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KANSAS

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 1999
Audio CD$3.72
$1.35 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$5.05
$4.98 (used)
Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
Box set · Limited Edition
Epic 2012
Audio CD$50.92
$46.99 (used)
Kansas (Expanded Edition)Kansas (Expanded Edition)
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2004
Audio CD$1.37
$1.14 (used)
Song for AmericaSong for America
Remastered
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.87
$5.88 (used)
The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)
Limited Edition
Friday Music 2014
Vinyl$24.99
$21.59 (used)
Point of Know ReturnPoint of Know Return
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$1.98
$0.98 (used)
MasqueMasque
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.40
$2.98 (used)
MonolithMonolith
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$2.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
KANSAS LP Self Title US $9.99 Buy It Now 33m 28s
KANSAS - VINYL CONFESSIONS - NEW CD US $14.21 Buy It Now 43m 24s
The Best of Kansas [Remaster] by Kansas (CD) US $6.99 Buy It Now 45m 16s
KANSAS "MONOLITH" LP 1979 GATEFOLD COVER WITH ORIGINAL INNER SLEEVE US $4.99 Buy It Now 47m 5s
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1h 31m
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2h 2m
Kerry Livgren AD--Time Line 1984 XIAN Rock Vinyl LP Record Kansas US $11.50 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Kansas by Jennifer Knapp (CD, Nov-1998, Gotee) US $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Louisiana Red - Red's Dream / Wilbert Harrison - Kansas City 45 reissue US $2.00 Buy It Now 2h 12m
GLEN CAMPBELL MANHATTAN KANSAS/WAYFARIN' STRANGER 1972 45 RPM CAPITOL 3305 US $2.98 Buy It Now 2h 15m
THE BLUES MAN (My Baby's Blues / Kansas City) R&B - SOUL 78 RPM RECORD US $200.00 Buy It Now 2h 17m
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KANSAS EXTENDED VERSIONS US $1.99 Buy It Now 2h 26m
Devo Live At Max's Kansas City w/ Bowie intro 1977 RSD 2014 SEALED Record Store US $104.99 Buy It Now 2h 27m
78 rpm Kansas City Seven Keynote 1303 in V+ (Lester Young) US $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 34m
Kansas Masque Vinyl Record Free Shipping in the US 1975 US $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Kansas POINT OF KNOW RETURN Vinyl Record Free Shipping in the US 1977 US $7.99 Buy It Now 2h 54m
CD-The Wizards From Kansas-Same 60's heavy Psych ~Garage US $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 17m
Live: Dust in the Wind, Kansas, New Special Edition US $1.99 Buy It Now 3h 21m
Krzak - Sciepka / Drzewo Oliwne/ Kansas / Kawa Blues - Polish Blues SP7 US $7.00 Buy It Now 3h 24m
Kansas City Sounds by Bob Brookmeyer (CD, Mar-2007, Fresh Sound Spain OOP) US $13.00 Buy It Now 3h 27m
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic Associated) US $0.99 [0 bids]
3h 30m
Leftoverture - Kansas - Kirshner JZ-34224 US $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 32m
LP-Max's Kansas City Vol.2-THE BRATS/JUST WATER/P.RAMBOW NY 77 PUNK SEALED US $11.99 [0 bids]
3h 32m
Bleeding Kansas Dead Under Decor NEW ships fast not a promo combine ship Abacus US $3.99 [0 bids]
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3h 33m
KANSAS: Drastic Measures (LP, 1983) VG+/NM- US $4.00 Buy It Now 3h 40m
