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Kansas Drastic Measures album cover
2.21 | 259 ratings | 23 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fight Fire With Fire (3:40)
2. Everybody's My Friend (4:09)
3. Mainstream (6:36)
4. Andi (4:15)
5. Going Through The Motions (5:43)
6. Get Rich (3:43)
7. Don't Take Your Love Away (3:44)
8. End Of The Age (4:33)
9. Incident On A Bridge (5:37)

Total Time: 42:00

Line-up / Musicians

- John Elefante / lead & backing vocals, keyboards
- Rich Williams / acoustic & electric guitars
- Kerry Livgren / guitars, keyboards, Synclavier programming
- Dave Hope / bass
- Phil Ehart / drums

- Terry Brock / backing vocals
- Kyle Henderson / backing vocals
- David Pack / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Tom Drennon with Glen Wexler (photo)

LP CBS Associated Records ‎- QZ 38733 (1983, US)

CD Epic ‎- 481163 2 (1996, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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KANSAS Drastic Measures ratings distribution

(259 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (40%)
Poor. Only for completionists (16%)

KANSAS Drastic Measures reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars I think the bottom is near. This band has sunken lower than the Titanic, easily approaching the depth of the Marianna Trench (the lowest point on Earth's crust), but who knows really ??? Because not many bands have sunken this low (although when you think about it many old bands trying to survive did go this low: Abacab, 3 , 90125 etc...) ...... Even veterans like them should've thought of that. Anyway, these guys could've thought of another album title, because it is quite easy to take cheap shots at them with such a poor effort. (I could suggest them suicide, for ex)

Pursuing their metamorphosis towards a strange mix of journey meeting Abacab-like Genesis, with absolutely not a single track worth saving, DM is one of the biggest disaster from a "prog" group and can be set along the In visible Touches, Love Beach, Big Generator and other crap of the genre. The members of Kansas might have thought they were progressing when they tackled this type of newer sound, What do you expect, really with this crappy album where Elephante took control of the group by writing six of the nine tracks, leaving a mere three to Livgren.

The only drastic measure that I did take (outside writing this review) is take this vinyl (I never bought it, but I stole from my neighbour) and turn it into a Frisbee for my other neighbour's dog. This way three household were happy. The Kansas-less house, mine (who was free from hearing this stuff streaming through the walls), and the Happy Dog house!!! Stayayayay awayayayay from this sucker.

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I guess since I submitted one Elefante led Kansas disc, may as well bookend it with 1983's Drastic Measures. Unlike Vinyl Confessions a couple of years prior, I actually bought this on vinyl when it was released because of "Fight Fire With Fire"; however, if memory serves, I really didn't spin it very often and it went away when I made the transfer from vinyl to CD's.

Fast Forward 20 years when I picked up Drastic Measures on disc while on my way up to catch a Texas/Nebraska football game in Lincoln. I really LISTENED to Drastic Measures and found out how much I enjoy the Elefante era of Kansas. Nothing will surpass classics like Leftoverture and Point. And by my estimation, Livgren's involvement was decreasing as John and Dino's were increasing for Drastic Measures. Robbie Steinhardt's trademark violin was gone, so one has to look at this as an entirely different band. That being said, Drastic Measures is full of powerful music and allowed the Brothers Elefante to showcase their songwriting. I saw a couple of negative reviews towards "Andi", but it's a beautiful ballad, with albeit odd lyrics.

"Don't Take Your Love Away" and "Going Through The Motions" have both emerged to be favorites of mine from DM's. The former exhibiting some great drumming by Phil Ehart, and the latter showing some great guitar riffs. The only thing is in 2006, they do sound a bit dated.

It also seems with every passing album, Livgren's lyrics were becoming more spiritually charged...which is never more evident than on "End Of The Age".

All in all, not an essential Kansas disc for the die hard Wheathead, but still a nice disc with a hilarious album cover (still cracks me up to this day).

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Drastic Measures was the first Kansas album that failed to chart, and the first that would fail to achieve either gold or platinum status. It was also the first that was almost completely devoid of any progressive elements. If considered solely as a moderately hard rocking pop album, it was a pretty decent one.

