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KANSAS

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Kansas picture
Kansas biography
Founded in Topeka, Kansa, USA in 1970 - Continued activity with different line-ups (as of 2017)

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 rele...
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Buy KANSAS Music


The Best of KansasThe Best of Kansas
Reissued · Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 1999
$4.98
$1.45 (used)
5cd Original Album Classics (Kansas/Song For America/Masque/Leftoverture/Point Of Know Return)5cd Original Album Classics (Kansas/Song For America/Masque/Leftoverture/Point Of Know Return)
Box set
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$13.54
$15.21 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2011
$3.73
$4.74 (used)
Point Of Know ReturnPoint Of Know Return
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2013
$4.86
$4.00 (used)
The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Red Audiophile Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition/Gatefold Cover)The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Red Audiophile Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition/Gatefold Cover)
Limited Edition
Friday Music 2018
$27.29
$19.24 (used)
KansasKansas
Music on Vinyl 2018
$27.06
The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)
Extra tracks
Inside Out Music 2016
$5.81
$8.49 (used)
Leftoverture Live & BeyondLeftoverture Live & Beyond
Century Media 2017
$11.99
$10.48 (used)
Playlist: The Very Best of KansasPlaylist: The Very Best of Kansas
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2015
$3.73
$3.62 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Goin' to Kansas City, Byrd, Wells, Clayton, Very Good Import USD $5.25 Buy It Now
Kansas : Leftoverture CD USD $4.74 Buy It Now
Masque [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-2008, Legacy) USD $5.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS - THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT NEW CD USD $13.28 Buy It Now
KANSAS - THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $8.12 Buy It Now
Bruce Springsteen - Max's Kansas City 1973 NEW CD USD $10.86 Buy It Now
It's Too Late/Kansas City Woman by Chuck Willis 45 RPM USD $9.00 Buy It Now
Kansas Monolith 1979 Kirshner 36008 Progressive Rock Gatefold Vinyl LP VG++ USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Kansas Audio Visions 1980 Kirshner 36588 Progressive Rock Vinyl LP NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Kansas Two For The Show 1982 Kirshner 35660 Progressive Rock 2 Vinyl LPs VG++ USD $16.99 Buy It Now
COUNT BASIE 5: Kansas City USA Pablo Jazz w/ Milt Jackson, Joe Pass LP Vinyl USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Kansas - Best Of Kansas (CD, Oct-1984) ZK 39283 CBS USD $4.39 Buy It Now
LP< USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Kansas Sealed Original Columbia LP 1983 Hype Sticker USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Original 1978 - KANSAS - Point Of Know Return - Press Advert USD $6.25 Buy It Now
Radio Legends - Jim Channell as Jim Morgan KIRL St. Louis + KUDL Kansas City USD $6.50 Buy It Now
VINYL LP Kansas - Vinyl Confessions Kirshner FZ 38002 USD $12.99 Buy It Now
JOURNEY - Generations - CD Departure Kansas Def Leppard Outfield Jeff Soto USD $22.99 Buy It Now
TOAKENS - Danceland 670 (Hays, Kansas) - I Found You - 1960's GARAGE 45 USD $39.99 [0 bids]
