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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$4.28
$0.96 (used)
Point of Know ReturnPoint of Know Return
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$2.76
$2.75 (used)
Original Album ClassicsOriginal Album Classics
Box set
Epic 2015
Audio CD$15.50
$15.47 (used)
KANSAS: Miracles Out Of Nowhere (Documentary DVD/CD)KANSAS: Miracles Out Of Nowhere (Documentary DVD/CD)
Legacy 2015
Audio CD$11.25
$8.81 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$3.54
$3.55 (used)
Kansas (Expanded Edition)Kansas (Expanded Edition)
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2004
Audio CD$2.86
$2.85 (used)
The Essential KansasThe Essential Kansas
Sony Legacy 2010
Audio CD$10.97
$6.30 (used)
Song for AmericaSong for America
Remastered
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.66
$2.65 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
The Velvet Underground - Live At Max's Kansas City (Remaster) (NEW CD) USD $18.35 Buy It Now 2h 34m
KANSAS FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE UK EPIC DEMO 70s/80s POP/ROCK USD $2.89 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Kansas-Freaks of Nature RARE CD Phil Ehart Steve Walsh Billy Greer USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Kansas Point Of Know Return JZ-34929 USD $9.35 Buy It Now 3h 37m
Kansas: Point of no Return-LP Record, 1977 CBS Records USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3h 38m
ABANDON KANSAS - ALLIGATOR NEW CD USD $15.03 Buy It Now 3h 44m
KANSAS BEST OF KANSAS CD 10 TRACK DUTCH USD $7.95 Buy It Now 4h 12m
KANSAS Audio-Visions Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 20m
KANSAS Drastic Measures Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 20m
KANSAS Masque Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 20m
KANSAS Monolith Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 20m
KANSAS Point Of No Return Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 20m
KANSAS Song For America Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 21m
KANSAS Two For The Show Blu-spec CD2, 2 Disc set Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $54.95 Buy It Now 4h 21m
KANSAS Vinyl Confessions Blu-spec CD2, Mini LP Japanese with OBI USD $45.95 Buy It Now 4h 21m
KANSAS**FREAKS OF NATURE**CD USD $3.95 Buy It Now 4h 37m
KANSAS**1976: BRYN MAWR**CD USD $17.50 Buy It Now 4h 38m
The Best Of Kansas USD $11.97 Buy It Now 4h 40m
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND**1974: LIVE FROM KANSAS**CD USD $12.50 Buy It Now 5h 4m
KANSAS 45 * Hold On * 1980 #40 * USA ORIGINAL on KIRSHNER with Sleeve USD $3.50 Buy It Now 5h 5m
Freaks of Nature (Audio CD), Kansas USD $19.10 Buy It Now 5h 12m
KANSAS**SONG FOR AMERICA (180 GRAM/GATEFOLD)**VINYL USD $33.95 Buy It Now 5h 17m
JETHRO TULL 1988 Tour T-Shirt Genesis Yes Deep Purple The Who Kansas Cream Gong USD $149.00 Buy It Now 5h 40m
JETHRO TULL 1990 T-Shirt - Genesis Yes Deep Purple The Who Kansas Cream Gong USD $129.00 Buy It Now 5h 58m
KANSAS**TWO FOR THE SHOW: LIVE (180 G/GATEFOLD)**2 VINYL SET USD $42.50 Buy It Now 6h 2m
JAY MCSHANN Hootie's Jumpin Blues 1997 CD Stony Plain 1237 Kansas City MO USD $6.00 Buy It Now 6h 8m
COUNT BASIE-LOT OF 3 LP'S-VINYL-PLAYS HEFTI-STRING ALONG WITH-KANSAS CITY SUITE USD $16.19 Buy It Now 6h 43m
KANSAS Monolith LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ GF Pic Sleeve 1979 Kirshner FZ 36008 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
KANSAS Two For The Show Dbl LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ GF Pic Sleeves 33560 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