Steve Walsh was two years gone by the time this album released, and Robbie Steinhardt had left the year before, so for the first time the band was not only a quintet, but also lacked two of their three most distinctive features - Walsh's voice and Steinhardt's violin. Livgren was the final key ingredient that distinguished Kansas from other midwestern bands of the day, but even here the magic was conspicuously absent. Six of the nine tracks were written by John Elephante and his brother Dino, and each of them had a significantly different feel than the three Livgren tunes. It seemed that the band had decided to embrace the 80's cheesy-rock sound with a vengeance. They also attempted to mask the absence of the depth Steinhardt's violin and voice left by employing a number of guest musicians, which may have improved the music, but also took them even further away from the familiar Kansas sound.

"Fight Fire With Fire" actually served its intended purpose and gave the band a hit single, but not one that sounded in any way like the Kansas we all knew and loved. This was a very straightforward 80's power pop tune with a simple rhythm, danceable beat, and catchy lyrics. Okay for a pop song, but not for progressive rock or for this band.

With "Everybody's My Friend" things just got worse, as this was clearly not meant to be a single, so that killed the only excuse for why the band would do two pop rock numbers in a row. The credibility gap grew here with the addition of Neil Kernon on keyboards, the guy who a year before was credited with the production success of Hall & Oates's "Private Eyes", so the fix was in as far as consciously trying to produce a mass-appeal pop record.

"Mainstream" was the first of three Livgren tunes, and it is much closer to his former style with some interesting percussion, powerful rhythm, some interesting tempo changes, and decent backing vocals from "Boxcar Pee Wee and the Megapeople" (probably Livgren himself and whatever riff-raff were in the studio). Unfortunately it's followed by "Andi", one of the more annoying and bizarre ballads of that decade. This one was written solely by John Elephante, a song about a girl (?) named Andi who is a "lady" that's "trapped in a little boy's body". Frankly, this song didn't do anything do dispel the rumors floating around the midwest about Elephante's - let's just say his amorous tendencies. 'Nuff said.

"Going Through the Motions" is so 80's it could have been mistaken for something from the Vapors or if it weren't for Elephante's vocals. This is mostly due to the uncredited synthesizer that floats through the background, as well as the heavy use of echoing on Elephante's vocals. I wish this one had been left off the album.

Phil Ehart's drums on "Get Rich" are very original and really make this song work. By the time you get to this song it is pretty apparent that while Elephante can certainly hit many of the notes that Walsh could, he doesn't have one-tenth the personality, and this comes through loud and clear in his singing. I guess this is kind of a condemnation of capitalism, or maybe in praise of - it's actually kind of hard to tell, even when you read the lyrics.

The Elephante bro's finish their writing contribution with "Don't Take Your Love Away", which was probably intended to be another single, and is kind of catchy in an 80's shtick kind of way. Livgren (or Williams, not sure) actually cuts loose with some pretty rocking guitar work towards the end of this one, but otherwise it's another one of those poppy (or maybe poopy) tunes where the refrain is repeated ad nausea until it finally fades to black.

The album actually closes on an up-note, with two tracks in a row written and arranged by Livgren. "End of the Age" actually reminds me a bit of the tempo of some of the stuff Jethro Tull did on Crest of a Knave and Broadsword and the Beast. These are also the only tracks on the album that are performed solely by the band members, and with all the pomp and fluff of backup singing glee clubs and disco keyboardists, these songs actually come close to sounding like something that a band named Kansas would not be embarrassed to put their name on. The guitar work here is quite nice, kind of flat chords and a wicked delivery - I'm quite sure this one is Williams. This one kind of feels like "Curtain of Iron" off Audio-Visions.

"Incident on a Bridge" is by far the best song on the album. It's a typical Livgren 'here comes the rapture' theme, but there is some very intricate keyboard and guitar work, and for really the only time on the album Hope's bass can actually be heard rising to the surface. This is a very nice close to the album, and this is also the sound Livgren would resurrect years later in some of his later solo work, the first Proto-Kaw studio album, and even Somewhere to Elsewhere.

I have to say that I hate this album, largely in the context of 1983 when I first had the misfortune of listening to it and having to come to grips with the realization that the juke-box rock god heroes of my youth were no more. Over the years I have come to accept this, and in some ways it has forced me to expand my musical interests where I might not have otherwise, so I guess all is for the best. If I had to rate this album solely as a progressive work, or if I were rating it in 1983, it would be a two-star effort by definition, since Kansas does have a huge and loyal following and pretty much all of us have this one just so we can say our collections are complete.

But, since I have the advantage of time, age, wisdom, and grace, I think we'll go with three stars and hope that some new generation of kids listen to this one and it peaks their interest in the other, much better works of Kansas.


Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Little by little, the esscence of Kansas has gone. Exit Walsh and now Steindhart. Can you imagine a Kansas album without violin ? Something like Tull without flute, VDGG without sax or Yes without keys. Like the latter two they did it and like them they produced a very poor album by doing so. Prog times are now long gone and this one is pure FM / AOR oriented. Their worse album so far, with no doubt. Here is a free advise that can save you money : stay away from this one and look for better Kansas records (which is very easy) : you won't regret it.

One of the few good tracks is probably the longest number of this album "Mainstream" : a good hard-rocking tune with good vocals and a great support band. How great it could have been with some violin. Instead, we'll get some marimba... It is by far the best number on this album. A strong composition which would please most Kansas fans.

"Going Through The Motions" is not too bad either. Truely bombastic with loads of keys and a very strong backing band. This is the second "long" number, allowing Kansas to bring a bit of diversity into it. Very pleasant I must say. To be honest I must say that "Don't Take Your Love Away" does not sound too bad either : nice vocal arragements and solid melody. It starts as a gentle rock ballad but turned into a solid rocking number. Same applies to "Andy" : a nice rock ballad trying to match "Dust In The Wind" but quite fails. Too childish, but it is not too bad a break in this ocean of FM sounds.

I really wonder who has chosen the title of this album. "Drastic Measures", right ? By respect for the band I will not k-joke about it, but frankly they should have deserved it !

I remind you again that I am an old Kansas fan having enjoyed the band when it was unknown in Europe (1975) but this has nothing to do with the Kansas I once loved so much. Two stars only for this reason (which is rather subjective, I admit. But I am reluctant to rate a Kansas album only with one star). I can understand that a band needs to evolves, but "Drastic Measures" is rather a devolution. Are we not men ?

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Even Vinyl Confessions had something left that was unmistakably Kansas. This one hasnīt. Itīs as if this is an entirely new band. This is the worst Kansas album I have ever heard ( And God knows there are a little too many of their albums that suck).

Robbie Steinhardt left the band before Drastic Measures and I think this removed the small identity that was still Kansas on Vinyl Confessions. Drastic Measures are filled with cheesy eighties keyboards and choirs. There is literally nothing of interest for a prog head here. Please avoid like the plague and donīt buy this like I did, because I was curious. Itīs a waste of money and time.

Vinyl Confessions was an ok eighties hard rock album even though it didnīt really sound like Kansas, but Drastic Measures is downright horrible and really has nothing to do with Kansas except that some of the musicians used to play in a great american prog rock band called KANSAS.

I have to give this 1 star, which pains me when I know the once great musicians Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope, Phil Ehart and Rich Williams were still in the band. Itīs just impossible to hear.

Review by b_olariu
2 stars Drastic measures indeed

Quite better than the predecesor, at least for me, this album was the first Kansas album that don't recive gold or platinum status like the previouses albums. And much important Drastic measures devoid completly from progressive elements that offers early recordings. This is a AOR with some hard rock elements, tipical for that period, more in vein of Toto, Survivor and other bands from early '80's. Steve Walsh was two years gone by the time this album released, and Robbie Steinhardt had left the year before, so for the first time the band was not only a quintet, but also lacked two of their three most distinctive features - Walsh's voice and Steinhardt's violin. With all that the album is not really bad but woth lack of imagination, good ideas, lack of everything. Some good pieces are:Going through the motions, the best from here and Mainstream, the rest are good to listen in your car. So 2 satrs for Drastic measures

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I remember vividly buying the cassette version of this album when it was released in 1983, I spun it once and then I put the cassette on the shelf and never touched it anymore. Why? It was enough for me to get disappointed with the previous album "Vinyl Confessions" where the music did not seem to match the standard of Kansas music I knew at that time. This album has gone even worse than the previous one as the music is almost all of them straight forward with bare prog elements. I have no problem with Elefante's vocal quality and it's not the major issue. I also a bit disappointed with the fact that Robby Steinhardt left the band for unknown reason.

That's my reason for not liking the band, which was mostly caused by the band itself - an internal problem. The other reason was external in nature: the year was a death year for prog as many prog bands went pop and / or new wave. And, in that year there was a band who stood tall, telling the world that "prog is alive!". The band was MARILLION! Practically I was listening to "Script for A Jester's Tear" everyday and never realize that there was a "Drastic Measures" album by Kansas that I should respect because Kansas was legendary prog band.