KANSAS Two For The Show - Cassette USA 1978 Play Tested Tape USD $7.98 Buy It Now
Kansas - Kansas [New CD] Holland - Import USD $11.18 Buy It Now
Young, Lester, The "Kansas City" Sessions, Excellent USD $22.99 Buy It Now
Kansas [CD New] USD $10.56 Buy It Now
Kansas - Two for the Show CD 2 Discs *STILL SEALED* A457 USD $9.99 Buy It Now
KERRY LIVGREN.PRIME MOVER.1988 SPARROW.KANSAS.SEALED MINT LP USD $14.95 Buy It Now
ROCK+ROLL 45 RPM - HAROLD DORMAN - RITA 1012 - "MOVED TO KANSAS CITY" USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Kansas by Jennifer Knapp (Singer/Songwriter) (CD, Nov-1998, Gotee) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $1.30 Buy It Now
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic) USD $5.99 Buy It Now
PLAYLIST VERY BEST OF KANSAS BY KANSAS (CD, 2008, Epic) USD $7.18 Buy It Now
Benny Strickler Kansas City Stomps USD $3.95 [0 bids]
? 1984 LP Record, Kansas, The Best of Kansas QZ 39283, BL 39283 USD $24.00 Buy It Now
Knapp, Jennifer : Kansas CD USD $0.99 Buy It Now
Jay Mcshann - Goin To Kansas City (CD Used Like New) USD $13.98 Buy It Now
PROCOL HARUM: Boredom / Devil Came Kansas A&M Promo '69 45 NM Rock USD $20.00 Buy It Now
4 Lot Heavy Metal Hard Rock Music Record Albums QUEEN BOB SEGER PRISM KANSAS USD $20.00 Buy It Now
Bobby Kimball - Were Not In Kansas Anymore [CD] USD $18.56 Buy It Now
Mulholland - Bruffy, Kansas City Chorale: Words & Music (Colla Voce) Like New USD $13.00 Buy It Now
KANSAS - THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT - NEW CD ALBUM USD $18.41 Buy It Now
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY - NEW CD ALBUM USD $18.41 Buy It Now
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY - NEW VINYL LP USD $35.52 Buy It Now
Steve Walsh - Schemer Dreamer LP Krishner 36320 KANSAS USD $14.99 Buy It Now
9 rare CD's including AM gold double length, Baseball,Best of Kansas City USD $180.00 [0 bids]
USD $240.00 Buy It Now
TOTO BOSTON KANSAS Progressive Hard Rock JAPAN CD USD $20.40 Buy It Now
Sidney Bechet: Kansas City Man Blues/Wild Cat Blues 78 RPM Hot Jazz Club # HC 87 USD $10.99 Buy It Now
Kansas "Leftoverture" Rock LP CBS Half Speed Master Promo Sealed USD $25.04 [11 bids]
Kansas "Point Of Know Return" Rock LP CBS Half Speed Master Promo Sealed USD $23.50 [8 bids]
Kansas "Vinyl Confessions" Rock LP CBS Half Speed Master Promo NM USD $11.05 [4 bids]
Paul Stanley Kiss Solo LP Vinyl VG++/EXC Kansas 1978 Ibanez Iceman Starman USD $10.99 [0 bids]
JAZZ GREATS - Jazz City - Kansas City USD $3.28 Buy It Now
Kansas City Jazz 30's & 40's (CD Used Like New) USD $8.37 Buy It Now
KANSAS 'VINYL CONFESSIONS' REMASTERED ROCK CANDY NEW! USD $14.46 [0 bids]
KERRY LIVGREN 'SEEDS OF CHANGE' KANSAS NEW REMASTER 2014 W/RONNIE JAMES DIO USD $14.46 [0 bids]
KANSAS 'DRASTIC MEASURES' REMASTERED ROCK CANDY NEW! USD $14.46 [0 bids]
STEVE WALSH 'S/T' KANSAS W/MORSE NEW ROCK CANDY SEALED! USD $14.46 [0 bids]
STREETS '1ST' KANSAS / CITY BOY REMASTERED 2013 ROCK CANDY NEW SEALED! USD $14.46 [0 bids]
STREETS 'CRIMES IN MIND' KANSAS / CITY BOY REMASTERED 2013 ROCK CANDY NEW USD $14.46 [0 bids]
Kansas - Dust In The Wind 45 RPM USD $0.99 [1 bids]
LESTER YOUNG WITH THE KANSAS CITY SEVEN Prez Leaps Again '76 Soul Parade Jazz LP USD $29.00 Buy It Now
Hot Rocks WQSR AS-285 Promo Only LP w/ Boston, Cheap Trick, Kansas, ++ Vinyl NM! USD $19.99 Buy It Now
THE BEST OF KANSAS (CD) Kansas CBS USD $2.25 Buy It Now
New Original Album Classics - Kansas - Rock & Pop Music CD USD $31.42 Buy It Now