KANSAS Drastic Measures LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG++ Pic Sleeve 1983 QZ 39733 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
KANSAS Masque LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG++ Lyrics Sleeve 1975 PZ 33806 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Kansas - Monolith, Vinyl LP Album, Rock 1979, FZ 36008 USD $5.25 Buy It Now 6h 52m
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Full Moon - Hot Sun Live In Kansas. New CD + sealed * NEW * USD $12.94 Buy It Now 6h 54m
KANSAS 'Play The Game Tonight' 1982 Dutch 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $8.66 Buy It Now 7h 14m
KANSAS-SONG FOR AMERICA-JAPAN MINI LP BLU-SPEC CD LTD F25 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 15m
7"-Single THE BEATLES - Kansas City (1965) RARE GERMANY PS USD $99.99 Buy It Now 7h 18m
Journey - Don't Stop Believin' + The Best Of Kansas - Two USA prog rock CD lot USD $2.15 [1 bids]
7h 47m
KANSAS LEFTOVERTURE 8 TRACK TAPE TESTED NEW SPLICE/PADS AS NEEDED USD $6.95 Buy It Now 7h 54m
KANSAS - POWER 1995 US CD * NEW * USD $8.66 Buy It Now 8h 7m
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kansas City Jazz LP 1970 CORAL Jazz EX USD $4.32 [0 bids]
8h 15m
COUNT BASIE & THE KANSAS CITY 7 Self-titled LP on Impulse NM USD $7.99 [0 bids]
8h 20m
Kansas, Audio-Visions, Album / LP / Record USD $8.99 Buy It Now 8h 26m
Lot of 4 33lps, James,Goodman,Kansas Power,Dion&the Belmonts, tested work USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h
Kansas Two for the Show Radio Special 1976 RARE EXCLUSIVE PROMO 2x LP USD $49.98 Buy It Now 9h
Masque Kansas LP Kirshner PZ33806 VG USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 14m
REGICIDE-VIORUS,CD ,SEALED,2004.NIGHTWISH,KANSAS,EVANESCENCE,URIAH HEEP,GOTHIC USD $17.00 Buy It Now 9h 15m
LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY: DELUXE EDITION [REMASTER] NEW CD USD $16.40 Buy It Now 9h 23m
Kansas Monolith 8-Track Tape USD $5.95 Buy It Now 9h 30m
KANSAS-HOLD ON/DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES-ORIGINAL DUTCH PS 7" 45rpm 1980-HARD ROCK USD $7.99 [0 bids]
9h 37m
Plays Benny Carter - Kansas City Suite Count Basie Vinyl Record USD $17.28 Buy It Now 9h 37m
KANSAS / MONOLITH LP w/Insert Gatefold Orig JAPAN ISSUE USD $15.99 Buy It Now 9h 56m
KANSAS MONOLITH GATE FOLD COVER OIS CBS BL36008 Matrix 1B/!B 1979 EX/EX USD $9.45 Buy It Now 10h 28m
Attempted: Live at Max's Kansas City 1980 by Suicide (Vinyl, Mar-2004,... USD $15.95 Buy It Now 10h 29m
SEVENTH KEY - RAGING FIRE - KANSAS, CITY BOY, STRANGEWAYS, THE SIGN - LIKE NEW USD $23.99 [0 bids]
10h 38m
BEFORE CAME AFTER - Proto-Kaw (SPECIAL EDITION) [DIGIPAK] Kansas Kerry Livgren USD $14.05 [8 bids]
10h 39m
Masque [2/25] by Kansas (Vinyl, Feb-2014, Friday Music) USD $31.95 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Kansas by Kansas (Vinyl, Feb-2014, Friday Music) USD $31.95 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Song for America by Kansas (Vinyl, Mar-2014, Friday Music) USD $31.95 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Point of Know Return by Kansas (Vinyl, Feb-2010, Friday Music) USD $32.95 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Best of Kansas [Limited Edition] by Kansas (Vinyl, Jun-2014, Friday Music) USD $32.95 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Live at Max's Kansas City [1/22] by The Velvet Underground (Vinyl, Jan-2016,... USD $30.95 Buy It Now 10h 40m
Two for the Show [5/26] by Kansas (Vinyl, May-2015, 2 Discs, Friday Music) USD $44.98 Buy It Now 10h 40m
BUCK OWENS AND HIS BUCKAROOS THE KANSAS CITY SONG SEALED NEW USD $4.99 Buy It Now 10h 54m
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic Associated) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