LP-The Wizards from Kansas Re of 60's psych garage rarity US $13.99 [0 bids]
3h 43m
Seventh Key - I Will Survive +1 Japan CD+obi, AOR,Mike Slamer,Billy Greer,Kansas US $22.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
KANSAS CITY SOUNDTRACK (CD 1996) Jazz Blues Verve Album 12 Songs FREE SHIPPING US $8.99 Buy It Now 4h 2m
KANSAS Point Of Know Return 1977 GERMANY 7" 45 US $11.25 Buy It Now 4h 19m
ROY SEARCY & FRIENDS Live Jam Session '76 PRIVATE R&B BLUES VOCAL LP KANSAS CITY US $29.74 Buy It Now 4h 33m
Johnny Pierson Radio Show - WHB Kansas City 2/3/1961 great KC Station! US $9.00 [0 bids]
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4h 34m
Jerry Mason Top 40 Radio show -WHB Kansas City 9/4/1964 Great Music from 1964 US $9.00 [0 bids]
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4h 35m
KANSAS Leftoverture 8 track tape US $3.86 [0 bids]
5h 2m
LPCD45 Direct Cut Master Best Sound Vol. 1 Willie Nelson Kansas Air Supply Heart US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Kansas Audio-Visions Hold On IN SHRINK US $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 10m
KANSAS Self Titled PZ32817 COLUMBIA Records Vinyl LP US $9.99 [0 bids]
5h 13m
KANSAS . MONOLITH .. CBS LP 1979 US $3.25 [0 bids]
5h 23m
KANSAS .. LEFTOVERTURE .. CBS LP 1976 US $3.25 [0 bids]
5h 24m
KANSAS .. POINT OF NO RETURN .. CBS LP 1977 US $3.25 [0 bids]
5h 25m
Kansas Leftoverture 1976 Kirshner / CBS Records PZ-34224 VG+ VINYL US $3.79 Buy It Now 5h 29m
SIX ROCK 8 TRACKS / FOGHAT / KANSAS / BTO / STYX / YOUNG / COCKER US $8.00 Buy It Now 5h 32m
, Audio CD, Leaving Kansas (Digipak) US $7.09 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Bob Dylan Neil Young The Who Kansas Santana Dr Hook Cassettes Very Good US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Kansas Point of No Return 8 track Tape Vintage Kirshner 1977 US $0.99 [0 bids]
5h 41m
DEVO-LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY 2014 RECORD STORE DAY RELEASE 2,000 COPIES US $41.00 [13 bids]
5h 41m
KANSAS--THE BEST OF--10 SONG CD--L@@K US $2.95 [0 bids]
US $3.95 Buy It Now
5h 47m
Kansas Monolith 8 Track Tape Tested & Working Rock Original 1979 US $5.99 Buy It Now 5h 51m
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5h 55m
Memphis Jamboree 1927-1936-LP Yazoo USA-Memphis Minnie-Kansas Joe McCoy-L-1021 US $40.71 Buy It Now 5h 56m
1980 KANSAS ROCK GROUP AUDIO VISIONS Reel To Reel Tape - 3.75 ips COLUMBIA CBS US $21.62 [3 bids]
5h 57m
Count Basie-Kansas City Suite-Benny Carter-LP-Roulette-R 52056-Vinyl Record US $3.49 [0 bids]
US $4.54 Buy It Now
5h 58m
HEAR IT 45 rpm Little Richard "Kansas City" from 1959 US $12.00 Buy It Now 6h 13m
Live! Topeka, Kansas Feb. '55 - Count Basie/Stars of Birdland (S.Vaughan/S.Getz) US $7.99 [0 bids]
6h 14m
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Beatles - Kansas City/Boys - ORIGINAL 1965 Star Line 45! US $59.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Heartbreakers* ?- Live At Max's Kansas City 12" RECORD US $27.00 Buy It Now 6h 30m
Kansas Classic Collection CD US $8.98 Buy It Now 6h 32m
Earl Scruggs and the Revue "Live at Kansas State" Bluegrass LP Columbia KC 31758 US $4.29 [0 bids]
6h 40m
Earl Scruggs - Live at Kansas State - 8 Track US $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 44m
THE JACKSONS Private Kansas XIAN FOLK LP GOOFY COVER US $13.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Max Groove-MAXIMUM-Kansas City-MO.Keyboards-SAX-Jazz-Cd US $7.99 Buy It Now 7h 2m
