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KANSAS

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Kansas picture
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 Prelude ImplicitThe Prelude Implicit
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$8.00
The Best of KansasThe Best of Kansas
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 1999
Audio CD$3.27
$0.92 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$3.48
$3.47 (used)
The Prelude Implicit (Deluxe Edition)The Prelude Implicit (Deluxe Edition)
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$13.99
Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 2008
Audio CD$12.58
$10.99 (used)
Audio-VisionsAudio-Visions
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$2.98
$2.97 (used)
Original Album ClassicsOriginal Album Classics
Box set
Sony Legacy 2015
Audio CD$13.00
$15.52 (used)
Song For AmericaSong For America
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$2.98
$2.97 (used)
KansasKansas
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$2.94
$2.93 (used)
Point Of Know ReturnPoint Of Know Return
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2013
Audio CD$2.97
$0.24 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Kansas - The Best Of Kansas (NEW CD) USD $7.57 Buy It Now
Kansas - Original Album Classics (NEW 5 x CD) USD $20.76 Buy It Now
Kansas - The Ultimate Kansas (NEW CD) USD $12.19 Buy It Now
Rare Vintage Beacon of Hope Chapel Singers Kansas State Penitentiary Album LP USD $25.00 Buy It Now
Kansas - Setlist: The Very Best Of Kansas Live (NEW CD) USD $8.89 Buy It Now
CD A Kansas City Christmas - Kansas City Brass - Plaza Lights - RARE USD $2.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS : POWER NO BAR CODE CD ALBUM MCAD-5838 1986 MADE IN JAPAN EARLY PRESS USD $8.95 Buy It Now
KANSAS Two for the Show Kirshner Records 2 Records LP Live Set USD $6.99 Buy It Now
Kerry Livgren-Time Line LP UK ISSUE - KANSAS - IN VERY GOOD CONDITION !!!!!!! USD $10.54 Buy It Now
KANSAS 45 TEST PRESSING "ALL I WANTED" USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Marilyn Maye AUTOGRAPHED Lp The Happiest Sound In Town SIGNED Kansas City Detour USD $29.95 Buy It Now
Rock MAX'S KANSAS CITY Vol II The Brats - Grand Slam etc UK 82858 EB160 USD $19.99 Buy It Now
CYMARRON Valerie 7" VINYL B/W Across The Kansas Sky (Zs77502) US Entrance USD $4.14 Buy It Now
Decca Oklahoma Musical Record 78 RPM Kansas City & Out Of My Dreams Joan Roberts USD $7.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS Carry On Wayward Son 7" VINYL B/W Questions Of My Childhood (Skir4932) USD $11.72 Buy It Now
KANSAS Play The Game Tonight 7" VINYL Promo B/W Play On (Kira2408) UK Kirshner USD $4.14 Buy It Now
JERRY MERRITT AND THE CROWS Tulsa 7" VINYL 4 Track B/w L.a., The Kansas City USD $6.58 Buy It Now
KANSAS - MONOLITH USD $0.01 [1 bids]
KANSAS Stand Beside Me 7" VINYL Sample Copy Stickered Label B/W House Of Fire USD $6.58 Buy It Now
Wilbert Harrison Good Bye Kansas City + 1960 Fury Records 7" 45 rpm 1028 USD $8.95 Buy It Now
KANSAS-POWER/TOMB 19-ORIGINAL GERMAN PS 7" 45rpm 1987-HARD ROCK USD $7.99 Buy It Now
ROGER MILLER Engine Engine No. 9 LP # Stereo Swiss Maid Kansas City Star USD $8.99 Buy It Now
COUNT BASIE Plays BENNY CARTER Kansas City Suite 2LP SET VOGUE 1960 FREE UK POST USD $13.98 Buy It Now
Lost In Love STARLAND 2CD Classic Greatest 70s 80s KANSAS SHERIFF EXPOSE Rare USD $37.49 Buy It Now
KANSAS Right Away 7" VINYL B/W Windows (A2887) Small Selotape On Spine Of Pic USD $6.58 Buy It Now
KANSAS Point Of Know Return 7" VINYL Promo B/W Closet Chronicles (Skir5820) UK USD $4.14 Buy It Now
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS I Can See Clearly Now 7" VINYL B/W Kansas City (Lon269) Pic USD $2.76 Buy It Now
Playlist: The Very Best of Kansas by Kansas (CD, Feb-2011, Sony BMG) USD $2.91 Buy It Now
KANSAS Leftoverture (1976) Vinyl Kirshner JZ 34224 Rock EX Shrink USD $20.00 Buy It Now
KANSAS POINT OF KNOW RETURN KIRSHNER 25AP 789 Japanese Pressing OBI Vinyl LP USD $6.50 [4 bids]
Kansas USD $5.48 Buy It Now
James Brown 45 Kansas City / Stone Fox 1967 King Sleeve Vinyl Record USD $8.54 Buy It Now
CALVIN COOLIDGE Please Play Kansas City 7" VINYL B/W Watch My Watch Mr Time US USD $4.14 Buy It Now
HAROLD DORMAN Take A Chance On Me 7" VINYL B/W Moved To Kansas City (1012) US USD $4.14 Buy It Now
MAJOR HANDY Come On Home 7" VINYL B/W Kansas City (Bed002) UK Bedrock USD $4.14 Buy It Now
KANSAS People Of The Southwind 7" VINYL Promo B/W Stay Put Of Trouble USD $6.58 Buy It Now
KANSAS Point Of Know Return 7" VINYL Blitz Promo In Special Sleeve With Release USD $6.58 Buy It Now
KENNY BURRELL,K CLARKE & GRP "KANSAS CITY SIDE" SAVOY 4516 USD $3.99 [0 bids]
KANSAS Play The Game Tonight 7" VINYL Demo Plays Same Both Sides (Zs502903) US USD $5.53 Buy It Now
KANSAS Hold On 7" VINYL Demo Plays Same Both Sides (Zs94291) US Kirshner USD $5.53 Buy It Now
KANSAS - POINT OF KNOW RETURN VG+ RI KIRSHNER 34929 RECORD 1977 DUST IN THE WIND USD $8.00 Buy It Now
RICHARD ROSS Coming From Kansas City CD 11 Track (Al73072) Dutch A USD $16.48 Buy It Now
MAPS It Will Find You CD 3 Track B/w I Was Born Twice And We're Not In Kansas USD $6.58 Buy It Now
Captain Beefheart - Full Moon - Hot Sun Live In Kansas NEW CD USD $15.52 Buy It Now
Jesse Price: You Satisfy / Kansas City Mama 78 - Blues USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Monolith by Kansas 8 track tape tested USD $3.95 Buy It Now
Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 by Various Artists (CD, Jun-1997, 3 Discs,... USD $49.98 Buy It Now
KANSAS : SUPER HITS (CD) sealed USD $8.95 Buy It Now
KANSAS Two For The Show 1978 double live LP MINT USD $27.00 Buy It Now
Katy Perry Tickets ! Kansas City Sprint Center 8/19 USD $450.00 Buy It Now
WILBERT HARRISON CD KANSAS CITY HIS LEGENDARY GOLDEN CLASSICS COLLECTABLES LABEL USD $3.00 [0 bids]
The Beatles Kansas City / I'll Follow The Sun JAPAN USD $44.99 Buy It Now 2m 49s
MICRONOTZ - BEAST THAT DEVOURED ITSELF - FRESH SOUNDS - KANSAS PUNK KBD MORTAL USD $14.95 Buy It Now 10m 5s
45 RECORD KANSAS- POINT OF NO RETURN USD $1.79 Buy It Now 12m 25s
Kansas City & Other Favorites - Memphis Slim (CD Used Very Good) CD-R USD $11.66 Buy It Now 14m 36s
Let's Work Together/Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (CD Used Very Good) CD-R USD $7.47 Buy It Now 14m 40s
20 KANSAS, THE POINT OF NO RETURN ALBUM ADVERT 12X10 CBS RECORDS USD $15.83 Buy It Now 15m 4s
25 KANSAS: A POINT OF NO RETURN ALBUM ADVERT 12X10 KIRSHNER RECORDS 12X10 USD $15.83 Buy It Now 23m 46s
Kansas: Triple Feature (Kansas/Masque/Monolith) BRAND NEW SEALED US 3CD digipak USD $9.99 Buy It Now 26m 31s
Kansas : Two For The Show (2 LP) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 27m 32s
3 ALBUM ADVERT 12X6 KANSAS: AUDIO-VISIONS USD $9.22 Buy It Now 31m 31s
NUMERO 047 Eccentric Soul 2X VINYL LP The Forte Label Kansas City SEALED USD $18.00 Buy It Now 34m 37s
Kansas City & Other Favorites - Sir Douglas Quintet (CD Used Very Good) CD-R USD $10.21 Buy It Now 36m 23s
Kansas Song For America Epic ?- EPC 80740 UK Vinyl LP Album USD $11.79 [0 bids]
38m 51s
45 RECORD WILBERT HARRISON: KANSAS CITY, LISTEN MY DARLING USD $2.98 Buy It Now 40m 5s
(4) OUTLAWS & KANSAS 12" Vintage Vinyl Records 33RPM - VG USD $50.00 Buy It Now 42m 59s
Audio Visions Kansas CD USD $12.34 Buy It Now 52m 27s
Kansas Leftoverture LP Kirshner EX vinyl USD $4.99 [0 bids]
54m 20s
#HOTHOUSE FLOWERS I can see clearly now / Kansas City 1990 LON 269 USD $1.98 Buy It Now 56m 40s
Kansas - In the Spirit of Things (CD, Oct-1988, Universal) USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1h 14m
JOE TURNER: Kansas City Here I Come LP (Germany) Blues & R&B USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 17m
KANSAS - "There`s Know Place Like Home" 2 CD`s USD $11.87 Buy It Now 1h 21m
8 KANSAS, LEFTOVERTURE ALBUM ADVERT 12X6 APPR USD $11.86 Buy It Now 1h 23m
9 ARTICLE & PICTURE : KANSAS USD $9.22 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Kansas Vinyl Confessions album USD $5.00 [0 bids]
1h 31m
APRIL WINE THE NATURE OF THE BEAST LP AQUARIUS RECORDS triumph kansas USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 37m
APRIL WINE HARDER..... FASTER LP CAPITOL RECORDS triumph kansas USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 38m
APRIL WINE POWER PLAY LP AQUARIUS RECORDS triumph kansas USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 41m
On the Other Side by Kansas (CD, Apr-2005, Sony Music Distribution (USA)) New USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1h 41m
* KANSAS - LEFTOVERTURE USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 44m
ROWLAND THE BASTARD-14 trips to kansas/walking-RARE 12" USD $12.88 Buy It Now 1h 45m
FOGHAT BOOGIE MOTEL LP BEARSVILLE RECORDS triumph kansas april wine USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 45m
Not in Kansas Anymore by Basehead (CD, Jul-1993, Imago) USD $19.97 Buy It Now 1h 56m
TRIUMPH PROGRESSIONS OF POWER LP styx ufo blackfoot b o c kansas journey magnum USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 59m
45 RPM Wilbert Harrison KANSAS CITY/LISTEN DARLING Fury USD $7.15 Buy It Now 2h
WHITE WOLF STANDING ALONE LP RCA RECORDS GREEK EDITION triumph kansas USD $0.99 [1 bids]
2h 2m
Hank Ballard And The Midnighters King 14036 I'll Keep You Happy and Kansas City USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Kansas by Jennifer Knapp (CD, Nov-1998, Gotee) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2h 8m
KANSAS CITY JUMP Various Artists LP VINYL 12 Track Featuring Buddy Tate, Jimmy USD $6.58 Buy It Now 2h 20m
KANSAS Point of No Return (1977) Kirshner JZ 34929 Sealed - Dust In The Wind USD $30.00 Buy It Now 2h 27m
Let's Stick Together/Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (CD Used Very Good) CD-R USD $8.05 Buy It Now 2h 29m
KANSAS All I Wanted 12" VINYL 2 Track B/w We're Not Alone Anymore (2584880) Pic USD $4.14 Buy It Now 2h 32m
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS I Can See Clearly Now 12" VINYL 3 Track B/W Kansas City USD $4.14 Buy It Now 2h 32m
VELVET UNDERGROUND Live At Max's Kansas City LP VINYL 10 Track Matrix A1/b1. USD $13.11 Buy It Now 2h 47m
KANSAS Power LP VINYL 10 Track But Has Slight Wear And Sticker On Sleeve USD $6.58 Buy It Now 2h 48m
KANSAS Vinyl Confessions LP VINYL 10 Track (Kir85714) UK Epic USD $6.58 Buy It Now 2h 48m
MAX'S KANSAS CITY VOLUME 2 New York New Wave LP VINYL 9 Track With Insert USD $6.58 Buy It Now 2h 49m
KANSAS ~ Masque Lp ~ 1975 Top Copy NM Lp~Original Kirschner PZ-33806 NO Barcode USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
KANSAS All I Wanted 12" VINYL 2 Track B/w We're Not Alone Anymore Small USD $6.58 Buy It Now 3h 23m
KANSAS All I Wanted 12" VINYL 2 Track B/w We're Not Alone Anymore (mcas1116) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 3h 23m