WICHITA UNIVERSITY Band Singers 1962 College VINYL RECORD KANSAS USD $10.00 Buy It Now
KANSAS "Vinyl Confessions" 1982 (Kirshner) VG+/EX...Great!! USD $8.99 Buy It Now
Carson Robison Lp The Kansas Jayhawk Cattle Records 107 Nm USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Wilbert Harrison 45 Kansas City USD $2.00 [1 bids]
Leftoverture/Point of Know Return by Kansas (Cassette) NEW w/ SECURITY KEEPER USD $24.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS,HOW MY SOUL CRIES OUT FOR YOU UNPLAYED NOS JUKEBOX 45 RPM RECORD USD $4.00 Buy It Now
Kansas point of know return[INV-20] USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Kansas Two For The Show Vinyl Record DOUBLE Album NM Bifold BUY 3 GET 1 FREE ! USD $9.77 Buy It Now
pc78-Black Gospel-Modern 20-503-Rev. Billups and the Kansas City Singers USD $15.00 Buy It Now
1982 Kansas-Vinyl Confessions BL-38002 (EX) USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Native Rose, Begaye, Kansas, Good USD $44.33 Buy It Now
KBFH Presents Kansas USD $17.92 Buy It Now
Kansas Song - For America LP Mint-FRM-33385 180g 2014 USA Vinyl Record USD $35.00 Buy It Now
Kansas - Monolith 1979 USA Gatefold Orig. Lyrics VG/E USD $3.99 [0 bids]
KANSAS - PLAY THE GAME TONIGHT / PLAY ON - 7" VINYL SINGLE 45 T USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Song for America by Kansas (CD, May-1987, Kirshner Records) USD $6.06 Buy It Now
KANSAS : THE BEST OF .... ( SONY MUSIC , CANADA ) USD $4.92 Buy It Now
Kansas - Audio Visions Lp Kirshner FZ-36588 Sealed! USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Bob Brookmeyer-Kansas City Revisited.Orig.1st.Press.UA-St.5008-Exc.Top Copy USD $65.00 Buy It Now
Maxs Kansas City 1976 And Beyond USD $30.11 Buy It Now
Kansas - Leftoverture LP VG+ PZ 32442 Kirshner Stereo USA 1976 Vinyl Record USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Kansas Two for the Show 2 lp live USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Edison Record DD #51459 - Way Out West In Kansas & The Prisoner's Song - Dalhart USD $8.95 Buy It Now
JERRY MERETT & CROWNS: The Kansas City Twist / Walkin' 45 (Seaside, OR, top cop USD $35.00 Buy It Now
Rock Nm! 45 Kansas - Lonely Wind / Song For America On Kirshner USD $3.00 Buy It Now
KANSAS 12" VINYL 1976 STILL SEALED USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Rock Promo 45 Kirshner - Right Away / Right Away On Kansas USD $3.00 Buy It Now
KANSAS: Power LP MCA RECORDS MCA5838 US 1986 Lyric Inner NM+ USD $12.79 Buy It Now
Music The Essential Kansas USD $21.84 Buy It Now
TRINI LOPEZ: Kansas City / Lonesome Traveler 45 Oldies USD $5.00 Buy It Now
HEARTBREAKERS Live at Max's Kansas City LP vinyl punk glam NY Dolls Thunders USD $12.00 [0 bids]
USD $20.00 Buy It Now
EXPLORERS CLUB Raising the Mammoth CD 2002, Magna Carta KANSAS DREAM THEATER USD $5.30 Buy It Now
Root, Alan : Were Not in Kansas Anymore CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now
The Bentleys, Leslie Records 9658, 1985, Kansas City, MO, SEALED, Punk Rock USD $82.00 Buy It Now
Kansas - Point of No Return Orig US classic rock lp 1977 USD $8.75 Buy It Now 5m 17s
Kansas - Vinyl Confessions Orig US classic rock lp 1982 USD $10.75 Buy It Now 5m 17s
COUNT BASIE: Kansas City 5 LP (corner dings, h2o stain on cover) Jazz USD $12.00 Buy It Now 17m 23s
Kansas Point of Know Return [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] Vg++ CD, 2002 Epic/Legacy USD $8.00 Buy It Now 17m 59s
COUNT BASIE: Kansas City LP Sealed (small tear in shrink) Jazz USD $20.00 Buy It Now 22m 11s