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Fats Domino 45 HEARTBREAK HILL / KANSAS CITY ~ ABC VG r+b US $5.00 [0 bids]
7h 10m
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7h 11m
BUTTS BAND The Doors ROBBIE KRIEGER I won't be alone anymore / Kansas City PROMO US $8.35 Buy It Now 7h 15m
Kansas "The Best of Kansas" (1984) CD DADC Pressing Japan U.S.A. EUC USED US $7.64 Buy It Now 7h 17m
Original with Hype Sticker Rock LP : Kansas ~ Leftoverture ~ Kirshner JZ 34224 US $40.00 [0 bids]
7h 28m
Original Press with Hype Sticker Rock LP : Kansas ~ Point Of Know Return ~ 34929 US $30.00 [0 bids]
7h 28m
STEVE HACKETT PLEASE DON'T TOUCH SOLO VINYL LP GENESIS KANSAS WALSH EHART PROMO US $7.00 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
7h 28m
Mickey Vegas Presents Coons Collaboration Compilation HTF G-FUNK KANSAS YUKMOUTH US $24.99 [0 bids]
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7h 30m
Sealed Original Gatefold Rock LP : Kansas ~ Monolith ~ Kirshner FZ 36008 Stereo US $40.00 [0 bids]
7h 32m
Rare OG Black Label Blues Vocal LP: Kansas City Jazz ~ Decca 8044 ~ Joe Turner US $40.00 [0 bids]
7h 32m
PLAYLIST:THE VERY BEST OF KANSAS [Digipak]by Kansas (CD 4/08)NEW~FREE SHIPPING~ US $8.00 [0 bids]
7h 33m
Vintage 4 Track Radio Station Cart - Kansas - Dust in the Wind US $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 41m
The Velvet Underground Live at Max's Kansas City 1972 Atlantic Records USA US $9.99 [0 bids]
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7h 43m
Kansas City [Original Soundtrack] (CD, May-1996, Verve) US $1.99 Buy It Now 7h 48m
KANSAS S/T 1974 JAPAN CD OBI SRCS SEALED 1ST PRESS US $49.99 Buy It Now 8h 12m
KANSAS MASQUE 1975 JAPAN CD OBI SRCS SEALED 1ST PRESS US $49.99 Buy It Now 8h 24m
KANSAS SONG FOR AMERICA 1975 JAPAN CD OBI SRCS SEALED 1ST PRESS US $49.99 Buy It Now 8h 26m
Kansas Point of Know Return 1977 US LP Record JZ 34929 VG+/VG US $5.00 [0 bids]
8h 34m
BUCK OWENS--PICTURE SLEEVE ONLY---(KANSAS CITY SONG)--PS--PIC--SLV US $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 42m
Rubo - What Do We Have Here Now? G-FUNK CD WICHITA KANSAS U.D.T. LADY YO MIDWEST US $4.99 [0 bids]
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8h 42m
Box Set by Kansas (CD, Jul-1994, 2 Discs, Legacy) BOXSET Brand new! OOP! US $19.99 [0 bids]
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8h 46m
Holly Long cd -- Leaving Kansas US $6.00 Buy It Now 8h 47m
KANSAS Debut Classic Hard Rock Pop Prog CD Psychedelic LSD Stoner US $5.00 [0 bids]
8h 52m
THE TROGGS - LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY [BONUS TRACKS/DVD] - NEW CD US $11.43 Buy It Now 8h 59m
Kansas Two For The Show Double 12" Gatefold Vinyl US $0.99 [0 bids]
9h 19m
KANSAS " POINT OF KNOW RETURN " LP VINYL US $0.50 [1 bids]
9h 33m
KANSAS " LEFTOVERTURE " LP VINYL US $1.26 [5 bids]
9h 33m
KANSAS " Piont of no return" LP 12inch US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $14.99 Buy It Now
9h 56m
KANSAS - Stand Beside Me / House on Fire - 1988 Vinyl Pic Sleeve/ Hard Rock AOR US $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 3m
WILBERT HARRISON - KANSAS CITY / LISTEN, MY DARLING - U.S. 7" 45 FURY 1023- K@@L US $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 4m
KANSAS - Song for America LP New SEALED 180 gram US $26.99 Buy It Now 10h 32m