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KANSAS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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 | 493 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.14 | 574 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.69 | 422 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 874 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.14 | 630 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.20 | 295 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.06 | 228 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.74 | 184 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.20 | 174 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.70 | 189 ratings
Power
1986
2.84 | 161 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.74 | 8 ratings
The Christmas Album
1989
3.23 | 172 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.42 | 116 ratings
Always Never The Same
1998
3.49 | 217 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Prelude Implicit
2016

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

4.30 | 203 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.87 | 40 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.57 | 34 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.08 | 12 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
4.03 | 56 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2002
2.09 | 8 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2002
1.22 | 4 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2003
1.88 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
2003
4.06 | 48 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009
4.29 | 7 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2014
2.14 | 2 ratings
Carry on for no Return
2016

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

3.28 | 13 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.20 | 56 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.55 | 49 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009
4.20 | 11 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
2015

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

2.53 | 65 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.81 | 36 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.06 | 11 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.22 | 35 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.18 | 6 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.90 | 26 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
4.13 | 17 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.72 | 4 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.25 | 11 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
3.96 | 5 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
3.96 | 5 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
2.17 | 4 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
3.09 | 4 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
2.17 | 4 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
3.04 | 4 ratings
Power
1987
1.30 | 4 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Carry on for no Return by KANSAS album cover Live, 2016
2.14 | 2 ratings

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Carry on for no Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Well this is kind of interesting. The 'latest' for Kansas fans who are eagerly awaiting their first studio album in nearly seventeen years ('The Prelude Implicit' will release in September, 2016), here is yet another blast from the past to whet your appetite. 'Carry on for no Return' is the release of a live FM radio broadcast first recorded November 20, 1980 at the Palladium in New York City.

Let's start off by acknowledging this thing for what it is. I'm not sure who owns the label Good Ship Funke but they are clearly an intentionally-anonymous industry insider with a firm grasp of the intricately nuanced world of publishing and broadcast rights, and of music licensing in general. This is of course not a major label release, obvious since the band hasn't even been on a major label in more than twenty years. On the surface this actually looks like a bootleg, but turns out it is a marginally, technically legal release although not authorized or endorsed by the band. Much like the 'Bryn Mawr 1976' CD off the Smokin' label in 2014, this is a live radio broadcast where someone managed to get their hands on a moderately decent recording and secure rights to release it. I seem to recall reading a couple years ago about somebody buying rights to recordings from a buttload of 70s and 80s live performances. Can't remember the details and it doesn't really matter, but I suppose that would explain why we've seen so many baby boom-era live concerts being released on CD in the past few years.

Anyway, the signs of skirting the edges of publishing laws are many. First the album name 'Carry on for no Return' since 'Know Return' would have been more appropriate but would I'm sure also have drawn the interest of Kirshner and Eric copyright attorneys. The font used for the band name hints at their signature form by using an unusual style, but carefully avoids drawing from the actual authorized band font. And the stock photo on the front cover was cleared many years ago in a press kit, so the label didn't have to shell out anything for artwork or pay licensing fees to a photographer.

Speaking of photos, there's another 'public domain' photo used on the back cover and the liner notes. This one features Steve Morse and Steve Walsh live in concert. Unfortunately, Steve Morse didn't even join the band until 1986, and this photo comes from a series of concerts in Philadelphia in 1989, nearly a decade after the concert on the CD. Interesting though that the folks at Good Ship Funke included their own copyright claim for the CD packaging and artwork, even though both photos in the artwork were released by the band themselves as promotional material many years ago.

There are no performer or production credits in the liner notes (since that's not legally required) but there are credits for each song's composers on the back cover (because that is required when one owns the broadcast but not the publishing rights for a piece of music). And that's about it, other than a brief and accurate but boring 'history' of the band on the inside sleeve.

So to be clear, this CD is a shameless attempt to grab a few bucks based on name recognition and probably hopes that the timing will lead to confusion by some dullards who will pick this up thinking it if the new Kansas studio album. Kind of like last year when the film Krampus came out and right after it finished its limited-theater release, Redbox started promoting Krampus: the Reckoning leading fans to believe (probably intentionally) that this was a sequel when in fact it was an appallingly awful and poorly produced movie that had no connection to the real film whatsoever. So for that alone I'm deducting two stars (probably should make that three).

