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1975 was a very good year for Kansas

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prog4evr View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 14 2015 at 06:09
After releasing their eponymous album, "Kansas," the year before in 1974, 1975 saw the production of both 'Song for America' and 'Masque' - two great albums for Kansas as they were exposing their progressive form of music to the American audience at large.  What think ye, therefore, of these two albums?  I personally prefer SfA over Masque, probably for stylistic musical reasons (to be sure).  In this 40th year of the advent of both albums, what praise or complaint do you have of these early Kansas albums?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2015 at 10:21
I have the first 5 albums by Kansas......like them all,  but I suppose for me it's a close call between Song and Leftoverture as being my favorites.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrea Cortese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2015 at 13:16
love both. probably prefer Masque over SfA because of "Icarus" and "All the World".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2015 at 14:17
Originally posted by prog4evr prog4evr wrote:

In this 40th year of the advent of both albums, what praise or complaint do you have of these early Kansas albums?

Complaint(s)? None. Praise? Plenty. Albums like these, and the first two albums by both Todd Rundgren's Utopia and Happy the Man show that America was as capable of producing symphonic/art/prog rock as Europe. It's just that jazz/fusion and funk really took off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2015 at 14:17
Side II of Leftoverture is brilliant for me!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. Maestro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2015 at 15:35
Song for America is definitely the better album in my book. The epics are solid and diverse, and even the shorter songs have a lot of energy, atmosphere, and stylistic variety. Then there's the ending of "Incomudru," which still makes my jaw drop every time I hear it.

Masque isn't a bad record, but a lot of the tracks have a sort of cheesy, dated feel that I don't get from SfA.  "Two Cents Worth" and "Child of Innocence" are good, but unremarkable.  There's an awful lot to be said for "Icarus," though, and "The Pinnacle" remains my favorite song the band ever recorded.

I'd say both albums are worth owning, but only SfA is a true classic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Intruder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2015 at 09:42
Kansas was a sort of prog gateway drug for many - it's AOR with a bit of depth.   I can't say I dug any Kansas record all the way through - the first album was OK, not fully cooked but still tasty.  SfA is a solid record, but Masque veers off into FM radio stiffness - trying to produce a hit without abandoning their older fans (and Kansas sure had some - they were Midwest America darlings long before they put out the first record). 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2015 at 02:47
Oddly I've never owned Masque because the songs I've heard on it don't sound that amazing and makes me think it may have been a transition album towards a sleeker more commercial driven sound that reached its epoch on Point Of Know Return.
Also oddly my favourite Kansas album is Somewhere To Elsewhere which is near perfect. I also like the debut. Song For America is bit overshadowed by the title track which is great. Seems a little bit unfocused overall to my ears.


Edited by richardh - July 24 2015 at 02:48
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