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KANSAS shows & tickets


  • Kansas on 21 Nov 2014
  • Kansas on 23 Nov 2014

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)

4.00 | 365 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.15 | 444 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.68 | 320 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 682 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.12 | 492 ratings
Point of Know Return
1977
3.19 | 223 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.05 | 168 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.74 | 135 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.17 | 130 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.68 | 142 ratings
Power
1986
2.83 | 123 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.22 | 132 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.44 | 86 ratings
Always Never the Same
1998
3.51 | 176 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000

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

4.23 | 160 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.85 | 34 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.46 | 29 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.05 | 10 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
3.97 | 54 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2002
2.09 | 8 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2002
1.22 | 4 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2003
1.78 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
2003
4.02 | 35 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009

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

3.28 | 13 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.16 | 56 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.45 | 48 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009

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

2.48 | 55 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.75 | 36 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.04 | 9 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.19 | 26 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.09 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.82 | 28 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
4.11 | 31 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
2.86 | 4 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.04 | 4 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
3.89 | 18 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.71 | 3 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.06 | 7 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
What's On My Mind
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hold On
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Right Away
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Power
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Point of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.12 | 492 ratings

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Point of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings

4 stars As a kid in the late 70's, I can remember standing in Zeller's department store near the cafeteria and looking at the covers of the record albums on display in the music department across the aisle. Three covers made a deep enough impression that I easily recognized them when, years later, that style of music became my preference. One pictured a domed city on a gigantic guitar with rocket flames churning out from below. "Boston" was emblazoned in gold letters across the guitar, and the earth was exploding in the distance. Another cover featured an intense-looking, long-haired man furiously clutching and playing a guitar from whose head was bursting forth flame and sparks, like a double barrel shotgun blasting. The third album cover was quite different. No flames, guns, rockets, or explosions, just a silhouetted ship tipping over the edge of a seemingly endless waterfall with no bottom. A black sun shone from beyond the falls, providing a sense of hope because a sun existed beyond oblivion but at the same time mystery and a dread of the unknown. I became familiar with the first two albums in my teens; however it was only a few weeks ago that I sat down to order an album by Kansas, just to see what all the fuss was about, that I was at last able to put a band name to that haunting album cover with the ship going over the ocean- breadth-sized waterfall.

"Point of Know Return" was not my first Kansas album. I bought "Power" several years ago when I was in a Deep Purple haze craze and wanted to hear what the members past and present of that legendary band were doing when not in DP, and the Steve Morse connection brought me to Kansas. Only at that time did I even first know that "Dust in the Wind" was a song by the same band! Yeah, I know: what part of the world was I hiding in all these years?

So, at last a classic Kansas album made it to my CD collection and I can tell you that even though "Leftoverture" is higher rated on PA, it was that cover that impressed me so well at the age of six that made me click to order "Point of Know Return" instead.

I'd read the reviews and knew to expect a few things: arena rock, violin, and 70's American prog (whatever that last part meant). With the opening title track I heard the first two aspects but not much of the third. Seventies arena rock with violin and organ syncopation. Oh, well. A decent driving song. I guess that's what this album will be about, I thought.

But to my pleasant surprise, the 70's American arena rock sound was relegated to the passenger seat on most of the other songs. "Paradox" begins sounding a lot like Dixie Dregs, and "The Spider" is a blatant salute to ELP. "Portrait (He Knew)" is a nice blend of the two prevailing styles of hard rock and prog, and "Closet Chronicles" presents an anthemic musical theme in the styling of classic Uriah Heep but with an instrumental section that favours tempo and mood changes, and prog instrumentation.

The arena rock sound returns for "Lightning's Hand" and "Sparks of the Tempest" (interestingly, the rock aspect of "Tempest" reminds me of Montrose), but not without the trademark sudden tempo changes, odd time signatures, and rapid bursts of classically- influenced playing. And in between these two tracks, timely slotted, is the beautiful acoustic number, "Dust in the Wind". Though I've heard it dozens of times on classic rock radio, I actually got chills when it came into my ear buds. It does stand out as the odd ball of the album, in a way much like "Lucky Man" stands out from ELP's debut.

The last two tracks, "Nobody's Home" and "Hopelessly Human" really focus on the progressive rock side of the band and make for a great pair of songs. I can't help but feel that "Nobody's Home" may have influenced one of Saga's early songs.

I was surprised how familiar the band often sounded to me. Of course "Dust in the Wind" and their other huge hit "Carry On Wayward Son" are classic rock radio staples whose choruses I have known most of my life. Then there's the occasional similarity to Dixie Dregs sans guitar wiz, Steve Morse. But the arena rock aspects and Steve Walsh's vocals are still to be found years later on "Power". Actually, I really like Walsh's vocals, typical of American seventies rock, and I realize how much of an influence rock of the seventies had on my musical preferences even though I was only a kid.

Duly impressed from the first listen to this album, I have now ordered "Song for America" and "Leftoverture". Kansas my just be my next Nektar or Saga, two other bands whose second addition to my CD collection immediately warranted the purchase of a few albums more.

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.22 | 682 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by HarmonyDissonan

5 stars ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAV. PROG ALBUMS FROM THE CLASSIC ERA!

First I'll say that I'm sure I won't due this classic justice. I grew up in the seventies and I can't help but feel as though I was blessed with great music to grow up to, both from the previous half decade and the decade of the seventies! But for prog purposes, the seventies were awesome and this album is in my personal top 10 progger's from the seventies list!