So why bother to write about the record at all? Well, anyone who knows the band knows they've been around for more than 45 years, but their heyday was clearly 1975-1980. And back then they were known as a supremely talented live act, with many fans even preferring their live performances to the studio ones, as evidenced by their 1978 double-live 'Two for the Show' topping one million sales just three months after its release. But surprisingly there are relatively few live recordings that survived that period, other than a small number of fairly well-known bootlegs, none of which is of very high quality and none at all that I'm aware of that are from the Audio-Visions tour like this broadcast was. So for those reasons the disc is worth some consideration, at least by serious fans.

In addition to a rather nice introduction from Wagner's 'Lohengrin', there are thirteen Kansas songs on the CD along with one each from Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh's respective solo albums that were both released in 1980. I'm not sure if that was the entire concert but given the playlist matches those from several other shows on the same tour I'm guessing this was all or at least most of the music that was performed that evening. And for the most part I think the thing is in its actual sequence, the exception being the closing 'Relentless' which was probably originally played somewhere in the middle of the show but moved to the end here because it would make a stronger closing piece for the radio broadcast than the more languid 'Hold On'. Seven of the ten tracks on the Audio-Visions album are performed, along with the obligatory 'Dust in the Wind' and 'Point of Know Return' (although surprisingly not 'Carry on Wayward Son'). The front half of the concert consists of abbreviated versions of older material including 'Icarus/Borne on Wings of Steel', 'Hopelessly Human', 'Paradox' and a shamefully brief 'Cheyenne Anthem' that clocks in at less than four minutes. This is followed by a clear break from the past with Walsh's 'So You Think You Got It Made' from his 'Schemer Dreamer' album that was released that spring. This morphs into 'The Mask of the Great Deceiver' from Livgren's own 1980 solo album 'Seeds of Change', the two contrasting their respective authors' styles as 'Mask' is a much more progressive, brooding and introspective song than Walsh's boogey blues rocker. After that the concert shifts focus to the present and other than an abbreviated 'Miracles out of Nowhere' the rest of the show consists of songs from their current album ('Audio-Visions').

There are several observations about the quality of the show that night that are worth commenting on. First and foremost, the early stages of Walsh's vocal fall from grace are evident here. While he manages to hit some key notes (particularly early in the show), he struggles later, is sometimes off-key, and several times lays off high notes when it seems to be beyond his range. There's also more vocal participation from Robbie Steinhardt, something that would become common over the ensuing years until Steinhardt left the band. And there seems to be a bit of a struggle at times between the two of them over who is leading, when to harmonize and when to step back. This is most apparent on the newer stuff although Steinhardt steps all over Walsh on 'Miracles' where I think he's trying to take some of the higher stuff Walsh isn't reaching but Steve doesn't want to let those go. This is also something fans would continue to see at Kansas concerts for many years after this. I witnessed it myself during at least five concerts in the 80s and 90s.

There's also an interesting attempt to placate older fans while reaching out to new ones, and doing this in the ADHD-and-coke 80s where long progressive songs were about as popular as rectal thermometers. So the band includes some old-timey favorites like 'Icarus' and 'Cheyenne Anthem', but guts the instrumental passages to get them down to something resembling an MTV-length soundbite. 'Cheyenne Anthem' suffers most and of all the live versions I've heard of that song over the years, this one is by far the worst.

On a positive note though, there are several songs here that you will have a tough time finding live versions of anywhere else, in particular 'Don't Open Your Eyes', 'So You Think You Got It Made', 'No One Together' and 'Anything for You'. All are from 'Audio-Visions' and as far as I know no other live versions of these songs has ever been legitimately released. And the performance quality on these is pretty decent so if you're a fan of that album then this CD might be worth your time.

Otherwise I can't say this is something anyone should go out of their way to find and listen to. It is interesting to hear the band in concert shortly before they fractured into pieces, but beyond that there's not much new here and the sound and production quality isn't much better than if you had recorded this on a TDK cassette back when it first aired thirty-five years ago. Two stars for the historical significance and for having live versions of songs that aren't available elsewhere, but nothing more than that.

peace

 Kansas by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 493 ratings

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Kansas
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Violin symphonic prog rocks!

In the first half of the seventies, not many American bands dared enter the progressive world well occupied by the British elders. Originating from country, boogie and southern hard rock, what kind of music could KANSAS possibly propose to enter this particular sphere? Well, as we will see, a lot of refreshing ideas, resembling no other at the time.

The opening song "Can I Tell You" is a catchy and energetic tune that set the tone for the rest of the album and really rocks! "Bringing It Back" is a nice boosted up cover of a JJ Cale's song, where the violin replaces the harmonica of the original version. In contrast, the melancholic "Lonely Wind" sounds a little cheesy. Fortunately, "Belexes" is here to wake you up. Written by Kerry Livgren in 1972, this slightly progressive hard country rock is dynamic and powerful! Its arrangements resemble URIAH HEEP by moments. One of the best songs of the disc! Then comes the first genuine progressive track of the record, the 8 minutes "Journey From Mariabronn". A colorful and changing suite, with heroic and touching moments and a wonderful finale! Very cool, despite dated keyboards sonorities.

The soft "The Pilgrimage" may be not as remarkable as the other tracks, but remains nonetheless enjoyable. "Aperįu" and "Death of Mother Nature" form a single 17 minutes long suite. The first track adopts a symphonic rock style which can remind YES at times. Typically progressive, it features rhythms changes, powerful and melancholic passages. Furthermore, the ending rocks! Brilliant. With its hard rock / early 70's metal tones, "Death Of Mother Nature Suite" is darker. Also cool, but contains a few lengthy moments.

Not as progressive as the next albums, KANSAS' debut is already promising and remains my favorite from Walsh and co. Maybe because it's their rock-iest effort, however also because it delivers an original mixture that was not done yet back then: energetic country/hard rock with violin with some complexity. The band possessed refreshing musical ingredients, but still searched itself. Typically North-American, this is no majestic symphonic prog like YES or GENESIS, it does not transport you into enchanted or fairytale worlds, but the music is dynamic and has lots of innovative ideas to offer. An underrated opus, maybe too progressive for Americans at the time, and not enough for the English, where the genre was already well established.