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KANSAS discography


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

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

3.99 | 554 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.13 | 646 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.66 | 481 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 1020 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.15 | 706 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.21 | 340 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.04 | 265 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.71 | 209 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.20 | 197 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.70 | 218 ratings
Power
1986
2.85 | 187 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.22 | 196 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.39 | 133 ratings
Always Never The Same
1998
3.50 | 248 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000
3.83 | 239 ratings
The Prelude Implicit
2016

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

4.31 | 233 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.92 | 49 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.66 | 40 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.17 | 15 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
4.03 | 65 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2002
2.24 | 11 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2002
1.75 | 9 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2003
2.18 | 10 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
2003
4.11 | 54 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009
4.33 | 12 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2014
2.60 | 6 ratings
Carry on for no Return
2016
4.33 | 15 ratings
Leftoverture Live & Beyond
2017

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

3.28 | 14 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.22 | 62 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.58 | 57 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009
4.25 | 17 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
2015

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

2.54 | 75 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.84 | 44 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.14 | 13 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.25 | 42 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.43 | 9 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.92 | 33 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
4.25 | 8 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
2003
4.16 | 6 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
4.18 | 33 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
2.97 | 8 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.50 | 9 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
4.17 | 19 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.76 | 5 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.32 | 13 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

3.75 | 4 ratings
What's On My Mind
1977
4.17 | 6 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
4.04 | 7 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
4.04 | 7 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
2.29 | 5 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
3.24 | 6 ratings
Hold On
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
1982
3.75 | 4 ratings
Right Away
1982
3.75 | 4 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
1983
2.29 | 5 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
3.13 | 5 ratings
Power
1987
1.46 | 5 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Light
2001

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Two for the Show by KANSAS album cover Live, 1978
4.31 | 233 ratings

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Two for the Show
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars 'The best bands sound even better on stage!'

In 1977 24-carat symphonic rock 'biggie' Genesis was voted 'the best live band in the world' in Melody Maker, one of the leading UK music magazines in the Seventies. On the other side of the ocean 6-piece formation Kansas had added an extra dimension to that highly acclaimed symphonic rock, by adding swirling classical violin and hot rocking electric guitars. Their story looks like 'The American Dream In Prog'. Because Kansas started as hard working rookies playing gigs in local pubs and driving day after day down the road, in an old van. Gradually they climbed the ladder and in the end Kansas became rock stars with triple platinum albums sales, top 10 singles, sold out concerts in stadiums, and they were driven around in limousines. Kansas got their well deserved commercial breakthrough with their fourth album Lefoverture (1976), and the single Carry On Wayward Son. One year later sales were even better with theirt fifth album Point Of Know Return, and Kansas deliver a worldwide hit with Dust In The Wind. So while Genesis was hailed on the other side of the ocean, in the USA Kansas their unique, very exciting and dynamic blend of classical, hardrock and symphonic rock was embraced by millions and millions! They started a massive 1977/1978 world tour and In 1978 the band released a double live LP entitled Two For The Show, recorded during their USA tour. This has always been one of my favourite live albums, a powerhouse progrock band playing their best songs. In 2008 Kansas released the Two For The Show 30th Anniversary 2-CD reissue: on CD 1 the entire TFTS 2-LP, except Closet Chronicles, that had been put on CD 2, among 10 previously unreleased tracks from the 1977-1978 USA tour.