10h 54m
Bob Brookmeyer-Kansas City Revisited-Rare Orig. DG Jazz LP-UA Stereo-VG++ HEAR USD $19.99 [0 bids]
11h 10m
SANSHERS: Gonna Git That Man-Kansas City-U.S. 7" 1964 Kweek Records ZTSC- 96832 USD $184.98 Buy It Now 11h 15m
KANSAS-MONOLITH-JAPAN MINI LP BLU-SPEC CD LTD F25 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 27m
(CD) Kansas City - OST / Jazz / Import USD $15.99 Buy It Now 11h 29m
VINTAGE KANSAS LEFTOVERTURE VINYL 12" LP RECORD 1976 CBS-ALBUM-OLD-VTG (VG+) USD $8.50 Buy It Now 11h 33m
KANSAS Point Of Know Return LP 1977 Orig Kirschner AL-34929 VG USD $5.99 Buy It Now 11h 35m
Power by Kansas CD, Mar-2003, Universal Special Products Rock USD $7.50 Buy It Now 11h 44m
Power by Kansas (CD, Mar-2003, Universal Special Products) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 11h 53m
JERMS: That Word 2:15- Love Light 2:30-U.S. 7" 1966 Casino 2AFM211,Kansas Garage USD $348.98 Buy It Now 11h 55m
The Best of Kansas by Kansas (CD) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 12h
The Velvet Underground,Cotillion SD 9500,"Live At Max's Kansas City"US,LP,stereo USD $29.99 [0 bids]
12h 23m
KANSAS - POINT OF KNOW RETURN (LTD) (180GM) NEW VINYL USD $42.26 Buy It Now 12h 35m
Rush Hold Your Fire Cassette Tape 1987 Progressive Rock King Crimson Kansas GTR USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 36m
Kansas Freaks Of Nature Cassette Tape 1995 Rush Hard Rock Marillion Dixie Dregs USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 40m
KANSAS / AUDIO VISIONS / 8 TRACK TAPE* USD $4.00 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Kansas Power Cassette Tape 1988 ORG USA Steve Morse Prog Hard Rock Camel Saga USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 45m
KANSAS * FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE & FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE * 45 RPM * PROMO USD $4.75 Buy It Now 12h 46m
Kansas - Point Of Know Return Cassette Tape CBS 1977 JZT34929 Dust In The Wind USD $6.25 Buy It Now 13h
Kansas Point Of Know Return 1977 LP Record Vinyl VG+/VG USD $15.19 Buy It Now 13h 2m
VINYL LP Kansas - Song For America Kirshner PZ 33385 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 13h 5m
THE KANSAS CITY BOULEVARD BIG BAND -STELLAR -11 TRACK CD -1996 -FREE FASTPOST USD $16.18 Buy It Now 13h 16m
COUNT BASIE & Orchestra - KANSAS CITY SUITE Music of Benny Carter 1961 Forum 12" USD $2.49 Buy It Now 13h 17m
C.BASIE, P. JOHNSON, J. McSHANN, MARY L.WILLIAMS - KANSAS CITY PIANO - 36-41- LP USD $12.95 Buy It Now 13h 26m
Memphis Jug Band scroll Victor 21185 Kansas City Blues / State of TN Blues 78 USD $61.00 [5 bids]
13h 27m
Kansas - Leftoverture - [ 8 Track Tape ] USD $2.75 Buy It Now 13h 33m
ELVIS PRESLEY "KANSAS CITY BLUES" FORT BAXTER LABEL RARE CD USD $18.78 [0 bids]
13h 34m
12" Vinyl 33RPM LP Record Kansas "Power" 1986 MCA-5838 VG / VG USD $4.00 Buy It Now 13h 41m
Pearl Jam Kansas City, Mo #48 Disc 2 05-03-2010 USD $7.50 [0 bids]
13h 43m
KANSAS-EXTENDED VERSION: ENCORE COLLECTION **AUDIO CD*USED PIC#6847 USD $2.95 Buy It Now 13h 47m
KANSAS-LINE AT THE WHISKY**AUDIO CD*USED PIC#6848 USD $2.95 Buy It Now 13h 48m
Kansas-All I Wanted/We're Not Alone Anymore USD $3.00 Buy It Now 13h 55m
Kansas Power Cassette Tape 1988 Steve Morse Progressive Hard Rock AOR Camel Asia USD $7.99 Buy It Now 14h
PRIVATE KANSAS CITY XIAN GOSPEL LP HARP STEEL GUITAR USD $14.99 Buy It Now 14h 10m
Original Album Classics - Kansas (CD Used Very Good) USD $18.38 Buy It Now 14h 12m
Masque [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Legacy) USD $5.00 [0 bids]
14h 14m
KANSAS Point of Know Return (Cassette) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 14h 18m