Anyway, progheads should be wrong not to give this record a listen. The one to start with for hard rock fans. After, the band will incorporate more keyboards in their compositions. One of KANSAS' best albums!

 The Christmas Album by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.74 | 8 ratings

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The Christmas Album
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars By mid-autumn 1990 the members of Kansas were not in a very good place. The group had reformed in late 1985 and released two studio albums on the MCA label, but changing public tastes and a rapidly condensing music industry combined to cloud the band's future. Having Steve Walsh, one of the most recognizable voices in American rock, along with five-time Guitar magazine artist-of-the-year Steve Morse should have all but ensured success for the group, but MCA had set sights on the MTV generation and was in the process of unwinding its relationship with Kansas following a critically-acclaimed but financially disappointing 'In the Spirit of Things' album and subsequent tour. There were rumors of Morse's departure, which were confirmed in the spring shortly after the 'Spirit' tour sputtered to a halt. And despite persistent efforts by drummer and band leader Phil Ehart to bring original violinist Robby Steinhardt back into the fold, the group appeared ready to close out the 1980s without a label and without their signature string sound.

And then came a glimmer of hope. The story goes that in late summer 1990 a German concert promoter made a deal with the original Kansas lineup to reform and embark on a European tour. In reality that 'German promoter' was Phil Ehart himself, working behind the scenes to inject some sign of life into a band that otherwise appeared headed for the boneyard, though his role would not come to light until many years later. Unfortunately Steinhardt was still off in Florida creating musically average and unjustifiably hard-to-find CDs with ganja buddy Rick Moon, but the rest of the group including Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope agreed to spend the winter of 1990 trapesing through the rapidly transforming European countryside. Like many other American and British bands, they saw the financial upside of belting out rock anthems while perched atop recently dismantled Soviet monuments to slightly shell-shocked crowds of prospective patrons as they emerged from drab Cold War hovels and embraced their glorious capitalist future. Or something like that. Wind of change indeed.

One problem - the band had no album to promote. And since MCA had dropped them in favor of pop-star du jour Tiffany they also had no studio sponsorship and no advance money to cover the cost of producing an album, not to mention no one to write the songs. Ehart considered framing the upcoming concerts as a European leg of the recently completed 'In the Spirit of Things' tour, but the legal drones at MCA made it clear the band would spend the winter in court rather than on the road if they tried to abscond with the label's copyrighted property.

Which is how the band Kansas came to add a Christmas album to their discography.

On the surface this project made no sense. Before the 1990s few if any progressive rock (or even hard rock) bands had ever released a Christmas record; in fact, even today holiday records are mostly cranked out by country singers, evangelists or washed-up actors. The most notable prog rock example is Jethro Tull's 2003 Christmas album, and Ian Anderson has often and openly credited Kansas for inspiring him to add a holiday record to his own band's collection. Walsh was quoted several years after the recording saying he found the experience to be more spiritual and inspiring than 'any of that cross-hugging crap Kerry made us play in the 1980s', and in fact he has since gone on to appear on several upbeat, Christmas-themed records including the 2001 December People collection; a 2003 album titled 'Remember the One' recorded with children and a priest from Walsh's old primary school in St Joseph, Missouri; and of course 'Glossolalia'.

So the band needed a tour and one magically appeared, and now they needed an album. And one magically appeared. Once again Ehart pulled a rabbit out of an orifice and came up with the idea of wrapping a holiday theme around the upcoming shows, and given the tour would start just three weeks before Christmas, he figured that featuring the holiday prominently made perfect (albeit contrived) sense. Phil has said his inspiration (and several of the song tracks) came from a drunken all-nighter the band pulled during the early studio sessions for 'Vinyl Confessions' back in 1981. At that point Walsh hadn't walked out on the band and been replaced by John Elefante yet, but as the holidays approached their time in the studio was becoming more fractious and correspondingly less productive. Queen's drummer Roger Taylor, who was guest musician for the sessions but found himself acting increasingly as referee between the holy (Livgren, Hope) and hell-raiser (Walsh, Williams) factions of the band, recounted to them how he and Freddie Mercury eased tensions of their own during the final Trident sessions for Queen's first studio album back in 1972. Queen had also been recording late in the year with holidays approaching, and like Kansas the sessions were strained. In Queen's case this was due to the band being forced to re-record several tracks they had previously laid down at De Lane Lea studio earlier in the year but which producer Roy Thomas Baker had refused to mix. The band was being squeezed into downtime slots at the studio to save money and nerves were wearing thin. Taylor brought them together one evening with a case of Nyetimber Cuvee and a collection of classic Christmas tunes. The results were several spectacular hangovers along with the legendary (and never released) Queen Christmas recordings now known as the 'lost Trident Nativity Scene'.

In Kansas' case Taylor had his work cut out for him given half the band's members were teetotalers, but he somehow got them to agree to a late weekend session and managed to keep them happy with a combination of non-alcoholic spritzers and a couple of cases of Grolsch's stout lager (along with Walsh's frequent trips to the restroom to do lines off the back of a toilet seat). The reward was a stellar rendition of 'Magnum Opus' as well as a rather silly but charming version of 'Dust in the Wind'.

'Magnum Opus' turned out to be a great choice given the lengthy instrumental parts of that song, which meant the band had to change only a few lyrics to make it work as a Christmas medley, and the slightly cynical nature of those words were perfectly explainable given the amount of alcohol consumed that evening:

'Yuletide again, and the snow it falls, The frost dances light in the air; Under the tree in the room, those presents are all for you, And no, you don't have to share. But once this night is over, I'll be paying off the bills 'til June.'

The 'Dust' version features bells and glass harp in place of strings. Most people don't know this but the original 'Dust in the Wind' included a viola score along with violin (Steinhardt played both), so this version with bells playing the supporting viola role comes off as a faithful reworking of the well-known tune but with an added touch of more range and a flourish to the melody.