It opens with the classic- 'Carry On Wayward Son'! Now that alone is very near the price of admission but the great music doesn't stop there! The next track is 'The Wall' a beautiful song with many nice changes in tempo and instrumentation, something that is the true definition of progessive music in my book. This song, almost as much as any on this great album gives the impression to me of the overall message being relayed on it. Literal or subliminal, the message within the songs seems to be to me a quest or personal journey of spiritual and emotional discovery, the teller of musical stories and his (I say 'his' since it is a male singer) description of them. Although as I listen to this as I try to type with my two index finger style, I have to say that one of my favorites on the album is also like 'The Wall' in that is another very album conceptual track and that would be 'Miracles Out Of No Where'. I love the baroque break in this song, very intricate with an almost fugue feel to it.

The next track, 'Opus Insert' is a great rocker with some slower introspective moments to it and as I had said earlier, this is what prog rock means to me. I love the break in this song too! Great percussion! I love good percussion performed well and from piano and other keyboards to xylophones and other misc. percussion they do a fine job here on 'L'! 'Questions Of My Childhood' keeps the vibe going strong with some very fine grooves and their ubiquitous violin which is well known as one of their calling cards.

'Cheyenne Anthem' has always held a special place with me and in my spyche. So much so that back in the day I had a yellow t-shirt with the KANSAS lettering across the top, I might have gotten it at their concert and I wrote the last lines of this song across it. I'm a bit of a hoarder, but I can't seem to find that shirt. I can't help but think that in a moment of weakness, I might have let it slip away. Oh well.

This treasure ends with the longest and probably the most proggie track on it, 'Magnum Opus'. It is another classic, although it does end the album in a slightly different vein than put forward by the previous tracks. It is also very good, but just a little different. I don't think it distracts much, but it is a track that I don't always listen to as I drive and listen to music. Maybe I would if I had a longer commute. But I can't help but feel that having lived 1 mile for my commute to work for 23 years and now 2.5 for the last 11 that that has been a blessing in itself. Anyway, it is a good, but slightly different song than the rest and perhaps that is one of the reasons for it's positioning on the album. I don't feel that it has any long- lasting detrimentalness to this classic. One of my personal fav. prog albums from the classic era!

This is IMHO a classic prog album that anyone with a love for classic prog era prog would probably appreciate! Well that's about it. Take care and enjoy God's gift of music!

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 320 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''Song for America'' brought Kansas in notice with its 250,000 sold copies and the album climbed up to No.57 of the US charts, eventually becoming gold in 1980.Even so Don Kirshner somewhat pushed the band to write more commercial material for their next album.''Masque'' was recorded at the Country in Bogalusa, Los Angeles, but lyrically it ended up to be Kansas' more sinister effort, dealing with issues such as nightmares, death and the dilemma of life.Most of the material was written by Livgren and Walsh and the album was released in September 1975.

The same formula used in the previous Kansas works is present in yet another effort by the Americans with tracks like ''It takes a woman's love (to make a man), ''Two cents worth'' and ''It's you'' clearly written to reach a wider audience with their friendly style and their heartfelt lyrics.Straight rockers, which still retained the talents of the Kansas' crew due to the bombastic sound of Hammond organ and the smoky violin solos of Robby Steinhardt.On the other hand ''All the world'' is great US Prog/Art Rock with great use of synths, piano and organ and Classical-flavored violins, evolving from lyrical ballad-like movements to symphonic grandieur with a powerful sound.''Icarus - borne on wings of steel'' is nice attempt on groovier, proggy material with emphatic vocals and organ, played with complexity and virtuosity, supported by yet another nice performance by Steinhardt on violin.''Child of innocence'' is definitely more pompous Hard Prog with a questionable lyrical content but great switches between angry and sensitive vocal lines and fiery instrumental room at the middle with punchy guitars and keyboards.''Mysteries and mayhem'' is pretty similar, standard rhythmic Hard Rock with passionate vocals, melodic violins and a few impressive, proggy breaks and interplays.I do not know if ''The pinnacle'' was named so to indicate the album's most intricate piece, but this definitely Kansas at their best, familiar Classical-drenched Progressive Rock with striking, instrumental lines, great melodies and adventurous twists and turns.Great piano lines, confident organ and synth runs, beautiful symphonic orchestrations and some more Hard Rockin' instrumental textures.Monster track.

