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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$3.70
$1.79 (used)
Kansas (Expanded Edition)Kansas (Expanded Edition)
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2004
Audio CD$2.43
$2.36 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
Import
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$4.56
$4.98 (used)
Song for AmericaSong for America
Remastered
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$25.98
$40.21 (used)
Point of Know ReturnPoint of Know Return
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$2.79
$2.29 (used)
MonolithMonolith
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$2.95 (used)
MasqueMasque
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.60
$2.38 (used)
Somewhere to ElsewhereSomewhere to Elsewhere
Magna Carta 2014
Audio CD$11.52
$4.84 (used)
Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
Box set · Limited Edition
Epic 2012
Audio CD$49.65
$46.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MORNING DEW: Early Years: Topeka, Kansas 1966-69 LP (Germany, reissue, insert) US $20.00 Buy It Now 32m 31s
LOVE ROCKS 4 CDs BALLADS DIGIPACK BOSTON EUROPE KANSAS ELVIS STRANGLERS WARRANT US $29.99 Buy It Now 33m 28s
Kansas - Leftoverture - 1976 record alblum US $1.21 [0 bids]
39m 26s
KANSAS - IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS [076732625422] - NEW CD US $3.36 Buy It Now 42m 44s
Kansas, 'Point of Know Return' [VINYL][Mint/Sealed][1st Edition][Kirshner 34929] US $20.00 [0 bids]
US $27.00 Buy It Now
44m 28s
Kansas Two for the Show Radio Special 1976 RARE EXCLUSIVE PROMO 2x LP US $29.98 Buy It Now 52m 52s
Kansas - In The Spirit Of Things [CD New] US $6.34 Buy It Now 1h 8m
The Velvet Underground Live At Max's Kansas City Cotillion Records SD 9500 MONO US $6.49 [8 bids]
1h 13m
Kansas - Point Of Know Return [CD New] US $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 18m
KANSAS Audio-Visions LP ORG. 1980 Portugal Press US $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 21m
KANSAS - POINT OF KNOW RETURN (1977) LP Record Kirshner 34929 NO BAR CODE EX-! US $1.49 [1 bids]
1h 35m
Boston Third Stage Cassette Tape 1986 3rd AOR Arena Rock Kansas Styx Journey US $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Dc Basehead : Not in Kansas Anymore CD (1993) US $4.00 Buy It Now 1h 46m
SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD ALBUM TO US 1977 PROMO LP (AEROSMITH SANTANA KANSAS SPARKS) US $5.29 Buy It Now 1h 51m
KANSAS - MONOLITH (1979) LP Record FZ 36008 Gate Fold NO BAR CODE VG+/EX-! US $1.49 [1 bids]
2h 12m
KANSAS - SONG FOR AMERICA (1975) LP Record PZ 33385 NO BAR CODE VG+/EX-! US $1.49 [1 bids]
2h 12m
Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, 1923-1927, , Good US $23.90 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Buck Owens Lp The Kansas City Song Book in Shrink Excellent Copy US $3.99 [0 bids]
2h 27m
Kansas - Best Of Used - Compact Disc US $2.50 [0 bids]
2h 32m
AD - Live (ex-Kansas) Kerry Livgren Christian CD CCM Prog Rock Brand New-Sealed US $146.78 Buy It Now 2h 39m
KANSAS : VINYL CONFESSIONS / SHRINK PROMO STICKER, LYRIC INNER LP LP 826 US $11.99 [0 bids]
US $16.35 Buy It Now
2h 43m
Kansas City [Original Soundtrack] by Original Soundtrack (CD, May-1996, Verve) US $0.01 [0 bids]
2h 45m
Cruising Down The River/Sunflower (Kansas) Russ Morgan 78 RPM Decca US $5.00 [0 bids]
2h 48m
SUPER SALE! Kansas Bible Company DOMEZONE VOL. 1 Vinyl LP NM/NM L@@K!!! US $5.00 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
3h 5m
(CD) Kansas City - OST / Jazz / Import US $15.99 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Always Never the Same, Kansas, Good works perfect disc in excellent cond US $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 23m
AD-Reconstructions(Reconstructed) Kerry Livgren(ex-Kansas) Brand New-Sealed US $27.95 Buy It Now 3h 33m
Power by Kansas CD, Mar-2003, Universal Special Products Rock US $7.02 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Wilbert Harrison- Listen, My Darling b/w Kansas City-1959 Fury 1023 SOUL 45 VG+ US $8.95 Buy It Now 3h 38m
Kansas [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Legacy) US $3.95 [0 bids]
3h 40m
Live: Dust in the Wind by Kansas (VG+) (CD, Apr-1997, CEMA Special Markets) US $2.98 [0 bids]
4h
KANSAS Point of No Return KIRSHNER LP '77 OG Dust In The Wind US $2.95 [0 bids]
4h 8m
KANSAS Leftoverture KIRSHNER LP '76 OG Carry On Wayward Son US $3.95 [0 bids]
4h 9m
KANSAS self-titled KIRSHNER LP '74 OG Journey From Mariabronn US $3.95 [0 bids]
4h 13m
Kansas/Dust In The Wind/Point Of Know Return - Kirshner - 1977 CBS Inc ZS8-2101 US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $19.99 Buy It Now
4h 18m
Kansas Freaks Of Nature Cassette Tape 1995 Intersound 9148 Progressive Hard Rock US $6.99 Buy It Now 4h 31m
Mark Tribune -Kansas City Southern/Put Out The Fire 45 RPM Record MTA 001 US $0.99 Buy It Now 4h 32m
KANSAS / AUDIO VISIONS / 8 TRACK TAPE* US $4.00 Buy It Now 4h 36m
Kansas Power Cassette Tape 1988 ORG USA MCA MCAC-5838 Steve Morse Prog Hard Rock US $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 36m
KANSAS **LEFTOVERTURE **BRAND NEW 180 GRAM AUDIOPHILE LP VINYL RECORD US $29.96 Buy It Now 4h 37m
78 rpm, Jay McShann's Kansas City Stompers, Moten Swing, 1944, V+ US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $7.99 Buy It Now
4h 39m
Kansas Audio-Visions UK Cassette US $1.75 Buy It Now 4h 39m
Kansas 2LP Two for the Show US $2.00 [0 bids]
