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KANSAS

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Kansas picture
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


Leftoverture Live & BeyondLeftoverture Live & Beyond
Inside Out Music 2017
Audio CD$11.99
$25.32 (used)
The Best of KansasThe Best of Kansas
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 1999
Audio CD$5.69
$2.97 (used)
Point Of Know ReturnPoint Of Know Return
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2013
Audio CD$4.06
$3.14 (used)
The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)
Extra tracks
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$10.13
$7.53 (used)
MasqueMasque
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$3.72
$4.06 (used)
LeftovertureLeftoverture
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2011
Audio CD$3.69
$3.68 (used)
Song For AmericaSong For America
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$3.69
$3.68 (used)
MonolithMonolith
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$3.69
$3.68 (used)
Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 2008
Audio CD$11.00
$14.70 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Kansas-Hold On / Hold On-1980-45 rpm-EX Promo USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Steve Wariner-Kansas City Lights / The Easy Part's Over-1980-45rpm-VG+ USD $1.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS--Bryn Mawr 1976-The Classic Fm Broadcast,2LP,NM USD $14.00 [0 bids]
USD $19.00 Buy It Now
Earl Scruggs - Live At Kansas State (Vinyl) USD $17.80 Buy It Now
2LP JP / Kansas Two For The Show 40AP 1180/1 w/Obi Vinyl rare records USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Kansas Power 1986 Full page press advert 30 x 42 cm mini poster USD $9.22 Buy It Now
Kansas, The Prelude Implicit, new sealed Lp 33rpm USD $24.99 Buy It Now
KANSAS-POINT OF KNOW RETURN CD NEW USD $7.92 Buy It Now
Triple Feature [Digipak] by Kansas (CD, Nov-2009, 3 Discs, Sony BMG USD $6.95 Buy It Now
BEATLES '64<>GOIN' TO KANSAS CITY<>OOP<>JOE TUNZI 2005 CD<>7" FOTO PACKAGE USD $20.00 Buy It Now
USED (LN) Dueling Banjos / Live at Kansas State (2000) (Audio CD) USD $17.43 Buy It Now
Hindemith/prokofiev/bartok:miraculous - City Symphony Kansas Compact Disc USD $21.52 Buy It Now
KANSAS WHAT'S ON MY MIND RARE 1977 VINYL RECORD YUGOSLAVIA 7" PS USD $9.90 Buy It Now
Kansas Leftoverture ltd 180g vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $54.67 Buy It Now
The Essential Kansas by Kansas (CD, Oct-2010, 2 Discs, Sony Music... USD $12.90 Buy It Now
Bob Heckler-Kansas Boogie Train CD NEW USD $13.02 Buy It Now
Sail On:30th Anniversary Collection - Kansas Compact Disc USD $40.58 Buy It Now
8 TRACK< USD $8.99 Buy It Now
VARIOUS ARTISTS - KANSAS CITY SWING, BLUES, JIVE & BOOGIE NEW CD USD $11.67 Buy It Now
Kansas - Audio-Visions LP Promotional / demonstration - BL 36588 USD $19.78 Buy It Now
USED (GD) The Best of Kansas (1999) (Audio CD) USD $11.35 Buy It Now
Kansas - Point Of Know Return LP Promo/demonstration KIR 82234 matrix A1/B1 - Ex USD $19.78 Buy It Now
KANSAS - Self-Titled Debut [Remastered](CD 2004) USA Import MINT USD $7.89 Buy It Now
Kansas - Monolith LP gatefold + insert - KIR 83644 matrix A1 / B1 - Ex+ USD $19.78 Buy It Now
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The Wizards From Kansas - The Wizards From Kansas (Vinyl) USD $60.68 Buy It Now
Kansas - Setlist: The Very Best Of Kansas Live (NEW CD) USD $8.89 Buy It Now
NEW Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, 1923-1927 (Audio CD) USD $40.21 Buy It Now
Grasser, Tibor-Kansas City Bounce CD NEW USD $11.09 Buy It Now
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PERELLI "SPIRITUAL WARFARE" DON JUAN G-FUNK DOPE KC KANSAS CITY CLASSIC OOP! USD $4.99 [0 bids]
MICAH "NOW & FOREVER" TECH N9NE 1996 DON JUAN KC KANSAS CITY CLASSIC OOP! USD $8.24 [5 bids]
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Kansas 8718627223468 (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.50 Buy It Now 2m 21s