CD-1 : Kansas their trademark is the outstanding interplay between the Holy Prog Trinity: harder-edged guitars, swirling violin and powerful keyboards, embellished with strong vocals and a dynamic, often propulsive rhythm- section. Well, on stage this sounds even more powerful, dynamic and exciting. Another very strong element in their music is the huge variety, in atmospheres and instrumentation, a few examples. Mini-symphonies in the mid-long compositions (between 4 and 10 minutes) Song For America, Journey From Mariabronn, Excerpt From Lamplight Symphony and the mindblowing Magnum Opus: lots of shifting moods, build- ups and grand finales featuring awesome interplay by the Holy Prog Trinity, spectacular soli on swirling violin, heavy guitar and vintage keyboards (from powerful Hammond runs to dazzling Minimoog flights), topped by strongs vocals and a dynamic rhythm-section.

The 'chart-flirting' composition Point Of Know Return : song-oriented melodic rock with a tight beat and functional work on guitars and keyboards.

'Classical meets hardrock' in Mysteries Of Mayhem : heavy guitars, bombastic Hammond, exciting interplay from the Holy Prog Trinity and raw and powerful vocals by Robby Steinhardt.

'Unplugged' in Dust In The Wind : wonderful dreamy atmosphere with acoustic guitars, violin and warm vocals, culminating in a virtuosic acoustic guitar solo (with hints from Steve Howe).

A sparkling classical piano solo, as an intro to the strongly build up Lonely Wind : from mellow to bombastic, topped with beautiful, slightly melancholical vocals.

Another Kansas trademark song is their huge hit single Carry On My Wayward Son : from tender piano and vocals to bombastic, halfway a spectacular break with a heavy guitar ' and Hammond sound.

CD-2: Apart from the track Closet Chronicles, this second disc contains previously unreleased 1977-1978 USA concert footage, according to the 12-page booklet 'somebody at Sony found it in the vault'. In fact this means that all tracks were 'left-overs' from the Two For The Show double album in 1978. Indeed, in general these 'left-overs' sound slightly less elaborate and varied than on CD 1. And on CD 2 the focus is also a bit more on harder-edged melodic rock, with a tight up-tempo beat and hot rocking guitars, like in Child Of Innocence (heavy guitar intro), Belexes, Down The Road (trademark Kansas with exciting Holy Prog Trinity) and the swinging Bringing It Back (omnipresent dynamic violin work). And the track Lonely Street is even bluesy, with strong vocals and an exciting duel between the two guitars.

But Kansas also delivers their trademark captivating and varied mini-symphonies, like Hopelessly Human (cascades of soli), the emotional Cheyenne Anthem (wonderful instrumentation and a compelling grand finale), Miracles Out Of Nowhere (vocal harmonies, a 'churchy' Hammond solo and great work by the Holy Prog Trinity) and Closet Chronicles (lots of good musical ideas, like a vibraphone-Minimoog duet). These four compositions could easily have been part of the original Two For The Show live album, as side 5 and 6, completed with Lonely Street and Down The Road, as the best work of the CD 2.

So where to put this Two For The Show 2-CD reissue? Well, for me it's simple, among other great Seventies Heavy Prog live albums, like Made In Japan from Deep Purple, Live by Uriah Heep, Exit Stage Left by Rush and The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin, what a power, quality, variety and excitement, and that's what genuine progressive rock is about. By the way, Kansas on TFTS cannot be compared to their later (Eighties) AOR sound, that was more similar to Styx, Journey, Saga, Asia and Boston, here it is unique Heavy Prog (74-78 era)!