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KANSAS shows & tickets


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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 | 470 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.14 | 552 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.69 | 407 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 835 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.13 | 608 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.22 | 283 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.06 | 217 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.73 | 174 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.19 | 164 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.69 | 179 ratings
Power
1986
2.84 | 154 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
2.67 | 6 ratings
The Christmas Album
1989
3.23 | 166 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.43 | 110 ratings
Always Never the Same
1998
3.48 | 206 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000

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

4.29 | 193 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.88 | 38 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.47 | 30 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.05 | 11 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
4.02 | 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
4.08 | 45 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009
4.14 | 7 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2014

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

3.28 | 13 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.20 | 55 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.55 | 49 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009
4.11 | 9 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
2015

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

2.50 | 62 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.78 | 35 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.06 | 11 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.22 | 34 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.18 | 6 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.90 | 25 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
3.75 | 4 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
2003
4.05 | 3 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
4.16 | 27 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
2.89 | 5 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.28 | 6 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
4.14 | 16 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.72 | 4 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.21 | 10 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

3.33 | 3 ratings
What's On My Mind
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
3.75 | 4 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
3.33 | 3 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
3.67 | 3 ratings
Hold On
1980
3.67 | 3 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Right Away
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
1983
3.33 | 3 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
3.33 | 3 ratings
Power
1987
3.33 | 3 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.14 | 552 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As unlikely as it sounds, Songs to America is what happens when hard rockin' boogie Americana mixes with full-on symphonic rock. The outcome is something that could only happen in the '70's, and makes for fantastic listening. This is not only a great prog-inspired album by one of the era's most popular hard rock acts... it's a great prog record in general.

Today we hear Kansas on the radio only with "Carry on My Wayward Son," but there's a wealth of music in this early album that is much more interesting than that from the band's commercial peak. "Down the Road" opens the album at rip-roaring speed, showing off right away with Steinhardt's lead violin, and its interplay with the heavy use of organ, that this isn't going to be a normal rock experience. This song just plain cooks, and while it is more or less a straight ahead rocker, it throws down a gauntlet of instrumental virtuosity that sets the expectations for the rest of the album pretty dang high!

So what should follow a teeth-kicking hard rocker? Why, a 10-minute symphonic concept piece with multiple movements featuring numerous time signature changes, instrumental passages, and walls of synthesizer sound! Whaaaa?! Who's idea was this? Because it's freaking brilliant. "Song for America" has so many appealing melodies, impressive performances, and a great energy. It's a wonderful example of how a the prog genre is invigorated by a band that knows how to rock, and Kansas doesn't hold back.

So why not follow it up with ANOTHER extended work? "Lamplight Symphony" is dramatic and tension filled, with layers of keyboards, passionate vocals, and an instrumental spectacle at the midpoint. A wonderful balance of intensity, grace, and emotion.

"Lonely Street" returns us to hard rock FM, with a dirty bluesy beat made interesting thanks to the band's ambitious playing. "Devil's Game" is the final hard rocker - a huge, riff-filled, bottom heavy hard rock monster. The dual-guitar- plus-bass combo puts the boots to the listener with aggressive playing, definitely leaving me wanting more.

And I get it with the album's close, the 12-minute "Incomudro--Hymn to the Atman." This is the most ambitious work in the album, showing great restraint, composition, and a sense of journey. We're taken from gentle, breezy passages to the fist pumping, guitar shredding finale that somehow makes even a 2-minute drum solo seem appropriate. A great, and somehow forgotten, prog track.