I read somewhere that Walsh actually recorded vocals for 'Miracles out of 42nd Street' and if that's true those would be very cool to listen to today. Unfortunately the band didn't keep the vocal tracks from the recording, or maybe they decided the 'substituted' lyrics were either too racy or too rough to include in this release. So we're left with an instrumental that is basically 'Miracles out of Nowhere' but with several bridges that splice in snippets of 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Frosty the Snowman'. The whole thing works mostly because of the song's placement, coming just before 'Magnum Opus Redeux' which itself has numerous abrupt tempo and mood changes. So this portion of the record ends up sounding a bit like a Kansas retrospective medley but with the occasional off-key note and more tinny percussion than what appears on most Kansas albums. Near the end of the song there's a faint spoken vocal in the right speaker that the post-production people seem to have overlooked. I'm not exactly sure who is talking but it sounds like Rich Williams, and the only words you can make out are 'on your mother's slack- jawed face' so I'm guessing there's a missing punchline there as well.

The first of two hidden tracks follows 'Gnome Attack' and is preceded by about 4.5 minutes of dead space. The first few times I listened to the record I thought the space was just tape hiss, but if you crank it up on a decent pair of speakers you'll realize the sound is an almost uninterrupted stream of pissing into a porcelain toilet. I'm not sure if this was looped or if the band members just left a microphone in the bathroom and spliced together all the evening's urination opportunities to come up with this impressive stretch of tape. Either way it's an interesting touch that I'm guessing was lost on most listeners.

The first hidden track is kind of lame, nothing more than a bland version of "Pact with Lucifer" from Coven's 1969 debut album (the one-hit wonder whose claim to fame was the melancholic 'One Tin Soldier'), admittedly and probably intentionally a strange choice for a Christmas album. The song was actually recorded as a rehearsal piece during a preparation session for the band's 1979 'Audio-Visions' tour, making it one of the few tracks on the album that includes Robbie Steinhardt and features violin. Rather than backward-masking (a technique Tipper Gore incorrectly thought was widespread at the time), the band recorded the song as-is and then had the grooves on the vinyl album cut backwards so it could only be played 'normally' by back-spinning the record. Their rather elaborate effort is completely lost on the CD version, where listeners can hear an accurate and mostly boring version of the song with Steinhardt providing vocals.

Since we're discussing hidden tracks, the second and final one appears at the very end of the album/CD. This one is also preceded by a couple minutes of silence but in this case the space seems to actually be silence and not some urologic event. This time the band delivered something truly special, and in doing so started an urban legend that made its way to the internet and will probably live on forever. This is a complete and very tight studio cover of Gary Wright's 'Dream Weaver', the version rumored to exist since shortly after Wright recorded it back in 1975. I've never found anything in writing that explains when or where Kansas recorded this song (or why they never released it), but turns out it does very much exist. Wright of course came up as a member of Spooky Tooth, and the two bands appeared together several times in concert during the Tooth's (Teeth's?) 1973 tour supporting their 'You Broke my Heart, so I Busted your Jaw' album, so the Kansas band members all knew Wright and presumably followed his music. Who knows why they made the recording, but it turned out great and makes for a nice bonus on this album.

The reason this record is considered a studio album and not a compilation is largely thanks to the second half songs. While the first three tunes (and both hidden tracks) were dredged out of a vault somewhere, Phil Ehart did manage to book some studio time for the band to record a few new tracks to include on their European Christmas album. The group laid most of the tracks down at the Rainbow Recording Studio in Omaha Nebraska, a small and mostly urban music studio but one that was available cheap and on short notice. Local sound engineer Ricardo Cabeza assisted in production. Interestingly enough, Cabeza once worked as a roadie for the band during their early touring days and was present at the club known as 'A Warehouse' (New Orleans) in December 1970 when Kansas appeared on stage with the Doors for their disastrous final concert with Jim Morrison before his death. The concert is mentioned in the liner notes of the 'Ultimate Kansas' boxed-set released by Legacy in 1994.

Back to the story at hand. Ehart used the studio's name to come up with a fictitious label ('Rainbow Records') and catalog number (RSCD-1369), but in reality the album was underwritten by MCA as a modest parting gift when they dropped the band from the label. This is also why the copyright notice is dated 1989, when the record was actually put out in 1990. The backdated release date allowed the label to take a tax write-off on the studio expense since they could claim the band was still employed by MCA at the time.

The first of the new tracks is, along with 'Dream Weaver', a cover tune. 'Holy Sh!t, it's Christmas' is the brainchild of comedian Red Peters. Peters first released the song on his studio album 'I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged my Undies' in 1994, but it dates back to the 1970s when Peters was known as Matt Maverick and appeared extensively as a regional opening act for many touring bands including Badfinger, Spirit and Kansas. Frank Zappa once called him 'the best musical comedian in the world'. This is a light song, obviously meant to be humorous and was probably included so the band would have something they could play as a closing number for smaller venues during the tour.

Despite the similar title 'Silver Bells (and Golden Needles)' has no relation to the Jack Rhodes/Linda Ronstadt country standard 'Silver Threads (and Golden Needles)'. Rather, it's a simple version of the pop standard 'Silver Bells' made famous by Bob Hope in the 1950s, but in this case the band managed to convince Steinhardt to provide cello accompaniment to the song. I'm not sure if he actually appeared in the studio or mailed it in, but this is a very nice touch to what would otherwise have been a fairly pedestrian rendition of the classic. This is also one of the few tunes the original Kansas ever recorded where Walsh or Steinhardt did not provide vocals. The singer is Livgren, marking the first time since 'Point of Know Return' that he adds vocals to a Kansas tune, and the first time since his 1980 solo album 'Seeds of Change' that he is the featured singer.