 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.13 | 646 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Jzrk

4 stars I watch Don Kirshners rock concert when I was a freshman at n high school I believe.Well one night he introduced a brand new band called Kansas.I had never heard anything like them and was blown away right off the bat. I quickly went and got Song For America and from there went back and got their first album. Song For America had everything I liked from fast rock driven songs to the longer prog tracks. The musicianship,songwriting,and vocal prowess defined their sound for the 70's. Unlike the European prog bands,Kansas brought an American flavor straight from the heartland into their music which made it totally different from anything else out there. A stand out album in a series of standout albums and always hold a place close to my heart because it was my first foray into their music
 Monolith by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.21 | 340 ratings

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Monolith
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by celtics81

4 stars I don't quite understand all these two a three star reviews. I'm a little biased because I've loved this group since I was 12 years old and they helped me get through a lot of hard times at that tender age. I'm not really down on this recording of Kansas MONOLITH but I think it's quite a ways down the entire Kansas discography by the original lineup. I would give it around 4.25 stars.

I think that the four or so best tracks are "On the other Side", "Angels Have Fallen", "Glimpse of Home", and "Away From You". If I could, I'd cut off the final two tracks which are "Stay out of trouble" and "Reason to be". Stay out of trouble is very juvenile and not anywhere's near anything that was on the previous album POINT OF KNOW RETURN. That album was a blockbuster that is my favorite album of all-time. Reason to be was just too soft and not what I want to hear from Kansas. I think Steve's vocals are incredibly outstanding ( listen to how he ends his vocals on the track "On the other side" and the vocals on "Angels have Fallen") on this release of MONOLITH. "Glimpse of Home" is still one of my favorite songs overall of this group too!!!

 Kansas by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.99 | 554 ratings

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Kansas
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars For me the Classic Prog bands are unsurpassed but every now and then a progressive band succeeds to impress me very much, close to the excitement of Seventies Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, ELP and King Crimson: from Camel, PFM, Ange and Triana to Rush, Solaris, Gerard and Anekdoten. And of course 6 piece USA formation Kansas, I was blown away when I listened for the first time to Kansas, during a session with the just released fourth album entitled Leftoverture (1976). What an overwhelming, unique, melodic and harmonic blend of classical and rock featuring The Holy Trinity of guitar, keyboard and violin! But I would like to focus on their eponymous debut album from 1974.

1. Can I Tell You (3:31) : From the first second you can enjoy the very distinctive early Kansas sound featuring swirling violin, harder-edged electric guitar, flashy keyboards runs in a propulsive atmosphere, with frequent bombastic eruptions. The awesome interplay between the violin and the electric guitar emphasizes the exciting blend of classical and rock, this is trademark early Kansas.

2. Bringing It Back (3:33) : This track is in the vein of the first one, again it delivers exciting work on violin and keyboards (piano). And the powerful vocals (like in the opener) add an extra dimension.

3. Lonely Wind (4:15) : After the fitst two bombastic up-tempo songs the third track is mellow with warm vocals, tender piano play and sensitive violin, wonderful, the other side of Kansas (like later on the worldwide hit Dust In The Wind).

4. Belexes (4:22) : An up-tempo beat with sumptuous Hammond organ and fiery electric guitar, it sounds like heavy melodic rock, also due to the wah-wah drenched guitar solo.

5. Journey From Mariabronn (7:55) : The first longer track on this debut album, very alternating with propulsive drums and the Holy Trinity at its best: swirling violin, dazzling Minimoog flights and moving electric guitar. The bild- up is excellent, culminating in a bombastic finale with strong vocals and trademark early Kansas with their exciting blend of classical and rock!

6. The Pilgrimage (3:42) : A captivating contrast between the dreamy first part (with Howe-like soft jazzy guitar) and then a catchy mid-tempo beat with that awesome Holy Trinity , supported by the outstanding rhythm-section.