Bottom line, Kansas shows that they're a versatile, engaging, talented, and probably under rated group with Songs for America. It fits right in alongside the progressive works of bands like Rush from the era, and definitely deserves attention. I enjoyed it much more than what is often considered they're key album, Leftoverture. It doesn't have quite the polish to make it a 5-star masterpiece, but it's unquestionably an outstanding rock/prog experience. Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

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 Somewhere To Elsewhere by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.48 | 206 ratings

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Somewhere To Elsewhere
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

2 stars The year 2000 saw more than the notorious Y2K scare worldwide, it turns out it was also the year that one of the USA's most revered symphonic prog bands decided to reunite with a their classic 70s lineup. The result was enough to get the prog world whipped into a frenzy and drooling for more classic tracks a la 'Carry On My Wayward Son,' 'Point Of Know Return' and 'Dust In The Wind.' While the classic lineup of Steve Walsh (vocals), Rich Williams (guitar), Phil Ehart (drums), Dave Hope (bass), Kerry Livgen (keyboards), Rich Williams (guitar) and Robby Steinhardt (violin, viola) is back for their 13th studio album SOMEWHERE TO ELSEWHERE, strictly speaking this is a reunion plus one since Billy Greer who joined the band for the 'Power' album is along for the ride.

This is one of those albums that sounds exciting on paper but i actually found it a chore to get through it. The first thing that's noticeable upon first listen is how wretched sounding Steve Walsh's vocal abilities have become. In fact it doesn't even sound like him and there are moments that make me think i'm hearing Don Henley instead. If that wasn't bad enough i don't find any of the songs memorable either. This is symphonic prog by the numbers and there isn't even spark of the passion that made the early years so exciting. The band sounds totally out of practice and not into it at all. The songwriting has certain moments that seem like they're ready to go somewhere interesting but i always feel disappointed and there are no outbursts of virtuosity or surprises of any kind.

I have never found any of KANSAS' output after 'Point Of Know Return' to really excite me save a track here and there. The musical magic that they had on their run from the debut and following three albums seemed to have dissipated when many prog bands were steering towards top 40 AOR sounds. This album sounds more like one of those worst of the 80s AOR disasters. I actually love AOR when the songwriting is good and supports the slow and emotional performances but every time Steve Walsh utters a note on this one just makes me cringe! I can't believe they bothered to record this stuff at such substandard quality. I don't want to say this is totally a waste of time for anyone who enjoyed KANSAS after their heyday might dig some of this but for me i have no desire to hear this again. A highly disappointing reunion album that makes the Yes 'Union' sound classic in comparison. For hardcore fans only.

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 Miracles Out Of Nowhere by KANSAS album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Miracles Out Of Nowhere
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars I'm tempted to throw in The First Review even if I haven't seen the DVD as such. I saw this document on the Finnish TV. It was a very nice surprise to see it broadcast on our culture-oriented YLE Teema channel (Kansas isn't so widely known), a big applause for that! Apparently there was some discussion afterwards, in the Facebook's prog community, whether the document was good or not. Some were very negative, which I can easily understand. However, as far as the TV viewing is concerned, I have no serious complaints; it definitely was a pleasure to watch and it really gave a lot of information new to me. But if I estimate it as a DVD possibly to be purchased to one's own shelf, I have no specific reason to hype over this documentary. Also in general these kinds of band documentaries (compared to concert material) tend to be mostly one-timers to me, ie. the multiple viewing times become less interesting. (Yeah I know, the DVD contains some extras that I can't say anything about...)

The history of the band is not actually told here further than to the success of Point Of Know Return. When they get to that point, the documentary is nearly finished, save some round comments on the band and the photo session in which the original line-up returns to the hill where they were photographed for the back cover of the debut. The music clips are pretty short, yet there are quite plenty of them. The interviewed persons are mainly the band members themselves. Others include e.g. Brian May of QUEEN. The talk throughout the film didn't suffer from the hollowness of clichéd praises, like some documentaries do.

Th editing was quite all right. The story proceeds nicely and there are a lot of interesting details and anecdotes. For example, when KANSAS were an opening act for Aerosmith, at the time their live success was growing bigger, Steven Tyler was getting mad at their success and tried to plug them off! But Kansas were prepared for that and had their REAL wires on the other side of the stage. The two songs that are given more attention are naturally their biggest hits 'Carry On Wayward Son' and 'Dust in the Wind'.

