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KANSAS

Symphonic Prog • United States


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

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

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

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


The Best of KansasThe Best of Kansas
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony 1999
Audio CD$3.35
$0.01 (used)
KANSAS: Miracles Out Of Nowhere (Documentary DVD/CD)KANSAS: Miracles Out Of Nowhere (Documentary DVD/CD)
Legacy 2015
Audio CD$19.98
Point of Know ReturnPoint of Know Return
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$2.95
$3.50 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$4.19
$4.39 (used)
The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)
Limited Edition
Friday Music 2014
Vinyl$27.29
$20.00 (used)
Two for the Show: 30th Anniversary EditionTwo for the Show: 30th Anniversary Edition
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 2008
Audio CD$12.33
$18.00 (used)
MonolithMonolith
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$4.98
$4.80 (used)
Audio VisionsAudio Visions
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$3.53
$4.04 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Kansas, Masque. kirshner records. PZ33806 USD $3.50 [1 bids]
1h 29m
LEE DIXON Kansas City / Out Of My Dreams 78 BRUNSWICK 03716 USD $20.07 Buy It Now 1h 37m
KIRSHNER RECORDS 45 RECORD COMPANY FACTORY SLEEVE 1974-1980 KANSAS USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Lester Young The Complete Japan 1987 Nippon CD Quartet Kansas City Seven Keynote USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Kansas City Jazz 30's & 40's (2011, CD New) USD $10.32 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Kansas - X2 (Leftoverture & Point Of Know Return) [CD New] USD $12.86 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Trini Lopez "Lonesome Traveler/Kansas City" 45 USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Kansas Song For America Kirshner Label PZ-33385 1975 Vinyl LP Record VG/VG USD $1.99 [0 bids]
2h 20m
KANSAS - X2: LEFTOVERTURE / POINT OF KNOW RETURN NEW CD USD $16.49 Buy It Now 2h 21m
8 TRACK KANSAS LEFTOVERTURE USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 37m
LESTER YOUNG KANSAS CITY STYLE 1952 10" LP USD $6.50 [0 bids]
2h 39m
45 HARRISON, WILBERT ~ KANSAS CITY / LISTEN, MY DARLING -- '59 USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Live At Max's Kansas City - Troggs (2001, CD New) USD $10.89 Buy It Now 2h 49m
Led Zeppelin CD Birth of the Gods Balboa not TMQ LIVE 1969 Kansas City San Fran USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
SEALED Cassette The Best Of Kansas Remastered w/3 Extra Tracks (Sony 1999) USD $5.00 [0 bids]
2h 59m
KANSAS device voice drum 2 CD HM52 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Art Smith - Kansas City Jazz Lives! LP SRK-5498 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 43m
The Black Crowes Instant Live Roadshow Kansas City,MO 7-22-2008 USD $10.51 [5 bids]
3h 53m
Thomas A.Edison Record 78 RPM 51459 The Prisoner's Song & Way out west in Kansas USD $19.00 Buy It Now 3h 55m
CYMARRON 45 Valerie / Across the Kansas Sky MINT USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4h
COUNT BASIE: Kansas City Suite LP (Mono, small tear on back cover, slight cover USD $15.00 Buy It Now 4h 6m
Bennie Moten's Kansas City Jazz, Very RARE, 1954, X Records, EP, EVAB-3004 USD $19.00 Buy It Now 4h 31m
PROTO-KAW ( KANSAS )-EARLY RECORDINGS FROM KANSAS 1971-73 CD NEW USD $34.87 Buy It Now 4h 32m
BLACK SABBATH HEART KANSAS ANIMALS CARS LED ZEPELIN EAGLES DVD KARAOKE 200 songs USD $18.99 Buy It Now 4h 34m
45 RPM RECORD/10) WILBERT HARRISON/ KANSAS CITY USD $6.00 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Kansas by Jennifer Knapp CD Nov-1998 Gotee NEW SEALED USD $8.95 Buy It Now 4h 53m
Best Of Kansas by Kansas (CD, Oct-1984, Cbs Assoc.) USD $1.30 [0 bids]
USD $4.00 Buy It Now
5h 6m
RECORD MIRROR.LINDA McCARTNEY.THE VIBRATORS.ELVIS COSTELLO.KANSAS.WINGS.LOU REED USD $1.53 [2 bids]
5h 12m
THE TROGGS CD LIVE AT MAX'S KITCHEN KANSAS CITY 1994 PRESIDENT RECORDS cd album USD $1.53 [0 bids]
5h 16m
Kansas - Leftoverture/Point Of Know Return - 2 On 1 Cassette - (cassette) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 5h 28m
KANSAS "NM WAX" Vinyl Confessions 25AP2364 OBI LP Ap8472 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
5h 29m
KANSAS Monolith 25AP1590 LP AP1596 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
5h 30m
KANSAS Leftoverture 25AP311 OBI LP An0547 USD $7.99 [1 bids]
5h 31m
Kansas ---Song for America ---Very Good Condition !!!! USD $3.00 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Kansas (2011, CD New) USD $29.44 Buy It Now 5h 46m
VINYL LP Kansas - Song For America Kirshner PZ 33385 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 5h 53m
v/a BEST OF ROCK HITS-TOTO/BOSTON/ALICE COOPER/SANTANA/KANSAS/ETC. NEW SEALED LP USD $11.98 Buy It Now 5h 56m
BUDDY TATE HUMPHREY LYTTELTON kansas city woman EX+ USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h
F 9032 Kansas City Suite count Basie & his Orch LP USD $7.29 Buy It Now 6h 4m
Basie, Count - Kansas Jump USD $4.33 Buy It Now 6h 13m
KANSAS, Point Of No Return LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 6h 16m
JAY McSHANN Going To Kansas City Buddy Tate LP USD $19.97 Buy It Now 6h 17m