Kerry Livgren-Time Line LP UK ISSUE - KANSAS - IN VERY GOOD CONDITION !!!!!!! USD $10.54 Buy It Now 7m 45s
Captain Beefheart-Full Moon-Hot Sun-'74 Live Kansas PSYCH BLUES Avantgarde-NEWLP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 8m 52s
EX !! Kansas/Self Titled/1978 Kirshner LP USD $17.14 Buy It Now 23m 15s
EX/EX !! Kansas/Carry On Wayward Son/1976 Kirshner 12" Single USD $26.38 Buy It Now 23m 15s
Kansas Monolith Original Lp Vinyl Record FZ36008 Gatefold Nice USD $5.99 Buy It Now 43m 22s
Decca Oklahoma Musical Record 78 RPM Kansas City & Out Of My Dreams Joan Roberts USD $7.99 Buy It Now 43m 31s
Turner, Joe, Kansas City Here I Come, Excellent USD $15.79 Buy It Now 1h
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Audio Visions + Lyric Insert (UK 1980) : Kansas USD $11.22 Buy It Now 1h 5m
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Kansas: Point of Know Return PROMO 7" EX+ USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1h 17m
We're Not in Kansas Anymore by Bobby Kimball (vocalist) (CD, Apr-2017, Purple... USD $9.71 Buy It Now 1h 19m
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HEARTBREAKERS (NEW YORK DOLLS) - LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY - BEGGARS BANQUET CD USD $13.19 Buy It Now 1h 38m
KANSAS Point Of No Return LP Original Classic Hard Rock 1977 Hard Rock Prog USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 53m
Kansas Vinyl Lot - Leftoverture & Point of Know Return - Record LP - $2 S/H! USD $12.59 Buy It Now 1h 54m
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KANSAS Lot Carry On The Best Of Box Set Ultimate Collection Point Of Know Return USD $44.99 Buy It Now 2h 3m
We'Re Not In Kansas Anymore - Bobby Kimball 889466057625 (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.67 Buy It Now 2h 3m
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HAROLD DORMAN---MOVED TO KANSAS CITY (RockabillY 45's) USD $17.50 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Kansas LP LEFTOVERTURE ~ Kirsher M- USD $4.00 [0 bids]
2h 15m
Prelude Implicit - Kansas 889853462827 (CD Used Very Good) USD $7.77 Buy It Now 2h 16m
Best Of Kansas by Kansas (CD, Oct-1984, CBS) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2h 22m
The Best Of by Kansas (CD, 1984, Sony, Made in Japan) USD $8.63 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Kansas (Vinyl Used Like New) USD $26.48 Buy It Now 2h 54m
Leftoverture - Kansas 8718469536535 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $23.32 Buy It Now 3h 3m
Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 by Various Artists (CD, Jun-1997, 3 Discs,... USD $49.98 Buy It Now 3h 6m
LITTLE RICHARD - KANSAS CITY, DIRECTLY, READY TEDDY - SPECIALTY - (3) 45 LOT USD $14.95 Buy It Now 3h 8m
KANSAS - NEAR MINT LP - THE BEST OF - DUST IN THE WIND, CARRY ON WAYWARD SON ++ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 3h 8m
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X-SINNER Peace Treaty CD 1991 RARE US 1st Press Dino Elefante Stryper Kansas USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Katy Perry Tickets ! Kansas City Sprint Center 8/19 USD $450.00 Buy It Now 3h 11m
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Kansas City Lyric Theater The Sweet Bye And Bye Beeson Elmslie Patterson 2LP USD $7.81 Buy It Now 3h 19m
1977 -CBS RECORDS 331/3 KANSAS POINT OF KNOW RETURN ALBUM USD $6.00 Buy It Now 3h 42m
Wayne County / Backs - Max's Kansas City 1976 [New 7" Vinyl] USD $14.93 Buy It Now 3h 42m
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3h 46m
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Kansas Point of No Return 1974 Vinyl LP classic rock Record album VINTAGE RARE! USD $6.99 Buy It Now 3h 55m
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KANSAS Leftoverture 1976 KIRSHNER PZ-34224 LP EX Carry on Wayward Son THE WALL USD $9.99 [0 bids]
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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)

