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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$3.71
$1.95 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$4.64
$3.49 (used)
Song for AmericaSong for America
Remastered
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$2.98 (used)
Point of Know ReturnPoint of Know Return
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$2.98
$2.97 (used)
Kansas (Expanded Edition)Kansas (Expanded Edition)
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2004
Audio CD$2.40
$2.30 (used)
MasqueMasque
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$2.96 (used)
Audio VisionsAudio Visions
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$2.98 (used)
The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)The Best Of Kansas (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl/Anniversary Limited Edition/Gatefold Cover)
Limited Edition
Friday Music 2014
Vinyl$24.98
$40.18 (used)
Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
Box set · Limited Edition
Epic 2012
Audio CD$50.78
$46.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
"MASQUE" KANSAS LP VG+ US $1.99 Buy It Now 29m 45s
KANSAS - ALL I WANTED 7" VINYL PS US $8.48 Buy It Now 35m 12s
Kansas - Monolith - RARE Israeli Israel LP + Poster / Prog-Rock / LISTEN US $14.24 Buy It Now 40m 16s
Kansas Leftoverture 1976 1st Sterling Press, ULTRASONIC CLEANED, VG US $7.99 [0 bids]
43m 4s
KANSAS - BEST OF KANSAS US $5.48 Buy It Now 52m 43s
Beatles Cover - Kansas City Japan Only Colour Flexi 7" Ultra Rare ! US $157.50 Buy It Now 1h
KANSAS Two For The Show 1978 VG+ double live LP US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 21m
KANSAS Monolith 1979 VG++ US $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 22m
Trini Lopez(7" Vinyl 1st Issue)Lonesome Traveller / Kansas City-UK-Ex/VG+ US $10.18 Buy It Now 1h 28m
Little Richard (7" Vinyl 1st Issue)Kansas City / She Knows How To Rock-UK-Ex/VG US $15.28 Buy It Now 1h 28m
Kansas US $2.00 Buy It Now 1h 53m
The Velvet Underground - Live at Max's Kansas City - LP Cotillion 1841 Sealed US $19.99 [0 bids]
2h
KANSAS - ON THE OTHER SIDE [KANSAS] - NEW CD US $4.97 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Count Basie, Mercury Records, 1952, MG 25015, And His Kansas City Seven, 10" LP US $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Fedceral record Little Willie Littlefield Kansas City US $4.50 [0 bids]
2h 44m
Kansas(Vinyl LP)Audio Visions-CBS-AL 36588-US-VG/VG+ US $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Classic Rock! - 12 LPS various - Lou Reed, Beach Boys, Kansas.. US $10.99 [0 bids]
3h 17m
Rare Kansas City Funk 45 - GENE WILLIAMS (Forte) Do It Good US $29.99 [1 bids]
3h 17m
Power by Kansas CD New US $6.29 Buy It Now 3h 18m
Classic Rock! - 12 LPS various - Roxy Music, Aerosmith, Foghat, Kansas.. US $10.99 [0 bids]
3h 18m
Kansas - Live At The Whisky - Rare New Sealed Cassette US $24.50 Buy It Now 3h 25m
Nu-Lite Singers of Kansas City 45 Religious Gospel Jericho Road US $0.99 [1 bids]
3h 27m
JOE TURNER Kansas City Here I Come LP Pablo EX/EX US $10.12 Buy It Now 3h 34m
Jimmy Witherspoon/Jay McShann-Goin' To Kansas City Blues-RCA 1639-MONO NICE US $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 35m
KANSAS "PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH WIND" / "STAY OUT OF TROUBLE" 7" 45 US $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 45m
LISA DAGGS rare ANGEL IN YOUR EYES 1993 CD JOHN & DINO ELEFANTE KANSAS US $18.49 Buy It Now 3h 55m