The album covers are shown amidst the document. A good documentary if you don't expect it to tell the whole history of Kansas. I probably wouldn't buy the DVD but surely would watch it all again from the TV if it was broadcast again.

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 Always Never the Same by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.43 | 110 ratings

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Always Never the Same
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

2 stars Who picked these songs songs? seriously.

Every time I listen to this album I can't help but think what it could have been rather than what it is. In short, the track listing for this record is boring. Yeah, it's boring. The band clearly thought it would have been a good idea to exclude all of their classic hard rock material and go with just the casual flow of their safe softer material.

The album opens up with a Beatles cover (Eleanor Rigby) which is one of -- if not -- the most bizarre decisions they've ever made. Like, seriously? Out of all the awesome material they have conceived since the band's inception, they decide to go out of their own catalog and take a boring 60s song that appealed to mostly teenage girls? Ugh. To follow that up, they go with one of the worst renditions of Dust in the Wind I've ever heard. Walsh's voice sounds so weak, and the guitars have absolutely no presence; they sound like they were mixed far into the background which just is not right. The only good thing to come from this track are the orchestrations, but that's only one minor aspect that is not enough to save one whole song.

Preamble, and Song for America is when the album starts get on the right track; utilizing the orchestra and giving their songs the correct unison that is needed between the two. In Your Eyes is a neat song that is exclusive to this very record. With good lyrics and a nice chorus, it works rather well in this album.

After that, the interest really seems to get lost. This is really the point in which you think to yourself, "Really? Out of all the excellent symphonic songs that this band has culminated, they used hardly any of them?" To whoever the imbecile(s) who picked the tracks for this album is, I'd like to list a number of songs that would have been a way better addition than the extremely weak list they came up with: Magnum Opus, Icarus, The Pinnacle, Belexes, Lightning's Hand, Hopelessly Human, Reason to Be, Lamplight Symphony, and the list goes on.

What this album lacks completely is energy. The band was probably too skeptical about the notion of combining their excellent progressive hard rock material with an orchestra, so they played it safe and attempted to keep it overall more "classical," which is inane. The band really missed the mark with this one.

Now that Steve Walsh and his long-dead voice is no longer in the band, I say that if the band is too pessimistic about releasing a new studio album without any of Livgren's songs, then they should right the wrongs they made with this one and return to the studio with an orchestra, Ronnie Platt's voice, and select the songs that I have listed. Sure, the possibility of this happening is one in a million, but it's a nice optimistic thought. In reality, this is the only Kansas album with a symphony orchestra we're ever going to get, and it's an utter disappointment.

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 Point Of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 608 ratings

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Point Of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I think that KANSAS is somewhat underrated as a band by some Prog Rock fans. And I think that it is not fair. Maybe the mixture of Progressive Rock music with some Hard Rock and Heavy Metal guitars and arrangements or even the fact that they had some hits played in the radio like "Carry On Wayward Son" or "Dust on the Wind" are maybe the main things that some Prog Rock fans don`t like from this band. I have to say that even it really took to me some time to like KANSAS`s music in the late seventies and early eighties. But it was until I bought and listened to their very good live album called "Two for the Show" in 1984 that I really started to appreciate how good was this band since the seventies. In fact, i did not like very much this "Point of Know Return" album when I listened to it in the late seventies and early eighties!

This album maybe represents for KANSAS not only their commercial peak as a band with their original line-up thanks to "Dust in the Wind", an acoustic guitar musical piece with very good "existential" lyrics by Kerry Livgren and very good arrangements, but also, in my opinion, with this album KANSAS as a band really reached their peak as musicians, composers and performers. With most tracks composed by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh (but with the title track composed by Walsh, Phil Ehart and Robby Steinhardt, with "Dust in the Wind" and "Hopelessly Human" composed by Livgren, and "The Spider" composed by Walsh) this album sounds like a very good work done as a real team by all members of the band. Every song is very good, with even some very good arrangements influenced by Classical music with some heavy guitars. The keyboard arrangements are also very good. Phil Ehart also shines as a very good drummer in this album too, and the vocals are sung by Walsh and Steinhardt very well.