While ''Masque'' finds Kansas at their most accesible phase during their progressive period, the consistently tight songwriting, the solid arrangements and the bombastic, proggy themes in here stabilized them as a top Prog/Art Rock band of the 70's.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Two for the Show by KANSAS album cover Live, 1978
4.23 | 160 ratings

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Two for the Show
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Surprisingly, the land of cheeseburgers, baseball and gun crime didn't produce much prog during the genre's peak years, though it did - thank the stars - give us Kansas. Alongside Styx, Starcastle, Journey and Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Kansas were part of this very big country's very small progressive movement, melding earthy Southern rock with Yes-style histrionics on such winning album's as 'Song For America', 'Leftoverture' and 1978's cunningly-titled 'Point Of Know Return'. Of course, once the 1980's came calling, the group would slowly morph in a much more commercially-viable entity and that, coupled with Kerry Livgren's conversion into Evangelical Christianity, saw the end of Kansas the prog-rockers. Theif first six albums are all well worth investigating for those interested, and if you really can't be bothered to collect them all then you can just buy this double-sided live album which rounds up the best of those albums in rousing live form. Live albums, though, are always a gamble. One of the music industry's most quixotic creations, live albums can either be absolutely brilliant - think Chicago's quadruple-sided 'At Carnegie Hall', Santana's epic triple-sized 'Lotus' or the scintillating 'Solar Music Live' from German symphonic proggers Grobschntt - or they can be a complete and utter waste of time. Great live albums find a group stretching out and adding to the studio material, turning already great songs into even bigger and better ones; bad live albums are either inaudible, unneccessary and dull, and there is nothing worse than a live album where each-and-every song resembles the studio version with no added extras. Simply put, what is the point? You already have the studio albums, so why listen to inferior versions featuring inferior sound quality, unless there is something extra that adds to the music. Although 'Two For The Show' certainly isn't a bad album, it does come under the 'rather unneccessary' banner, as the live versions here are merely note-for- note re-enactments of their studio counterparts. There is nothing wrong with the actual playing - it is, for the most, pretty superb - it's just that those little extra's that can make live albums soooo good simply aren't here. So, what you have is essentially a live greatest hits conpendium of Kansas' peak years. Give me the studio albums any day.

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 The Best of Kansas (1999)  by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.19 | 26 ratings

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The Best of Kansas (1999)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

3 stars |C| A good compilation with some unnecessary "hits."

(On a personal note, this compilation has some element of being someone important to me, for it was among my first exposures as a child to progressive rock, and this reissue was part of the turning point for me wanting more of this "complex music" in my High School years.)

Indeed, this is a reissue of the compilation of that came out in the eighties, with some replaced songs that most seem to agree improved its quality by a slight margin. To sum it up, it has mostly Kansas hits, including the good ones from their first few albums, as well as really lame ones (Fight Fire With Fire, Hold On, and Play The Game Tonight) that really dampen the validity of the compilation's title; but then again, for that you would pretty much only include anything from the first few albums regardless! However, considering that the compilation originally came out in the infamous 80s, we should be appreciative that they didn't do a much worse job with the commercialization aspect of selecting songs. All of the tracks over 4 minutes long are just fantastic, practically classical compositions in a lot of ways, I find, coming from a classical musician perspective!

(I'll always remember sitting on the bus on the way to high school listening to The Pinnacle on my walkman, thinking "wow, what a beautiful song, and so long and interesting! Such cool influence from classical music!")

A good compilation in general - if you're not too interested in "getting into" Kansas, but would like a good set of some of their finest material, this compilation will definitely serve you well.

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 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.15 | 444 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

5 stars Kansas' sophomore album is both their most artistic, progressive, and impressive showing in the band's history. The album starts off with 'Down the Road', a fast-paced southern rock-esque song that is just under four minutes. This is an excellent way to start off the album; it showcases the band's melodic songwriting as well as their fantastic instrumentation with violin, guitar, and keyboard soloing throughout. In a way, it's giving a hint of what to expect from the rest of the album, only in a (relatively) short sequence.

In my opinion, the title-track is one of, if not the greatest progressive rock song ever written. 'Song for America' never fails to amaze me by its sheer brilliance in every sense of the word. Kerry Livgren began writing this song while he was in an airplane soaring over American landscapes. Inspired by the relatively young age of his country, the song's lyrics discuss the abrupt colonization and damage that North American land endured in a short amount of time. The song itself is almost ten minutes exact. I can't begin to describe how many melodies this song has. When listening, it almost sounds like there's a brand new melody every ten seconds. It's just incredible that one man came up with all of these, and he did it during the 70s on a sheet of paper!