"Drastic Measures" might sound good for those who never heard Kansas music before, even though I doubt it. The music itself does not seem to flow naturally from one track to another of in fact from one passage to another in the same track. There is no major hit like "Chasing Shadows" of previous album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Going through the motions

While the previous two albums were weak, the present one is the weakest in the entire Kansas catalogue. Drastic Measures is the second, and last, album with John Elefante on vocals, before Steve Walsh would return to the band again. Robby Steinhardt had quit the band at the end of the 1982 tour leaving them without a violinist for the first time.

Livgren's inspiration seems to have been drying up rapidly at this point and the Elefante brothers take an even larger responsibility for the songwriting on this album than they did on Vinyl Confessions, while Livgren contributes only three songs. The biggest problem with this is that the songs are just not memorable enough. The lyrics may be the weakest link here. Andi, for example, is a song about a boy who wants to be a lady! An unusual theme for a hard rocking band to explore.

Mainstream and Going Through The Motions are very dangerous song titles for any band to use, because it surely invites reviewers to apply these terms to the band which on this occasion is indeed apt. Several songs are about the Rock 'N' Roll life style and associated themes.

Drastic Measures is the least interesting Kansas album, recommended for fans and collectors only.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It seems when one tries to please everyone, one ends up pleasing no one. Longtime Kansas fans threw up their hands- the Kansas they had known was gone, and now they were left with what, compared to the first seven albums, was virtually pop rubbish. Listeners seeking a Christian message after hearing the apparent direction of the previous album were disappointed, although this is mainly due to Livgren withholding several works for other projects (even still, most of the Christian lyrics are vague enough to be about a woman). Even those seeking to appreciate the new Kansas as a pop-rock band were apparently overlooking this one, since it was the band's least successful record since the debut. Founding member Robbie Steinhardt was gone (presumably in part because he learned that some evangelists were using lyrics from Vinyl Confessions in religious tracts and passing them out at shows), and his complete absence is a big loss to what I think it is an otherwise good album that, yes, reflects the times in terms of sound and composition, but contains several unsung gems and great vocals.

"Fight Fire With Fire" For a 1980s rocker, this is what I like, even if it's under the name of my favorite progressive band and not progressive rock at all. The guitars are heavy, the rhythm is powerful, and the singing really stands out. Despite it's air of mystery, the demonic vocals in the middle are nothing more than someone reading an excerpt from the newspaper.

"Everybody's My Friend" This is unadulterated pop rock similar to that of The Outfield. It is good for what it is (and I happen to like it as such), but it is not progressive rock. I can see why some fans found it embarrassing (even Livgren himself lamented their recording this one), but I like it okay.

"Mainstream" One of only three Livgren-penned songs is "Mainstream," which does include some more complex percussion and a heartier arrangement. The vocal melody rocks on in my opinion, and it is just one thing that keeps this song fresh. Before the guitar solo, there is some rather experimental music

"Andi" Of course, this is the most bizarre thing in the Kansas discography, this song about a "girl" who is "trapped inside a little boy's body," or to put it more bluntly, a boy who wants to be a lady. My conservative sensibilities cause my brow to furrow, and yet, I can't help but like it, if only for the calm melody and whimsical music underneath it. I also happen to think this song features vocalist John Elefante at his best. Regardless, I am not sure what compelled anybody in the band to put this one out there, and if I get the opportunity, I mean to ask about it.

"Going Through the Motions" Interesting synthesizer and electric guitar move this one closer to progressive rock territory. The vocal layers are solid, and while this is not exactly one of the songs I like, it is a strong song on the album.

"Get Rich" Phil Ehart takes to his toms in the introduction to this finer piece. The lyrics are relevant and put to an enjoyable melody.

"Don't Take Your Love Away" This is just one I don't care much for. It starts off softly, with schmaltzy lyrics, and then gets worse by becoming a fast-paced rock song with goofy, annoying vocals. The only redeeming quality of the song is the guitar soloing, which is quite good.

"End of the Age" The second Livgren composition is the most progressive thing here, using varying lyrical sections, a stronger backbone of organ (barely heard in other songs, if there at all), praiseworthy guitar, and a solid but dynamic rhythm section.