'Mysteries and Marzipan' is of course a version of the 'Masque' song 'Mysteries and Mayhem'. This is the version I always thought the band should have made for a live album, as it features black gospel backing vocals from the late Reverend James Cleveland's Southern California Community Choir, a group introduced to the band just two years before when they appeared on 'In the Spirit of Things'. This version also features Rich Williams on banjo and Walsh playing a Farfisa organ, both of which combine to provide a primitively festive, almost Appalachian folk vibe to the song. The original has always been overlooked on the 'Masque' album but I count myself among those fans that believe this song was never arranged right when it was first recorded, and that it has at its core a gospel soul. The version on this album lets that soul shine brightly.

And except for the second hidden track, the album closes with 'Nobody's Home (this year for Christmas)', a feel- good a cappella reworking of the Bing Crosby wartime Christmas classic 'I'll be Home for Christmas' that manages to add in the string solo from 'Nobody's Home' off the 'Point of Know Return' album. As far as I know this is the only time you'll ever hear all five members of Kansas singing a capella (yes, Steinhardt shows up here too), although I'm pretty sure all of them sang on the original 'Magnum Opus' and also on 'Whiskey Seed' from Livgren's first solo album. The combination of somber yet hopeful lyrics and the mournful strings from 'Nobody's Home' make for a really emotional end to the album. The group definitely outdid themselves on this one.

I'm not sure how many of these records the band managed to sell at their merch tables during the 1990 European tour (and I believe that tour ended up extending into Japan and the Philippines in early 1991 as well). It was never distributed in North or South America despite being printed and released in New York City, so copies are all but nonexistent outside of Western Europe today. The vinyl version was only released as a promo, and there are a few copies of that floating around the U.S. and Canada, though most are probably in private collections. 'Holy Sh!t, it's Christmas' was released on a white vinyl 12 inch picture disc, and I have a mint copy of that in my man cave to this day.

If you ever run across a copy in decent condition, snatch this one up and hang onto it. Little pieces of music history like this don't come along every day, and given Kansas are in the twilight of their career, this is probably your last chance to own something like this from them.

If I had to rate this solely on the music I'd give it two stars since the record is almost the definition of 'for collectors only', but given the history and the fact reviewers are free to give any rating they want regardless of actual merit, I'm going to go with four stars. I won't give this a strong recommendation based on the quality of the songs, but will say you should add this to your collection if you are ever flipping through stacks in a dusty old record store in some seedy little out-of-the-way European burg, or at least as long as some of those places still exist.

peace

 Power by KANSAS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1987
3.04 | 4 ratings

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Power
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars From their "Power" (1986) album the record label (and maybe the band too) selected the title song of the album to be released in the Side "A" of this single. And it was a good choice, because it is a good song too. It was written by Steve Walsh, Steve Morse with an external songwriter (Randy Goodrum, who also was going to work as an external songwriter with JOURNEY, STEVE PERRY and others). It sounds a bit related to the "old" style of the band in the seventies, but without being very Progressive. Anyway, the song has some good arrangements. It is one of the best songs from the album and in fact it was played a lot in some FM Radio stations in my city. It also was a minor HIt Single in the U.S. for the band.

"Tomb 19", in the Side "B", is also a good song, also related to the more Progressive Rock musical style of the band in the seventies. It also was written by Morse and Walsh. An energetic song with good guitars by Morse and Rich Williams.

 All I Wanted by KANSAS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
2.17 | 4 ratings

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All I Wanted
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In 1986 KANSAS makes more music for the Pop Rock / Power Ballad / Corporate Rock musical industry of the eighties, like they did with their "Drastic Measures" (1983) album, after which Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope left the band. But their "Power" (1986) album, their first after their reunion in 1985 (without Livgren, Hope, John Elefante, and Robby Steinhardt, but with Steve Walsh rejoining the band) still has some good songs. Unfortunately, but obviously, their new record label selected the most commercial song and not one of the best of the album to be released in the Side "A " of this single.

"All I Wanted" is a song written by Walsh with then new KANSAS's guitarist Steve Morse. A "sugar ballad" with some good lead guitar parts (which makes it an almost "power ballad") which is somewhat "out of style" for the band. It sounds like it was written "on order" from their new record label to have an eighties's style Hit Single. And they were right : it was a Hit Single in the U.S. With very eighties's keyboard sounds. Not as bad as their "Stand Beside Me" single from 1988. At least, "All I Wanted" was composed by some members of the band. "All I Wanted" also has a very eighties 's "sugar" video which can be watched to in youtube.

"We're Not Alone Anymore" is another song composed by Walsh and Morse. More heavy, almost Progressive, with very good guitars by Morse and Rich Williams, and very good drums by Phil Ehart. It is one of the best songs from their "Power" album.

 Stand Beside Me by KANSAS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1988
1.30 | 4 ratings

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Stand Beside Me
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Maybe this single is KANSAS's worst single ever. Taken from their "In the Spirit of Things" (988) album, it really shows Corporate Rock's influences over the musical careers of some bands during the eighties. But at least other bands were allowed to record their own songs in their albums, But by 1988 KANSAS was recording several songs which were not composed by the members of the band, to please the record label.

"Stand Beside Me" is a very commercial and mellow Pop Rock song, full of the eighties's very characteristic "plastic" production ingredients (electronic drums, reverberation, etc.). The band even made a video for this song, with the band in very eighites's looks. It is not really difficult to think why the band didn't record another album for that record label (MCA). This song really sounds like a STARSHIP's song, with the KANSAS band name being only used as a vague reference, but nothing more. Despite this, the song reached the Number 13 (!) in the Hit Parade charts of the U.S.

"House on Fire", composed by some members of the band, is a much better song in comparison. A Hard Rock song with good guitars. It really sounds to me as more related to the KANSAS's sound that the "A" Side of this single.

