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Kansas - Two for the Show CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 254 ratings

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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.
stefro | 3/5 |


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