"Incident on a Bridge" Why in the world has Kansas not included this one in current shows, particularly since in more recent times, the band has seen fit to play at least some material from the two Elefante-period albums? Yes, it lacks the complexity of previous Kansas masterpieces, but the magic is there. The vocals and musicianship are stellar throughout, and everything soars during the magnificent middle section.

Review by Isa
1 stars |F| One of the greatest cultural mockeries in music history!

I find it interesting how seriously so many people take this album, as if the band members themselves were in on the idea of "selling out" and trying to make a profit off this album. Don't you people get it?! It's only so obvious the band's situation on the creation of this album: the record company pushed them to create this sort of abomination, so the band members wrote a tongue-in-cheek messages to their fans throughout the album of how much they hated the music they themselves were forced to create. The album title is "Drastic Measures" for a good reason: they were taking drastic measures to appease the record company. Apparently these messages, throughout the lyrics, were completely missed by the fans themselves. In fact, I'd go as far to say as this is a sort of concept album, making fun of what the music industry at the time had become (during the 80s, of course) and a culture that now valued money as a source of wealth rather than a means to an end from one's own talents. This album is all a big joke, people, and quite intentionally. The band members are smart composers and know exactly what their doing and how stupid all of it is.

Indeed, as many have pointed out, the music here is nothing but eighties mainstream pop (not even very good in that context...), with a few prog moments here and there. This, I believe, was completely intentional; the band was making a point that they could write so much more interesting music but were forced to write a load of meaningless pop crap, probably so the label wouldn't drop them, I suspect. The lead singer uses his voice in such an incredibly cheesy nasally way, he just has to be making fun of that sort of singing by slightly overdoing it (but of course not to the point the record company knew what they were doing, heh). Just look at some of these lyrics: "They all want to know Do you make a lot of money, Will you change your name, What's it like to be a rock star." "It's so predictable and everybody judges you by the numbers that you're selling... Just Keep it simple boys, it's gonna be alright as long as you're inside the MAINSTREAM!" Seriously, guys, don't you get it? Their taking low blows at the corporate monsters who want to earn a profit off someone else's talents. The entire track of "Mainstream" is just chalk full of cultural bashing, as is much of the album. Even many of the musical elements are a mockery of the band making fun of their own music... there's no way you can make music that over-the-top cheesy without it being on purpose.

I hope I cleared up a lot of confusion with that review, it's irritating to see people taking this album as if it was a serious attempt by the band to make money, even though it was the first of their albums to not hit any charts or even go gold. This album was made in 1983 as a mockery of the music industry and the corporate strangle-hold that snuffed the life out of any band that dared to make something beautiful and artistic, and that's all there is too it. This is easily one of the worst albums I have ever heard come from a prominent prog band, and I'm glad I gave it it's full listen so I can rest the album in peace for its atrocity with this review. This is seriously a terrible album, quite intentionally, and is a mockery of itself and its own nature. Get this album if you want a few laughs... I know I never want to hear it again.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Tragic measures... at least for the fans! In 1983 Kansas hit rock bottom. Their previous album Vinyl Confessions was already pointing the band int he AOR direction, but they still managed to make a difference with more elaborated arrangements and heavier guitar lines. And violins, of course! But now with Robbie Steinhardt gone, so was their musical signature. Some people joked at the time that Drastic Measures was just a John elefante solo album with some members of Kansas providing backing instrumentation. While not totally true, this is not a totally false statement either. Six out of nine tracks here are Elefanteīs songs. And several studio musicians and singers dilute even more any personal Kansas sound that had left by then.

Not that the songs themselves were bad per se. Mostly are even quite good for the average AOR fan. But donīt try to find anything that vaguely reminds the great Kansas of old, save for the occasional burst of good guitar solos and the odd elegant keyboards sound here and there. Most of the time what you hear is the same 80īs cheesy synths and fat drum sound of that decade. Not bad, ok, but utterlly indistinguished of dozens of other acts in the vein of Journey, Styx, Toto and the like. Only Livgrenīs three compositions give som e impression that we are hearing something above pop/AOR stuff, and only the last two tracksof the album does show them mining a more familiar ground, real good stuff that smells of prog at least. Not enough to redeem the record of course, but at least they gave something worth having for the hapless fans who bought it.

I donīt want to be too harsh on the Elefanteīs stuff. After all I always liked Fight Fire With Fire and Andi - controvertial lyrics aside - is a very moving ballad. But again it is like hearing another band. Iīm not surprised Drastic Measures was not a hit, the band calling it quits right after this one might have give the fans more a relieve feeling than one of sorrow by then.