 King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989) by KANSAS album cover Live, 1998
2.57 | 34 ratings

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King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars KANSAS was another Prog Rock band which could not escape in the eighties from the record companies's pressures to change their musical style to update it for the "new sounds of the new decade". And they had to change it a bit, with them recording two albums for MCA ("Power", from 1986, and the disappointing "In the Spirit of Things", from 1988, which also included several songs not composed by the members of the band). This live album, recorded for the "King Biscuit Flower Hour" radio programme, was recorded in February 1989 during the tour they did for their "In the Spirit of Things" album.

Despite some people don't like this album very much, I can say that it has a very good recording and mixing. They included four songs from their "In the Spirit of Things" album ("One Big Sky", "T.O. Witcher", "The Preacher" and " House on Fire" , with "T.O. Witcher being a good brief acoustic guitar solo piece by Steve Morse) and one from their "Power" album (the very mellow power ballad "All I Wanted"). "One Big Sky" sounds like a very eighties Hard Rock song, but it is not bad. "The Preacher" sounds like a Hard Rock Gospel influenced song which in the studio version included a Gospel choir (and maybe it is the best from their 1988 album), and "House on Fire" is an extended Hard Rock song with lead guitars. The rest of the songs are old songs from the seventies played with new arrangements and new keyboard sounds by Greg Robert, plus energetic guitars by Steve Morse and Rich Williams, with Morse replacing some of the violin parts playing good guitar parts and with sounds (maybe done with pedal effects or even with a guitar synth ) which sometimes sound like a violin (particularly in "Miracles Out of Nowhere" and "Dust in the Wind"). Some people mention that Morse really played a violin, but I really don't know. Or maybe Robert played some of those violin sounds with his keyboards. Steve Walsh's vocals soond very well in this album in comparison to the "Live at the Whisky" album from 1992. Phil Ehart plays energetic drums, and Billy Greer sings very good backing vocals. So, the band really sounds very well, maybe a bit similar to the eighties line-ups of GENESIS and YES playing in concert, with new personnel, instruments and sounds. Maybe the very eighties's sound didn't help them very much then, but they still were playing very well in concert, in my opinion.

A good live album which was re-issued several times under different titles and by different record labels.

 The Ultimate Kansas Box Set by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.81 | 36 ratings

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The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars By the early 90s KANSAS became more a touring band than a recording studio band. Having recorded two more Pop Rock influenced albums for MCA after their return as a band with Steve Walsh since 1985, they found themselves without a record label and maybe without the pressures from those record labels which in the 80s wanted mostly commercial songs to be released as singles. So, by the early 90s the band toured with several line-ups, which also included a reunion with Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope for a time (with also Steve Morse and Billy Greer being involved in some tours), and with Phil Ehart being the Manager, leaving the drums playing for another drummer sometimes.

In 1994 this Box Set was released by their former label (Kirshner / Legacy). I consider this a much better compilation than "The Best of Kansas" album, despite the fact that it mostly includes songs recorded by the "classic" line-up of the band (Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt and Dave Hope) from their albums which were released between 1974 and 1980. I think that it is a more representative compilation of their music from their best period of time, because the "classic" line-up was their best line-up anyway.

This Box Set has some previously unreleased recordings which work more as a "marketing trick" for the fans to buy it. One is a demo of a song called "Can I Tell You" (which was later recorded for their first album). Also, there are three live recordings from the seventies from KANSAS ("Death of Mother Nature Suite"and "Incomudro - Hymn to the Atman", both of them very heavy, and "On the Other Side", a very good live version), plus a new studio song, "Wheels", recorded by Livgren, Walsh and Ehart plus new violin player David Ragsdale in the early 90s. "Wheels" is a very good song, maybe a bit Rock Pop influenced. KANSAS also played this song without Livgren in the early 90s, and a live version of it appeared in their "Live at the Whisky" video from 1992.

 Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado) by KANSAS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have to say that the first time that I listened to KANSAS's music I didn't like it very much. I also think that the very first of their albums to be released in my country was "Leftoverture" (1976). This album was played a lot by my brothers in the late seventies. So maybe I became a bit bored of that album. It took me until 1984, when I bought their live album "Two for the Show" (1978), to really like KANSAS's music and to be interested in listening to "Leftoverture" again and to some of their other albums.

I think that the song which first made KANSAS popular in muy country (Mexico) was "Carry On, Wayward Son", composed by Kerry Livgren. It is one of their most known songs. It reached the Number 11 in the U.S. Hit Parade charts, and it became a Hit Single in several countries. It is mainly a Hard Rock song which still is played in some FM Radio stations in my city. It also sounds very "American Rock" in musical style. A good heavy song with some Prog Rock influences.

"Questions of my Childhood", composed by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, is a more Prog Rock influenced song with some good violin and synthesiser melodies and more keyboards in comparison to "Carry On, Wayward Son". It is one of the best songs from their "Letoverture" album.

 People Of The Southwind by KANSAS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.17 | 4 ratings

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People Of The Southwind
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars By 1979, some changes started in KANSAS's music, with the main composers (Kerry Livgen and Steve Walsh) working each one apart in their respective songs, with Livgren still having the main Progressive Rock influences in the band, while Walsh was starting to compose more Pop Rock / Hard Rock songs for the band. I have to say that I don't like their "Monolith" (1979) album very much. In fact, I think that the best song from that album was "On the oher side", another "existential" song composed by Livgren. But maybe their record label wanted more Pop Rock / Hard Rock songs from the band to be released on singles, so even Livgren had to compose some songs to please the record label.

"People of the souht wind" , composed by Livgren, is that kind of song. It starts with very good violin and guitar riffs somewhat influenced by Prog Rock music, but after that, the song becomes a more Hard Rock / Pop Rock song with some Funky music influences. The song is good, but not so good for my taste. It didn't matter, anyway. The song reached the Number 23 in the U.S. Hit Parade charts.

"Stay out of trouble", a song composed by Steve Walsh, Rich Williams and Robby Steinhardt, and sung by Walsh and Steinhardt, is another Pop Rock song with some Hard Rock / Blues influences.

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

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