined Kansas for the 1982 album Vinyl Confessions, and that album is represented here by Play The Game Tonight.

Two tracks from 1980's Audio-Visions are present, Hold On and No One Together, bringing the number of 80's tracks up to five (out of ten tracks in total). From the 70's albums, we have two songs each from Point of Know Return - the title track and Dust In The Wind - and Leftoverture - Carry On Wayward Son and The Wall. Finally, an edited version of the title track from Song For America is chosen. The albums Monolith from 1979, 1975's Masque, and the self-titled 1974 debut are overlooked. Needless to add, the focus of this compilation is not on the progressive side of the band. This may be Kansas' greatest hits, but by no means is this the best of Kansas.

As is almost always the case, you are much better off getting the original studio albums on which these songs first appeared (plus those albums not represented here) and not bothering with this compilation unless you are a hard core fan who will want this album (the 1984 version) for the one track not available elsewhere to complete your collection.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 213 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by pacidy

4 stars I just bought this album and feel that I will be listening to it, at least parts of it, for quite a while. There's a lot of musical depth here, reminiscent of the early days of Kansas. It's the first album with Ronnie Platt on lead vocals. His voice is clear as a bell, reaching the high notes with relative ease, sounding some combination of the early Walsh but with a softer feel, not the same stridency that Walsh sometimes got. The music is pretty solid throughout, and at its best, at least compares with such songs as Hopelessly Human or Closet Chronicles, thought not really coming close to the greatness that is Song for America or Magnum Opus.

With This Heart -- didn't really like this one at first, but it has grown on me with its uplifting feeling and lyrics

Visibility Zero -- lyrics seem to be about our current Congress! The music here is uninspiring until the lead violin comes in. Those instrumental interludes pop up a lot in the middle of songs, elevating them above the ordinary, as in ...

The Unsung Heroes -- a rather maudlin song is saved by the dual lead violin/guitar interlude. I can't help but think of Peyton Manning yelling, "Cut! That! Meat!"

Rhythm in the Spirit -- the first attempt at a real prog song. This one doesn't know whether it wants to be a heavy metal or a Kansas song, alternating between dissonant guitar crunching and a violin passage reminiscent of the end of Song for America. The slow coda seems like a missed opportunity -- this could have been extended and developed into a dramatic ending, a whole other section, or even a separate song.

Refugee -- what a beautiful and haunting song about the ongoing tragedy of human sex trafficking. The acoustic guitar intro sets the tone right away.

The Voyage of Eight Eighteen -- the longest song and a great one -- there's a lot of musical richness here, what with the guitar now playing an often somewhat dissonant counterpoint, rather than a harmony, to the violin, and unexpected sonorities popping up here and there. I feel like I'll probably discover more to it with each relisten. Lyrically, it continues the theme of Rhythm in the Spirit, reading as the yearning in all of us for our better natures, for the light of understanding to sweep away the darkness of superstition and fear, for evolution.

Camouflage -- this one gets darker, with the lead guitar and organ carrying the instrumental passages, appropriate for the lyrics which point at someone who is about to be exposed.

Summer -- this song brings in something from the early days that's missing in most of the album. Tempo. Velocity. Pace. Fast enough to get you up and dancing, in the tradition of such boogie-woogie rockers as Can I Tell You, Down the Road, Carry On, Wayward Son (at least the coda), Point of Know Return, Lightning's Hand, or even Stay out of Trouble. You can almost feel the older band members shedding about four decades for this one.

Crowded Isolation -- another standout song. Is that a Moog I here in the instrumental? It's wonderful, whatever it is. The driving guitar with its octave intervals pounds this song into the brain, and the organ solo ends it in a flourish.

Section 60 -- a tribute to fallen soldiers needs to be elegaic and soaring, and this one is, ending appropriately on a rudimental drum outro.

Bonus Tracks -- I like the instrumental Oh Shenandoah! the better of these two, probably because I'm not wild about either song.

Overall rating -- This is hard. I want to give it 4 stars, but really, is it as good as Point of Know Return? Maybe; comparing The Voyage of Eight Eighteen with Helplessly Hoping, it's hard to say, but I think the shorter tracks on PoKR are stronger. Is it really an "Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection?" It's definitely not up there with "Leftoverture," but that's a legitimate 5-star album. I think The Prelude Implicit is at least 3.5 stars, so I'll be generous and round it to 4.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 213 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by James007

5 stars Albums thrown together this late in a band's career are always a tricky proposition. This project was being completed without any assistance from Kerry Livgren. I think we'd all seen the track record when he's not involved (see "Freak of Nature"). So I was prepared for this album to be somewhere between Ho-Hum and Mailed-In. I am here to say that I was completely wrong. This album has many fresh moments and is often inspired. Kansas fans will be extraordinarily pleased and the general rank and file prog fan will enjoy this album as well. Is it on par with "Leftoverture" or "Song For America"? Nope. Is it the best offering they've thrown down since POKR? I think so, and I am an unapologetic fan of "Somewhere to Elsewhere" and "Vinyl Confessions". Newly found lead singer Ronnie Platt is Steve Walsh without the tight pant or huge ego. They've added a second guitarist for the first time since Steve Morse left them and the addition is impressive. The solo passages on this record are well executed. The vocal harmonies are crisp and fun, and the violin bits are the best David Ragsdale has given us. And while I'm at it, Billy Greer is underrated as a bassist. All in all, a solid effort from a bunch of geezer I'd written off. Well done
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to ClemofNazareth for the last updates

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