Conclusion: for hardcore fans, collectors and completionists only. Unless youīre a fan of pop/AOR music, this is not recommended for newbies.

Review by Guillermo
1 stars Thirty years after the original release date of this album I finally listened to it this week. And I think that this album is another "good" example of how several Progressive Rock bands had to follow the "advices" given to them by record label executives, producers and managers about "updating" their sound and image for the new market created by them for the "music of the new decade". Many Prog Rock fans blamed Phil Collins and Genesis for the "selling out" of their music in the eghties , but several other Progressive Rock bands in more or less similar ways (PFM, Banco, Jethro Tull, King Crimson with Adrian Belew, Yes, GTR, Emerson Lake & Powell, Asia, 3, Pink Floyd, Camel, Rush, etc.) and soloists (Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Jon Anderson, etc.), did the same, maybe doing it against their wishes and following those "advices" to commercialize their sound and image, or to be without jobs and record labels contracts.So, in my opinion, the music of the eighties was mostly distinguished by commercial sounds and images, many of them which now sound and look very outdated. Anyway, some of the eighties music of some of these artists was much better in quality than most of the music released by other Pop Rock bands and soloists in that decade, mostly distinguished by "plastic". So, this Kansas album is very characteristic of that sound and image, with the heavy use of echoes in the recording and mixing, very eighties keyboards in sound, very typical eighties sound in the drums (which maybe were programmed or even played on an electronic drum kit) and some heavy metal guitars. But the main instruments in this album are the keyboards. And in this album John Elefante is the main composer of the songs, with them being mostly very eighties in sound, very commercial. But Kerry Livgrenī s songs , even if he only composed three of the nine songs in this album, sound very uncharacteristic of him, being heavily treated by the "new eighties sound". The album as a whole sounds very professionally done, at least in the standards established by the music industry of those years. I donīt have anything against John Elefante, who is a very good singer, and his songs are not bad. But, this album as a whole sounds very "Corporate Rock" in style. It seems that Livgren was very much disappointed by the new musical direction of the band, and he and Dave Hope left the band after their 1983 tour and the band was over until 1986, when it was reformed without them and with Steve Walsh again in the line-up.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars One of the things that made Kansas' sound recognizable more than anything else, was Robby Steinhardt's violin. The other thing was Steve Walsh's distinct vocals. By the time the album 'Drastic Measures' came out in 1983, these things were both missing. Robbie was disenchanted with the religious direction the band was going in, and left before the recording started. The religious lyrics came about because Kenny Livgren had become a born-again Christian, and since he wrote most of the lyrics, Walsh decided to leave the band a few years prior to this, and after considering different vocalists, including Sammy Hagar, John Elefante was chosen to replace Walsh. Elefante sounded nothing like Walsh, and was also a Christian. So, unfortunately, 'Drastic Measures' was doomed from the beginning.

Other than the departures of Walsh and Steinhardt and the bringing in of Elefante, the band remained the same with Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams, Dave Hope, and Phil Ehart. However, Kansas had already pretty much abandoned their progressive rock sound of their glory days. By the time this album was released, most of the rabid fans of the 70s had given up on the band ever sounding like their former selves. The music had turned to a hard rock / pop sound with no violin, no progressive traits, and Kansas was bound to become one of the indiscernible rock/pop bands of the 80s.

'Drastic Measures' is a pretty much washed-out version of the band, and was beginning to sound more like the pop sound of Chicago, but without the horns. Of course, there is the decent hit 'Fight Fire with Fire' which did okay on the singles chart, but didn't have anything on it that made people think 'Hey, that's a new song by Kansas!' For all they knew, it could have been 'Starship' or 'Foreigner'. In fact, David Pack, lead singer of 'Ambrosia', another washed-up rock act, came along for this fiasco as a background singer. 'Mainstream', the third track on the album is also a little better, but nothing close to their earlier output.

Other than this, the album just stumbles through a bunch of mediocre tracks that don't have any staying power. 'Andi' tries to be a power ballad, but is completely uninteresting. 'Going Through the Motions' lives up to it's title, it sounds like a band doing just that. Things even go further downhill for the uninteresting 'Get Rich', then the band high-centers on pop ballad 'Don't Take Your Love Away' as they try their best to capitalize on Chicago's style of hit songs of the time, 'End of the Age' only confirms that it is definitely the end of the innovative age for Kansas with an extremely boring song, and 'Incident on a Bridge' suggests that this album was sinking long before it was started.