'Lamplight Symphony' is another great song. It slower in pace than its predecessor and sounds very majestic. The song is about a widower who is confronted by his wife's ghost. It's a haunting, yet very beautiful song. Next up is 'Lonely Street'. I can't lie, I don't like this song at all. It's dull, boring, out of place, doesn't sound anything like a Kansas song, shouldn't be on the album, moving on. 'The Devil Game' is an awesome track. Here, the fast tempo recurs and it shines with a genuinely presence. This is Steve Walsh-written song, and in my opinion, the best Kansas song he wrote during the 70s. The lyrics are about how one chooses to live their life, "Life is a game, and the stakes will remain the same."

The concluding song on the album being the longest. "Incomudro" is Livgren-written journey about spirituality. It definitely is the most progressive of all tracks. Starting slow and symphonic, and building into a Moog synthesizer showcase. The song eventually leads into a drum solo which I always used to question whether it's necessary or not. But I figure, why not? This is prog we are talking about. Anyways, "Incomudro" is a decent song, it requires close attention in some aspects in order to appreciate more.

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.22 | 682 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

3 stars Leftoverture is an album that has always put me in a confused position as big fan of Kansas. Kansas is without a doubt one of my favorite bands, and Leftoverture was the first album of theirs I purchased. Of course, it was because of the great 'Carry On Wayward Son' that I was motivated to give the whole album a listen, but unfortunately, besides the opening track, there just is not much else to offer in my opinion. The fact that many call this Kansas' best album has always made me listen very carefully to it from beginning to end, and sadly my opinion has yet to change.

'Carry On Wayward Son' is in my honest opinion, the greatest song ever written. I will be boldly honest when I say that I have listened to this one song well over a thousand times. During my Junior and Senior years in high school, I would listen to it every day, and even sing it out loud during class; my peers would occasionally follow. Just about everyone has heard this song, so I won't go into great detail of analyzing, but I will say that everything from the catchy opening A Capella-style singing chorus, to the poetic lyrics, to the rocking guitar riffs/solos, beautiful piano motifs, etc. are just sublime and make this song one of a kind. I have searched endlessly to find a song that could possibly hold a candle to this one, and I have never found it. How this song fuses progressive rock with its pop elements is just incredible. I will forever applaud Kerry Livgren for his artistic genius in writing this song.

Then comes 'The Wall'. I would be lying if I said I don't get bored from this song right away. This is one of those songs that is far more lyrics-oriented than anything. The instrumentation doesn't have much of a presence in comparison to other Kansas songs. The guitars are here and there, solos in the beginning and middle sections, but not that special. And your typical Kansas symphony sections being present. Everyone is always impressed by this one, but I have always found it completely monotonous, and it always ruins the album's intensity that was established by the opening track.

'What's On My Mind' attempts at reviving the album's momentum with a much more rock tempo, but the sad truth is that it sounds like one of the contrived efforts at writing a "hit" that you'd find on the first two songs from the Masque album. Like much of the album, this song is written by Livgren, but the lyrics are oddly relationship-based. Honestly, when you're listening to this one, you're tempted to just skip back to the first track because you suspect nothing else on this album is going to be nearly as worthwhile.

Songs 'Miracles Out of Nowhere', and 'Cheyenne Anthem' are where I get put in that confused position I was talking about earlier. Both these songs start off great, (although I don't care for the synthesizer/vibraphone sound at the beginning of 'Miracles', it sounds very peculiar), but plummet at the 2:20 mark. 'Miracles Out of Nowhere' just loses all its direction with the violin and synthesizer work as it wanders aimlessly to ground itself back in the song's initial stage. Steve Walsh has stated his dislike for the middle section of 'Cheyenne Anthem', relating it to the Simpsons opening theme written by Danny Elfman. The first time I heard I couldn't believe how ridiculous it sounded that I started laughing. I thought it sounded like the music from 'Pee-wee' Big Adventure' (another Danny Elfman composition), an insane movie that I could never take seriously.

Aside from 'Carry On Wayward Son', the only two songs I genuinely like off this album are 'Opus Insert' and 'Magnum Opus'. What carries the former is easily its chorus, it has a beautiful feel to it and it's sang with dual vocalists like in the opening track, and something that Kansas does often, and always manages to work. 'Magnum Opus' is the most progressive track on this album. It starts slow, then builds into instrumental madness. What's great about this song is that it actually knows where it's going unlike tracks 4 and 7.