Kansas Box Set 2 CDs (CD, Jul-1994, 2 Discs, Legacy) USD $7.99 [0 bids]
6h 18m
Rock 45 KANSAS Paradox on Kirshner USD $5.00 Buy It Now 6h 34m
Kansas / Power / Tomb 19 / 7" Vinyl 45 RPM Record & Picture Sleeve / Phil Ehart USD $3.61 Buy It Now 6h 38m
THE WIZARDS FROM KANSAS - S/T - CD - US ROCK/PSYCH - 1970 + 9 BONUS TRACKS USD $10.80 [0 bids]
6h 38m
Wiley & Gene - Take Away Those Blues Around My Heart / Kansas City Blues USD $6.95 Buy It Now 6h 39m
JAMES BROWN KING 45 KANSAS CITY/STONE FOX USD $8.00 Buy It Now 6h 53m
Best Of Kansas by Kansas (CD, Oct-1984, Cbs Assoc.) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
HANK BALLARD 20 Chart Hits (1953-1962) Work With Me Annie Kansas City NEW CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
BLANK/KANSAS CITY - JOYA LANDIS (68 REGGAE ROCKERS 7") USD $19.99 [1 bids]
7h
KANSAS - BOX SET SERIES NEW CD USD $25.47 Buy It Now 7h 25m
KRIS ARDEN/SAMMY MARSHALL AND THE SUN-RAYS/VALE/COME TO KANSAS/THE BENDER SONG USD $1.99 Buy It Now 7h 28m
KANSAS Dust In The Wind/Paradox 45 RPM USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Original KANSAS Concert Ticket Stub [7/15/1993] Pennsylvania USD $7.95 Buy It Now 7h 58m
Kansas Record Album Leftoverture. USD $7.95 Buy It Now 8h 10m
LOT OF 3. STEELY DAN-KANSAS-BOSTON. LP USD $9.50 [0 bids]
8h 18m
KANSAS "LEFTOVERTURE" 8 TRACK TAPE USD $4.99 Buy It Now 8h 29m
JOHNNY THUNDERS: The Last Show At Max's Kansas City Nyc LP (Euro, splattered co USD $30.00 Buy It Now 8h 33m
KANSAS-SELF TITLED MINT CD BOX SET 2 Discs-EPIC Z2K 47364 (USA)) USD $19.48 Buy It Now 8h 34m
Live on the Vine: Recorded Live At the Blue Room in Kansas City's Historic 18th USD $20.97 Buy It Now 8h 40m
30 Stars Classic Rock 2CD Alice Cooper,Santana,Deep Purple,Kansas,Bonnie Tyler USD $16.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
LYNN AUGUST: Whatever Boils Your Catfish / Kansas City (soul vinyl 45) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 8h 42m
KANSAS RECORD LOT OF 3 ALBUMS USD $10.00 Buy It Now 8h 47m
Kansas City Breaks (DRG) - The John Lewis Group - Audio CD USD $14.95 Buy It Now 8h 49m
VG+ KANSAS PARADOX/DUST IN THE WIND 1977 45 RPM KIRSHNER RECORDS ZS8 4274 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 8h 54m
Box Set Series - 4 DISC SET - Kansas (2014, CD New) Softpak USD $19.77 Buy It Now 8h 56m
KANSAS - KANSAS (IMPORT) (LTD) (BLU-SPEC) NEW CD USD $44.72 Buy It Now 8h 59m
Kansas Two For The Show vinyl record set PZ2 35660 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 9h
KANSAS The Best of (Greatest Hits) Cassette 1984 CBS Records Like New LOOK! USD $6.88 Buy It Now 9h 46m
KANSAS Japan 1983 NM LP+Obi DRASTIC MEASURES USD $29.99 Buy It Now 9h 54m
PRAIRIE RAMBLERS-SMOKEY MT. SCHOTTISCHE/KANSAS CITY RAG-MELOTONE 7-11-61 78 RPM USD $9.00 [0 bids]
9h 58m
KANSAS Japan 1980 NM LP+Obi AUDIO-VISIONS USD $29.99 Buy It Now 10h
KANSAS "ALL I WANTED / WE'RE NOT ALONG ANYMORE" 45w/PS MINT USD $3.75 Buy It Now 10h
KANSAS ~ Two For The Show 1978 Rock LP Orig US Kirshner PZ2 35660 Sterling Press USD $3.95 [0 bids]
10h 9m
KANSAS Monolith - 1979 US LP FZ 36008 1A/1C (vinyl) NM USD $12.00 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Kansas (aniv) (ltd) (ogv) 0829421328179, Vinyl Album, BRAND NEW FREE P USD $44.00 Buy It Now 10h 33m
Kansas - Point Of No Return - LP Record EX VG+ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 10h 51m
Kansas, Boston, REO Speedwagon - Mexico cd - RARE! USD $15.98 Buy It Now 11h 10m
KANSAS VINYL audio-visions LP Record in plastic '80 NmVg+ sleeve SHIPS US FREE USD $16.99 Buy It Now 11h 37m
Melrose,Frank Kansas City - Jelly Roll Stomp (CD New) USD $13.67 Buy It Now 11h 44m
DEC-84 CCM MAGAZINE SANDI PATTI BARBARA MANDRELL KANSAS USD $49.99 Buy It Now 11h 46m
BUTTS BAND The Doors ROBBIE KRIEGER I won't be alone anymore / Kansas City PROMO USD $7.50 Buy It Now 12h 2m
KANSAS / POINT OF NO RETURN / Excellent Condition USD $5.39 Buy It Now 12h 9m
KANSAS Power CD JAPAN MCA 5838 ORIGINAL 1986 ORIGINAL MINT!!! USD $7.00 Buy It Now 12h 14m
Kansas"Hold On Don't Open Your Eyes"/45/Stereo/ USD $4.95 Buy It Now 12h 21m
KANSAS - Live At The Whisky - 1992 Cassette / Exc./ Prog.Hard Rock AOR USD $2.49 Buy It Now 12h 39m
KANSAS Monolith LP in near mint condition USD $5.00 Buy It Now 12h 40m
KANSAS 2 USA Promo 12" Singles Go To Rock On x2 + Play Game Tonight / Montage USD $14.99 Buy It Now 12h 48m
KANSAS / SONGS FOR AMERICA / Excellent Condition USD $9.00 Buy It Now 12h 51m
Count Basie and The Kansas City 7/Impulse/Mono/A-15/VG++/RVG USD $49.99 Buy It Now 12h 57m
Kansas City Original Sound ?- Baby It's On USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
13h 9m
Kansas...Power...in an excellent condition. org,1986....... USD $9.00 [0 bids]
13h 16m
The Best Of Kansas CD USD $2.99 [0 bids]
13h 26m
FRANK MELROSE / KANSAS CITY - JELLY ROLL STOMP NEW CD USD $18.08 Buy It Now 13h 48m
Various Artists, Best of Kansas City Audio CD USD $12.98 Buy It Now 13h 59m
Box Set [Box] by Kansas (CD, Jul-1994, 2 Discs, Legacy) NEW With "Wheels" USD $45.00 Buy It Now 14h 15m
Hear! Blues 78 The Blues Man - My Baby'S Blues / Kansas City Boogie O USD $20.00 Buy It Now 14h 43m
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic Associated) USD $0.55 [2 bids]
14h 46m
LITTLE RICHARD ~ SHE KNOWS HOW TO ROCK b/w KANSAS CITY ~UK TRI LONDON 7" SINGLE USD $69.54 Buy It Now 15h 23m
LP leftoverture
KANSAS
~ USD $19.59
LP point of know return
KANSAS
~ USD $19.59