I can`t only mention a few songs as highlights in this album, because I like all the songs from this album. But I think that KANSAS always has sounded better playing in concert. Like in their previous album called "Leftoverture", their studio work is very good, but the best versions of the songs from both albums and from their previous albums sound better played in concert, in my opinion, because they played them with more freedom and even adding some very good arrangements in concert like the extended lead guitars section played at the end of the song by Rich Willams and Kerry Livgren in "Portrait" or the more energetic live versions of "Point of Know Return", "Paradox" and "Closet Chronicles" in their live album "Two for the Show". In fact, the 30th anniversary edition of "Two for the Show" has eight of the ten songs from this "Point of Know Return" album played better in concert. But this 1977 studio album for me represents their peak as a band working in the studio. If the "Leftoverture" album was mostly influenced by the songwriting work of Kerry Livgren, with this "Point of Know Return" album the band had contributions in the songwriting by other members of the band, and I also think that the arrangements also improved.

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 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.14 | 552 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Recently, I have acquired a few albums by American prog bands of the seventies and I have to say that on all them the musical influences are blatantly obvious: Yes, Gentle Giant, Genesis. The music is really good and each band gives something of its own to the music, but nevertheless, it is still highly derivative. Kansas, however, I find are not so obvious, having developed their own sound early on.

I have never heard the debut of Kansas; however, their second album, 'Song for America' sees them steering on the course that would eventually produce 'Leftoverture' and 'The Point of Know Return' all the while keeping their barroom rock style on par with their more complex music.

The album features three shorter boogie rock songs that are more of the rock hall crowd-pleaser variety and three longer songs where the band can really stretch out. So, let's look at 'Song for America', 'Lamplight Symphony', and 'Incomudro - Hymn to the Atman' for this is where Kansas' unique brand of progressive ROCK is at its most spectacular.

'Song for America' takes over three minutes to get to the lyrics as we are treated to various instrumental parts featuring piano, violin, and guitar. The bass is mixed right up there with the lead instruments and for good reason because it is a busy instrument. The song is about the rampant exploitation of the natural resources of America. The music goes through many paces and there are some wonderful parts that are classically influenced and others more rock. Of the three Kansas albums I have from the seventies, this might just be my favourite song.

'Lamplight Symphony' is a little bit Blue Oyster Cult in style as it is a bit darker and the lyrics are about a man who sees the ghost of his wife. Musically, it is suspenseful and dramatic at times but also includes some quieter parts with piano and violin.

The final track 'Incomundro - Hymn to the Atman' is the longest and provides plenty of room for instrumental showcasing, particularly the synthesizer solo that has a signature seventies symphonic prog sound that is reminiscent of Camel. There's a hard rock theme that gives way to more classical influences at reflects a bit of Yes and some other classic English prog bands. There's a dramatic classical-like conclusion on the synthesizer but with fast-paced drums and bass.

As I understand it, Kansas improved upon their debut with this album but then turned a bit more mainstream for their third album. Much praise goes to 'Leftoverture' which many say is their best album. So far, however, I think the longer tracks on 'Song for America', particularly the title track, are either on par with or more interesting than a lot of the material on 'Leftoverture'. In any case, this is a very good album and quite exemplary of Kansas' style in the seventies. To me, their rock sound is similar to Triumph only with more keyboards and a violin. But their symphonic prog ROCK pieces are quite worthy of mention among some of the big names of seventies prog. If you've tried and liked 'Leftoverture' and 'Point of Know Return', I do recommend getting this album next. Only their second album and the band have put out quite a piece of work.

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.22 | 835 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by thwok

5 stars This is simply American prog at its best - certainly symphonic prog, what the majority of people would instantly think of when they hear the word "prog". This is a 5 star album for me. The songs are very well-written and memorable. The musicianship is great. Leftoverture contains two of my favorite Kansas songs - "What's On Mind" and "The Wall". The second one shows off what Steve Walsh can do. IMHO he's one of the best singers in prog, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he and I share a last name! This review is short because with over 100 reviews, we really don't NEED another one. I'll just finish by saying this is an essential record.

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 Point Of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 608 ratings

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Point Of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

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 | 835 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
3.69 | 407 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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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