7. Apercu (9:43) : The second epic composition, also a very varied blend of classical and rock: from mellow and compelling to bombastic, the interplay is great, again we can enjoy soli with swirling violin and fiery electric guitar.

8. Death Of Mother Nature Suite (7:43) : The final song of the original album is an epic highlight, Kansas succeeds to translate the pretty sad lyrics into their music, the one moment anger ( raw vocals and heavy bombastic atmosphere), the other moment melancholical (apocalyptic vocal harmonies) or furious (final part featuring an exciting builld-up with Hammond and propulsive drums), what a compelling track and what a grand finale of this excellent first album!

Bonus track on 2004 EPIC remaster:

9. Bringing It Back (Live *) (9:41) : An extended version, of course loaded with great soli (especially on the Hammond organ) and strong work by the dynamic rhythm-secton.

A final remark. Today it's World Wildlife Day, just read the lyrics of Death Of Mother Nature Suite, nothing changed in almost 45 years, and it even gets worse and worse!

'Every day she gets a little weaker The beauty she once knew has come and gone We've murdered all her sons and all her daughters The blood is on your hands, the time has come And now she's gonna die

We've strangled all her trees and starved her creatures There's poison in the sea and in the air But worst of all we've learned to live without her We've lost the very meaning of our lives And now she's gonna die

Once she ruled the earth with love and wisdom But we were much too smart to live her way With greed and lust we tried to rise above her The ignorance of man will reach an end 'Cause now we're gonna die'.

 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.22 | 1020 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Lush, bombastic, uniquely 'murican: 8/10

KANSAS was one of the first bands in America to attempt to emulate the roaring (and by their time decadent) European prog and to succeed doing so without sounding like a ripoff. They were able to not only drain from the intercontinental musical fountain but also to amalgamate that with American influences, ultimately crafting a style particular to them. With that being said, KANSAS is an American prog band first and foremost, even with its rather unorthodox leanings.

In LEFTOVERTURE the band crystallizes its musical archetype: [b]focus on melody[/b]. The guitars, the vocals, the synthesizers, the piano or the violins; they are all directed at creating a lush, immersive environment, usually having little complexity (for prog standards at least). Here is where they begin to schism with European prog (which is much more technical-focused, even the Symphonic types). Two other characteristics are also noteworthy: KANSAS ' approach on violin with a cheerful tone and as an accompaniment - rather than as a classically-imbued, lead instrument, typical on British prog - and their hard rocking stance (akin to [b]Rush[/b]). Altogether, these three factors cement KANSAS ' uniqueness.

Something that really deserves attention are the moments KANSAS signals to have quite a lot of potential to build much, MUCH more ambitious musical moments than just their typical "melodism". Specifically for that matter three songs deserve praise: [b]Carry on my Wayward Son[/b], which needs no introduction; [b]Miracles out of Nowhere[/b], which doesn't go overly passionate (as, sometimes, the band does) and culminates in an explosive mixture of their archetypal melody with a dynamic instrumental jam, unexpectedly enjoyable; and the(ir) polyphonic [b]Magnum Opus[/b]. Indeed deserving its name, it's an almost entirely instrumental track with spectacular technicality, complexity, and virtuosity akin to top-notch European prog; unrelentingly eclectic, vivid and creative. It's no stretch to claim that, during those eight minutes, KANSAS becomes the American GENTLE GIANT.

I'm not much of a fan of melodic stuff so I expected KANSAS not to appease me, yet surprisingly they did. I admit that sometimes they feel exceedingly melodic and rather generic, but, generally, their (implicitly bluesy) hard rock feels fresh when combined with lush synthesizers. Combine that with the details described in the last paragraph, and you can understand why LEFTOVERTURE is quite a great album.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 239 ratings

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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
3.83 | 239 ratings

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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 | 706 ratings

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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 | 481 ratings

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Masque
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
3.83 | 239 ratings

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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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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