The band would temporarily break up after this, only to return in 1986 with Walsh back on lead vocals, but without Livgren who had figured by this time that he had completely left the band hopeless as even he was sick of the religious direction he attempted to take the band in. However, the heart and soul of the band would never completely return.

Elefante isn't a bad vocalist, but, try as he might, he can't bring that unique sound that Walsh's voice had, and the material he had to work with was quite weak. Livgren's lyrics were not so outwardly religious this time around, but this doesn't save the music either. The material is just so bland and mediocre, same as a lot of the huge bands from the 70s that were struggling to fit in and be relevant. The best thing these bands could have done is got together and formed one big band called 'Mediocre' and left it at that. Then at least there would have been a good excuse for them all sounding so much like each other. This album is not even good, its just tired, boring, poorly recorded (the only album Kansas would record digitally), and full of mostly mediocre drivel. Another sad chapter that was unfortunately common in many bands at the time.

Latest members reviews

1 stars If "Vinyl Confessions" was a shot across the bow of the USS Kansas, then "Drastic Measures" was a head on torpedo hit! The dude in the middle of the front cover was smiling but if he was Kansas he turned the big gun on himself. I was in college when this album came out and after watching one of ... (read more)

Report this review (#2710373) | Posted by Sidscrat | Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Iconic violinist Robby Steinhardt quits the band and is not replaced, thus Kansas has no violinist for the first time ever! Kerry Livgren writes only 3 songs, John Elefante takes creative control with 6 songs to his and his brother's Dino credit, and new producer Neil Kernon changes the sound of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1385220) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes maybe this is the worst album of KANSAS. But in consideration and in comparison to the symphonic prog band KANSAS,to their masterpieces...Kansas,Song For America,Leftoverture,Point of Know Return.... But lets isolate this album ...lets imagine is not Kansas.... Not a bad prog related al ... (read more)

Report this review (#865010) | Posted by robbob | Friday, November 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Just plain dreg. Kansas with no Steve Walsh and Robbie Steinhardt is just Journey as far as I am concerned. This is not your father's Kansas. It seems like a clear case of hanging on for dear life to capitolize on the name for a few bucks. "end of the AGe" is the only redeeeming song here, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#275626) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well Isa's review prompted me to write one also. I must admit to not having previously picked up on the 'hidden messages' alluded to. Anyway, I will restict my comments to the music. Clearly this is not Kansas's best, but considerably better than Vinyl Confessions, Monolith and Freaks Of Natu ... (read more)

Report this review (#240931) | Posted by gingernut | Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Oh my God... Oh my God... Oh my God... My answer to this album is: Too much poor to be an album of Kansas! Probably in a scale of 100 points Drastic Measures could collect 10/ 12 points! I dreaming with the first track, Fight Fire With Fire, a great and immense AOR/ Metal with aggressive rhythm ... (read more)

Report this review (#156538) | Posted by Stige | Tuesday, December 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The free fall. By the time, Steve Walsh was long gone and Robbie Steindhart had just given up. Kerry Livgren was still there but is credited for only three songs, leaving the writing field to John and Dino Elefante. In result, as expected, you won't find much bond to prog music here. Just p ... (read more)

Report this review (#85720) | Posted by Bupie | Friday, August 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars While this album is nothing like 1970's Kansas, it stands as a strong and well produced eighties rock record. The production is up there with Yes' 90125 album which is quite a compliment to the producer-Neil Kernon. There are still hints of prog to be found, but in a much more eighties fashion. ... (read more)

Report this review (#64666) | Posted by T-Chant | Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's not as strong as VINYL CONFESSIONS, 'Andi', is a pretty weak song. Yet this is a fine 'Prog' album, with strong, dynamic songs that are well done. JOHN ELEPHANTE is a good vocalist, no he's not WALSH, he's actually got a better voice, yeah, I like WASLH better too. From the semi-hit, 'Fir ... (read more)

Report this review (#21884) | Posted by | Friday, October 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It was beginning to look as if Steve Walsh was right. Kansas at this point was all but exhausted and the tracks here, especially 'Mainstream' and the superb 'Everybody's My Friend' seem merely to be admissions of the fact. Kerry Livgren was starting to make more effort on songs for his solo ou ... (read more)

Report this review (#21886) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 31, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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