4h 43m
8 Track Tape Lot (4) - Sonny&Cher/Styx/Kansas/Foreigner US $3.50 [0 bids]
4h 54m
Point of Know Return by Kansas (Cassette, Mar-1977) US $3.75 Buy It Now 5h
Kansas Two For the Show 2x LP G/F 12" vinyl LP '78 Kirshner rock US $8.99 Buy It Now 5h 2m
Kansas Masque 12" vinyl LP '75 Kirshner FC art "Water" giuseppe arcimboldo rock US $7.99 Buy It Now 5h 2m
lot Kansas Leftoverture Point of Know Return 12" vinyl LP 7" Dust Wind US $21.00 Buy It Now 5h 2m
Two for the Show by Kansas (CD, Oct-1989, Kirshner Records) US $5.99 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Kansas - Carry On - (CD) US $5.99 Buy It Now 5h 4m
THE KANSAS CITY BOULEVARD BIG BAND -STELLAR -11 TRACK CD -1996 -FREE FASTPOST US $18.54 Buy It Now 5h 7m
Bleeding Kansas,SEALED CD,1859 US $5.99 Buy It Now 5h 7m
The Accordian Orchestra of UM Kansas City Joan Cochran Factory Sealed Album US $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 8m
KANSAS Two For The Show LP - 1978 KIRSNER PROMO (White Label) US $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Beatles Boys Kansas City Green Capitol Starline 45 US $12.00 [0 bids]
5h 13m
Count Basie Kansas City Suite- Music of Benny Carter Roulette Big Band LP US $35.00 [0 bids]
5h 18m
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters Kansas City Promo King 45 US $9.99 [0 bids]
5h 33m
Kansas Live at the Whisky CD 1992 with special guest guitarist Kerry Livgren US $1.99 [0 bids]
5h 34m
JAMES BROWN, STONE FOX b/w KANSAS CITY, 1967 ORIGINAL 45 RPM, MINT-!! US $6.95 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Kansas-All I Wanted/We're Not Alone Anymore US $4.00 Buy It Now 5h 46m
Setlist:very Best of Kansas Live - Kansas New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $11.69 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Essential Kansas 2 CD set 26 classic rock hits US $16.28 [0 bids]
5h 57m
PRIVATE KANSAS CITY XIAN GOSPEL LP HARP STEEL GUITAR US $10.49 Buy It Now 6h
KANSAS all i wanted 12" 2 trk b/w we're not alone anymore (2584880) pic sleeve b US $8.27 Buy It Now 6h 4m
KANSAS Rare Vinyl Lp DRASTIC MEASURES Hype Sticker Shrink 1983 Beauty! US $11.95 Buy It Now 6h 8m
KANSAS Rare Vinyl Lp VINYL CONFESSIONS Hype Sticker Shrink 1982 Beauty! US $11.95 Buy It Now 6h 8m
Tommy Wills: K.C. Drive / Kansas City [Unplayed Copy] US $24.97 Buy It Now 6h 8m
HAROLD DORMAN Moved To Kansas City/Take A Chance On Me 7IN VG++ US $9.50 Buy It Now 6h 14m
Rockin' Ronald&The Rebels"Cuttin' Out&Kansas City"Rare Rockabilly 45 End 1043 US $14.00 Buy It Now 6h 17m
Kansas Got To Rock On NM with Live and Studio version 12" single US $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 20m
GOLDEN GOODIES #17, Fanny Mae, Kansas City, Let The Good Times Roll, Ya Ya, LP US $12.00 Buy It Now 6h 21m
Device, Voice, Drum by Kansas (CD, Oct-2002, 2 Discs, Compendia Music Group) US $2.47 [2 bids]
6h 24m
1976 KANSAS 45rpm - CARRY ON WAYWARD SON / QUESTIONS OF MY CHILDHOOD US $0.99 [1 bids]
6h 27m
WILBERT HARRISON kansas city /LOUISIANA RED red's dream ROULETTE NEW 45 US $0.99 [0 bids]
6h 32m
WILBERT HARRISON kansas city / listen my darling ERIC NEW 45 US $0.99 [0 bids]
6h 33m
KANSAS Drastic Measures LP Record Album US $4.99 [0 bids]
6h 43m
1970s ROCK - KANSAS "Portrait (He Knew)" 1977 PROMO/DEMO 45 RPM vinyl 45 record US $3.99 [0 bids]
6h 43m
KANSAS Monolith gatefold US $3.99 [0 bids]
6h 44m
Elvin The Little Black Elf., Carl E. Bolte,Jr., Rare Vinyl Record, Kansas City US $87.00 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Kansas Monolith Kirshner Label Gatefold 1979 FZ-36008 Vinyl LP Record NM/VG US $1.99 [0 bids]
6h 48m
CD: Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 - Jay McShann - Sealed US $17.42 Buy It Now 6h 59m
LP 1977 Kansas Kirshner JZ-34929 In Shrink Very Nice! US $3.99 [0 bids]
7h 4m
Power by Kansas (CD, 1986 MCA Records) US $0.99 [0 bids]
7h 9m
HAROLD DORMAN-RITA 1012 ROCK 45 MOVED TO KANSAS CITY US $9.95 Buy It Now 7h 43m
ROGER MILLER: Guess I'll Pick Up My Heart (And Go Home)/Kansas City Star (vinyl) US $6.00 Buy It Now 7h 52m
AL CHERNY: Heel And Toe Polka/Kansas City Railroad Blues (country vinyl 45) US $7.00 Buy It Now 7h 52m
KANSAS - AUDIO VISION US $2.99 [0 bids]
8h 5m
JAZZ - Count Basie & the Kansas 7 :: IMPULSE A-15 STEREO US $20.00 [1 bids]
8h 6m
BEST OF KANSAS GREATEST HITs LIVE IN CONCERT CD OLDIES ART PROGRESIVE ROCK POP ? US $10.00 Buy It Now 8h 13m
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS i can see clearly now 12" 3 trk b/w kansas city and better days US $8.27 Buy It Now 8h 20m
Kansas - Point Of No Return - Record LP US $9.82 Buy It Now 8h 23m
Live: Dust in the Wind by Kansas (CD, Apr-1997, CEMA Special Markets) US $5.95 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Live: Dust in the Wind by Kansas (CD,EMI RECORDS ) US $4.99 [0 bids]
8h 47m
dc BASEHEAD-Not In Kansas Anymore/B.Y.O.B.crazy rap-Cd US $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 49m
Masque by Kansas (CD, CBS RECORDS (USA)) US $4.99 [0 bids]
8h 50m
Kansas DRASTIC MEASURES vinyl LP Columbia BL-38733 hype sticker shrink NM! US $14.88 Buy It Now 8h 52m
WILBERT HARRISON Kansas City & My Darling - 1959 NM 45 US $4.95 Buy It Now 8h 54m
POMEROY-Identity-KANSAS CITY MO./funk-RAP-Hip Hop/ROCK US $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 55m
THE ANTS-Victory Side/KANSAS-Mandolin-FOLK ROCK-pop-Cd US $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 55m
KANSAS: Dust In The Wind/Paradox (rock vinyl 45 Kirshner ZS8-4274 Canada) US $10.00 Buy It Now 8h 59m