Kansas City [Original Soundtrack] by Original Soundtrack (CD, May-1996, Verve) US $0.01 [0 bids]
3h 56m
WIZARDS FROM KANSAS Radioactive 009 PICTURE DISC LP US $24.00 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Jazz City - Kansas City JAZZ GREATS CD JAZZCD034 US $10.18 Buy It Now 4h 4m
KANSAS**POINT OF KNOW RETURN (180 GRAM)**VINYL US $29.95 Buy It Now 4h 8m
? Kansas - Song for America (Taiwanese pressing) US $14.99 Buy It Now 4h 15m
KANSAS - Point Of Know Return (reissue) - 180 gram audiophile vinyl LP + insert US $34.60 Buy It Now 4h 24m
1960 Count Basie Kansas City Suite Music of Benny Carter LP R-52056 VG Vinyl US $13.75 Buy It Now 4h 30m
Fats Domino R & B 45 (ABC-Paramount 10596) Kansas City/Heartbreak Hill VG+ US $6.95 Buy It Now 4h 33m
Rock NM! 45 HAROLD DORMAN Moved To Kansas City on Rita 7 US $5.00 Buy It Now 4h 34m
KEN PARKER I Can't Hide/TOMMY McCOOK Kansas City orig REGGAE BLANK 45 *hear* US $14.99 [1 bids]
4h 43m
Kansas - Power - AAMCAD5838 US $12.39 Buy It Now 4h 47m
KANSAS - FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE, ORG 1983 UK PROMO vinyl 7", EX/EX+ US $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 48m
The Best of Kansas CD ~~ Classic Rock ~~ Excellent Condition cc US $1.11 [0 bids]
5h 4m
Hot 'N Heavy CD 10 Rock Classics Mountain Blue Oyster Cult Ozzy Kansas Nugent US $3.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Rock 45 HAROLD DORMAN Mover To Kansas City on Rita US $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 25m
RARE LIVE CD LYNYRD SKYNYRD Peter Frampton BLACK CROWES Jethro Tull KANSAS fixx US $24.99 Buy It Now 5h 31m
The Best Of Kansas, CD 1984 US $12.50 Buy It Now 5h 33m
2 LP Lot The Stanley Brothers " " & Earl Scruggs Revue "Live At Kansas" US $16.99 Buy It Now 5h 41m
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kansas, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac (4) Vinyl LP US $44.20 Buy It Now 5h 42m
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic Associated) US $5.00 [0 bids]
5h 44m
KANSAS - KANSAS 2008 REMASTERED JAPAN MINI LP CD US $33.98 Buy It Now 5h 53m
KANSAS - MASQUE 2008 REMASTERED JAPAN MINI LP CD US $33.98 Buy It Now 5h 53m
KANSAS - SONG FOR AMERICA 2008 REMASTERED JAPAN MINI LP CD US $33.98 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Kansas; Song for America [LP classic vinyl] Kirshner, 1975 US $1.99 [0 bids]
US $5.00 Buy It Now
5h 55m
COUNT BASIE AND THE KANSAS CITY 7 Count Basie (Incl Secrets) L.P. (1962) T857 US $13.60 Buy It Now 5h 58m
KANSAS Point Of Know Return Kirshner Prog 1977 LP!!! US $11.69 Buy It Now 6h 3m
KANSAS -Two For The Show ~ Gatefold Kirshner Records 1978 STEREO (2) LP SET.VG+! US $11.69 Buy It Now 6h 3m
KANSAS -"VINYL CONFESSIONS" 1982 VINYL Lp. w/ Lyric sleeve Prog. Rock AOR US $3.99 Buy It Now 6h 8m
Rockin' Ronald&The Rebels"Cuttin' Out&Kansas City"Rare Rockabilly 45 End 1043 US $24.99 [0 bids]
US $40.00 Buy It Now
6h 8m
Kansas Power 12" vinyl promo US $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 17m
Kansas Sealed Kirschner LP 1980 US $12.00 Buy It Now 6h 18m
Kansas; Leftoverture [LP classic vinyl] Kirshner Records, 1976 US $1.99 [1 bids]
6h 22m
The Best of Kansas [1999] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-1999, Epic Associated) US $9.45 Buy It Now 6h 22m
THE RED DOGS,THE FABULOUS FLIPPERS,1960'S KANSAS BAND,lp,cd,poster,45 record US $30.00 Buy It Now 6h 34m
KANSAS - POINT OF NO RETURN, 1977 Kirshner LP release US $6.99 [0 bids]
6h 54m
KANSAS Two For The Show CD Classic 1978 Live Concert Album US $3.99 [0 bids]
6h 59m
KANSAS Best Of CD Greatest Hits Dust In The Wind, Carry on Wayward Son US $2.49 [0 bids]