So for me, the album only has three worthwhile songs. I'd probably give this two stars, but "Carry On" is so good it adds one by itself. Anyways, this is by no means the best album Kansas has to offer. Its three predecessors and one succeeding album are all better as wholes. In complete honesty, most of this album sounds like what you would write had you spent all your time at a circus. I'm not kidding, the beginning of 'Questions Of My Childhood' sounds like the circus music you would hear on a merry-go- round!

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 320 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars I like Kansas a lot, at least what I have heard. While I wouldn't say I'm fanatical about the band, I do know the albums from their most popular period (Masque to Monolith). I don't know the first couple of albums or more recent releases. Therefore, this is a review of Masque compared to the surrounding albums. Masque is not the "pinnacle" (pun very much intended) of Kansas' output, but it is an excellent album. It gets 3 1/2 to 4 stars in my book.

The musicianship of Kansas is without a doubt one of the primary reasons for the band's success. This album is, of course, extremely well-played. One of my criticisms of Masque, however, is that it's so keyboard- heavy. This may be why I love prog, but symphonic prog is not my favorite subgenre. On the plus side is Steve Walsh's singing. Of course, he's always good. Not only does he have a stupendous voice, he knows how to use it effectively. He's one of the best singers in rock music IMO.

Masque contains some of the band's best, most memorable songs. I'm talking about "Icarus", "Child of Innocence", and "The Pinnacle". One the other hand, we're stuck with "It Takes a Woman's Love" and 1 or 2 others. I imagine there were commercial reasons for including "It Takes a Woman's Love" and others. They don't stand up to repeated listening, and I just skip over them. Masque does contain some of the band's best material, and that's what earns it 3 1/2 to 4 stars.

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 Somewhere To Elsewhere by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.51 | 176 ratings

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Somewhere To Elsewhere
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I think that the main Progressive Rock influences in Kansas were always contributed by Kerry Livgren, as this album shows. This is the first studio album from the band with him since "Drastic Measures" in 1983, a very Pop Rock album which maybe disappointed him very much and he (as Dave Hope also did the same) left the band in 1984. After that, Kansas split too, until it was reformed by Phil Ehart and Rich Williams in 1985, again with Steve Walsh as lead singer and keyboard player, with two new members, Billy Greer and Steve Morse, and without a violin player.They recorded two other albums with less and less Prog Rock arrangements and more oriented to Pop Rock and Hard Rock music. And after several line-up changes and tours in the nineties (sometimes with Livgren and Hope) and some live albums and a studio album in 1995 ("Freaks of Nature"), they finally released this studio album in 2000 titled "Somewhere to Elsewhere", with all songs composed by Livgren, and with the presence of the six original members of the band (more or less, as Hope only appears on two tracks and Walsh sings in most but not on all the songs, and he recorded his vocals apart while he was away recording a solo album), and with Greer playing bass on most songs and also singing lead vocals on one song ("Look at the Time"). Robbie Steinhardt´s violin playing is very present in most songs, with some classical music arrangements, and the band, as in the seventies, has a mixture of very Progressive Rock and classical music arrangements and also some Heavy Rock arrangements, very typical from them at the time, but most of the time without the Pop Rock influences which were very present in their albums from the eighties. Steinhardt also sings lead vocals in some songs. So, as a whole this album is very good, bringing back the sound of the original Kansas line-up from the seventies most of the time. This is a very good album.

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 In The Spirit Of Things by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.83 | 123 ratings

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In The Spirit Of Things
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I think that the eighites was a very hard decade for some Progressive Rock bands which had to survive pleasing the record companies which gave them recording contracts but not very much artistic freedom. I think that this thing can be listened very much in an album like this by Kansas. This is another over-produced eighties album more oriented for the Pop Rock and Hard Rock markets than for the Prog Rock market. All those "commercial eighties" ingredients are there in this album: very typical eighites sound in the keyboards, a lot of reverbation, typical sounding drums, etc. The guitars by Steve Morse are very good, but more oriented to the Hard Rock style, and Rich Williams is more in the background as guitarist. The original music style of Kansas is harder to identify than in their previous album called "Power", and the band sounds very different. Steve Walsh´s voice sounds good even if it sounds a bit "raw" and a bit tired. The record label even suggested to the band to use songs composed by people who was not in the band, sounding very commercial for my taste ("One Man, One Heart", ."Once in a Lifetime" and "Stand Beside Me") like the record label executives wanted hit singles and they didn´t believe the band had those hit singles as composers. I only like these songs from this album: "One Big Sky","The Preacher" and "T.O. Witcher".

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