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


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

KANSAS discography


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

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

4.00 | 373 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.15 | 448 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.67 | 325 ratings
Masque
1975
4.21 | 682 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.12 | 498 ratings
Point of Know Return
1977
3.19 | 221 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.05 | 166 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.74 | 133 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.16 | 127 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.68 | 139 ratings
Power
1986
2.83 | 122 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.22 | 129 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.44 | 86 ratings
Always Never the Same
1998
3.51 | 173 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000

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

4.23 | 158 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.85 | 34 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.46 | 29 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.05 | 10 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
3.97 | 54 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2002
2.09 | 8 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2002
1.22 | 4 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2003
1.78 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
2003
3.88 | 40 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009

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

3.28 | 13 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.16 | 56 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.48 | 45 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009

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

2.48 | 55 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.75 | 36 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.04 | 9 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.19 | 26 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.09 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.82 | 28 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
4.11 | 31 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
3.89 | 18 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)

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

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Point of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.12 | 498 ratings

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Point of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.21 | 682 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by HarmonyDissonan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.67 | 325 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 | 158 ratings

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Two for the Show
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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The Best of Kansas (1999)
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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 Song For America by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.15 | 448 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 | 682 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by YagKosha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.67 | 325 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by thwok

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

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

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

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 Somewhere To Elsewhere by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.51 | 173 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 | 122 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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