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KANSAS shows & tickets


  • Kansas at Village Green, Elk Grove, IL on 7 Jul 2015

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 | 399 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.14 | 479 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.68 | 348 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 736 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.13 | 530 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.20 | 240 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.04 | 183 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.73 | 147 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.17 | 139 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.67 | 148 ratings
Power
1986
2.83 | 129 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.22 | 141 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.42 | 87 ratings
Always Never the Same
1998
3.53 | 178 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000

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

4.28 | 166 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.86 | 36 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.46 | 29 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.05 | 10 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
4.02 | 50 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
4.05 | 37 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009
4.00 | 3 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 | 53 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.57 | 44 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
2015

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

2.49 | 56 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.78 | 33 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.04 | 9 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.20 | 27 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.09 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.88 | 22 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
4.16 | 26 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
2.86 | 4 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.04 | 4 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
3.89 | 18 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.71 | 3 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.06 | 7 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
What's On My Mind
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hold On
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Right Away
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Power
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Always Never the Same by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 87 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 | 530 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 | 479 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 | 736 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 | 530 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 | 736 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by HarmonyDissonan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 348 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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

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

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

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 Two for the Show by KANSAS album cover Live, 1978
4.28 | 166 ratings

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Two for the Show
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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

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 The Best of Kansas (1999)  by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.20 | 27 ratings

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The Best of Kansas (1999)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.14 | 479 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

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

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

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

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

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