7h
THE VELVET UNDERGROU - LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY [THE VELVET - NEW CD US $14.15 Buy It Now 7h 12m
STEVE HACKETT PLEASE DON'T TOUCH LP ALBUM GENISIS KANSAS KSHE NARNIA US $5.99 Buy It Now 7h 23m
KANSAS CITY JAMMERS - GOT GOOD (IF YOU GET IT) OHIO PSYCH FOLK ROCK TRIO LP+7" US $20.95 Buy It Now 7h 24m
KANSAS-MASQUE 1975 KIRSHNER RECORDS LP PZ 33806 EXC. VG+ US $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 35m
KANSAS LP VINYL CONFESSIONS uk issue kirshner 85714 1st issue US $8.50 Buy It Now 7h 36m
Wizards From Kansas Picture Disc LP *UNPLAYED* US $18.99 Buy It Now 7h 51m
KANSAS DUST IN THE WIND 7" SINGLE RECORD US $1.19 Buy It Now 8h 15m
Best of Kansas - Rare 1st Pressing New Sealed Cassette US $24.50 Buy It Now 8h 16m
KANSAS -(LP)- VINYL CONFESSIONS - "PLAY THE GAME TONIGHT" KIRSHNER-38002 -1982 US $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 30m
kansas lp point of no return 34929 vg+/m- US $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 42m
Jon Stemkovski's CELEBRANT SINGERS - WE PRAISE THY NAME 77 TEMPO Kansas City VG+ US $6.00 Buy It Now 9h 11m
Rock Love Song Collection 1990 JAPAN CD Eddie Money, Kansas, Cock Robin.. *17-1 US $11.04 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Wilbert Harrison Kansas City LP Relic/Fury 8023 Vinyl US $22.49 Buy It Now 9h 24m
KANSAS - FREAKS OF NATURE NEW CD US $9.79 Buy It Now 9h 26m
RUDY VALLEE & His Connecticut Yankees Kitty from Kansas City 78 HMV B5867 US $22.08 Buy It Now 9h 26m
Kansas - Original Album Classics NEW CD US $25.16 Buy It Now 9h 27m
1x CD KANSAS - The Best of Kansas US $2.50 [0 bids]
9h 28m
KANSAS ORIGINAL U.S. KIRSHNER LP MASQUE W/ INNER LYRIC SLEEVE / VG+ TO VG++ US $2.95 Buy It Now 9h 43m
KANSAS TWO FOR THE SHOW LP 1978 COLUMBIA RECORES SPECIAL RADIO PROMO US $15.00 [0 bids]
US $20.00 Buy It Now
9h 46m
Roger Miller 45 Kansas City Star / Guess I'll Pick Up My Heart And Go Home US $2.50 Buy It Now 9h 48m
KANSAS~Drastic Measures~LP~ORIG~SHRINK~HYPE~BLURB~NEAR~MINT US $8.95 Buy It Now 9h 51m
BOY BERGER - KANSAS CITY * - NEW CD US $15.49 Buy It Now 9h 55m
KANSAS Audio-Visions 1980 Kirshner 36588 VINYL LP FREE U.S. SHIPPING LOOK US $6.97 Buy It Now 10h 4m
VINTAGE CLASSIC ROCK 5 LOT CASSETTE THE DOORS THE BAND BOSTON KANSAS B.T.O. US $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 12m
KANSAS Masque 1975 Kirshner LP PZ 33806 VG/VG+ Promo w/sleeve US $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 13m
KANSAS Song For America 8 track tape 1975 CBS Original US $8.88 Buy It Now 10h 20m
Benny Moten's Kansas City Orch ~ SOUTH / SHE'S NO TROUBLE ~ 78RPM on Victor US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $14.95 Buy It Now
10h 25m
Record Album LP: KANSAS - AUDIO-VISIONS US $2.79 Buy It Now 10h 38m
Vinyl Record LP Kansas Point of Know Return 34929 US $7.50 Buy It Now 10h 44m
KANSAS 2 CASSETTES THE BEST OF KANSAS/ SONG FOR AMERICA US $4.98 Buy It Now 10h 48m
LARRY VAN LOON cd MIDNIGHT IN KC/K.C./Kansas City 1999 RARE OOP MINT US $21.60 Buy It Now 10h 55m
KANSAS CITY KITTY & - COMPLETE RECORDED WORKS (1930-1934) - NEW CD US $26.76 Buy It Now 11h 2m
JIMMY WHITERSPOON - KANSAS CITY NEW CD US $15.56 Buy It Now 11h 6m
BENNIE MOTEN Kansas City Jazz Vol 1 Walter Page 10" LP US $19.97 Buy It Now 11h 7m
JAMES BROWN~KANSAS CITY~NEAR MINT~KING~STONE FOX~~FUNK 45 US $13.99 Buy It Now 11h 8m
Kansas by Jennifer Knapp (CD, Nov-1998, Gotee) US $6.00 Buy It Now 11h 23m
STRAY CATS Dave Mason PATTI SMITH Kansas live tape 1991 US $7.99 Buy It Now 11h 25m

More places to buy KANSAS music online Buy KANSAS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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KANSAS shows & tickets


  • Kansas at Tyrol, Stockholm on 29 Jul 2014
  • Kansas at Trädgår'n, Göteborg on 30 Jul 2014
  • BR Radltour on 2 Aug 2014
  • Kansas at Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Pratteln on 3 Aug 2014
  • Kansas at heichal hatarbut, tel aviv on 5 Aug 2014
  • Boston + Kansas at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City MO on 14 Aug 2014

KANSAS discography


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

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

4.00 | 361 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.15 | 432 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.68 | 315 ratings
Masque
1975
4.21 | 665 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.12 | 483 ratings
Point of Know Return
1977
3.19 | 218 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.04 | 164 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.74 | 130 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.16 | 127 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.68 | 138 ratings
Power
1986
2.83 | 121 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.22 | 128 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.45 | 82 ratings
Always Never the Same
1998
3.52 | 169 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000

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

4.23 | 154 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.84 | 33 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.46 | 28 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.05 | 10 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
3.98 | 52 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
3.90 | 39 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009

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

3.28 | 13 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.17 | 54 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.49 | 44 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009

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

2.48 | 55 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.76 | 34 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.04 | 9 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.19 | 25 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.09 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.84 | 26 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
4.12 | 30 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
2.86 | 4 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.04 | 4 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
3.91 | 17 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.71 | 3 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.21 | 5 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.21 | 665 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 | 315 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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

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

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

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 Two for the Show by KANSAS album cover Live, 1978
4.23 | 154 ratings

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Two for the Show
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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

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 The Best of Kansas (1999)  by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.19 | 25 ratings

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The Best of Kansas (1999)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.15 | 432 ratings

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Song For America
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

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

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

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

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

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.21 | 665 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.68 | 315 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by thwok

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

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

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

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 Somewhere To Elsewhere by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.52 | 169 ratings

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Somewhere To Elsewhere
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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

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 In The Spirit Of Things by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.83 | 121 ratings

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In The Spirit Of Things
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.21 | 665 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars There are so many reviews about this album already that I don't want to go into detail about it. In fact, if you consider yourself a progger, then you are already familiar with the album and have already made up your mind about whether you like it or not. My opinion is that it is their masterpiece, it is Kansas in their finest hour and "Magnum Opus" is exactly Kansas' magnum opus. Nothing short of awesomeness here, everything is perfect. Kansas became a tight knit mini orchestra of sorts with this album. The problem is this; even though their next album "Point of Know Return" was a great album, it was not a progression from this album, it was a small tentative step backwards probably because of pressure to maintain radio air play and commercialism. In fact, Kansas stopped progressing and became more and more radio friendly after that, without progression their best music written after that only became stale and their worst music just became run of the mill. It's a sad story that exists all throughout prog. Kansas was an American progressive band that America could be proud of, but they became victims of corporate greed. However, while it's true that progressive rock was nurtured and grown best in Europe and other countries, progressive rock (and music in general for that matter) should know no boundaries. I think it would do us all a big service if all of us would forget about boundaries and appreciate music for being universal. Open your ears and your minds and listen to music from everywhere and I will promise you that you will find gems all over the world. There is music out there that is still being made that is just as good and sometimes even better than what is produced in your own country or your own culture. Get out there and discover it.

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