3.99 | 544 ratings
Kansas
1974
4.13 | 634 ratings
Song For America
1975
3.66 | 470 ratings
Masque
1975
4.22 | 993 ratings
Leftoverture
1976
4.15 | 692 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
3.20 | 333 ratings
Monolith
1979
3.04 | 258 ratings
Audio-Visions
1980
2.71 | 206 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
1982
2.20 | 195 ratings
Drastic Measures
1983
2.70 | 215 ratings
Power
1986
2.85 | 184 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
1988
3.23 | 194 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
1995
3.39 | 131 ratings
Always Never The Same
1998
3.49 | 244 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
2000
3.84 | 230 ratings
The Prelude Implicit
2016

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

4.31 | 224 ratings
Two for the Show
1978
2.91 | 48 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
1992
2.64 | 39 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
1998
2.17 | 15 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
1998
4.03 | 62 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2002
2.20 | 10 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2002
1.65 | 7 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2003
2.14 | 8 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
2003
4.11 | 53 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
2009
4.27 | 11 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2014
2.50 | 5 ratings
Carry on for no Return
2016
4.17 | 6 ratings
Leftoverture Live & Beyond
2017

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

3.28 | 14 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
1982
4.21 | 62 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
2002
4.58 | 57 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
2009
4.25 | 17 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
2015

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

2.53 | 73 ratings
The Best of Kansas
1984
3.83 | 42 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
1994
3.14 | 13 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1997
3.24 | 41 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1999
1.35 | 8 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.91 | 32 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
2002
4.14 | 7 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
2003
4.13 | 5 ratings
Dust In The Wind
2004
4.18 | 33 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2004
2.95 | 7 ratings
On The Other Side
2005
2.41 | 8 ratings
Works In Progress
2006
4.15 | 18 ratings
Original Album Classics
2009
3.76 | 5 ratings
The Music of Kansas
2010
4.32 | 13 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983
2011

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

3.75 | 4 ratings
What's On My Mind
1977
4.17 | 6 ratings
Point Of Know Return
1977
4.04 | 7 ratings
Carry On Wayward Son (Adelante, Hijo Descarriado)
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
Portrait (He Knew)
1978
4.04 | 7 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1978
2.29 | 5 ratings
People Of The Southwind
1979
3.24 | 6 ratings
Hold On
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Play The Game Tonight
1982
3.75 | 4 ratings
Right Away
1982
3.75 | 4 ratings
Fight Fire With Fire
1983
2.29 | 5 ratings
All I Wanted
1986
3.13 | 5 ratings
Power
1987
1.46 | 5 ratings
Stand Beside Me
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Light
2001

KANSAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Leftoverture by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.22 | 993 ratings

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Leftoverture
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Lush, bombastic, uniquely 'murican: 8/10

KANSAS was one of the first bands in America to attempt to emulate the roaring (and by their time decadent) European prog and to succeed doing so without sounding like a ripoff. They were able to not only drain from the intercontinental musical fountain but also to amalgamate that with American influences, ultimately crafting a style particular to them. With that being said, KANSAS is an American prog band first and foremost, even with its rather unorthodox leanings.

In LEFTOVERTURE the band crystallizes its musical archetype: [b]focus on melody[/b]. The guitars, the vocals, the synthesizers, the piano or the violins; they are all directed at creating a lush, immersive environment, usually having little complexity (for prog standards at least). Here is where they begin to schism with European prog (which is much more technical-focused, even the Symphonic types). Two other characteristics are also noteworthy: KANSAS ' approach on violin with a cheerful tone and as an accompaniment - rather than as a classically-imbued, lead instrument, typical on British prog - and their hard rocking stance (akin to [b]Rush[/b]). Altogether, these three factors cement KANSAS ' uniqueness.

Something that really deserves attention are the moments KANSAS signals to have quite a lot of potential to build much, MUCH more ambitious musical moments than just their typical "melodism". Specifically for that matter three songs deserve praise: [b]Carry on my Wayward Son[/b], which needs no introduction; [b]Miracles out of Nowhere[/b], which doesn't go overly passionate (as, sometimes, the band does) and culminates in an explosive mixture of their archetypal melody with a dynamic instrumental jam, unexpectedly enjoyable; and the(ir) polyphonic [b]Magnum Opus[/b]. Indeed deserving its name, it's an almost entirely instrumental track with spectacular technicality, complexity, and virtuosity akin to top-notch European prog; unrelentingly eclectic, vivid and creative. It's no stretch to claim that, during those eight minutes, KANSAS becomes the American GENTLE GIANT.

I'm not much of a fan of melodic stuff so I expected KANSAS not to appease me, yet surprisingly they did. I admit that sometimes they feel exceedingly melodic and rather generic, but, generally, their (implicitly bluesy) hard rock feels fresh when combined with lush synthesizers. Combine that with the details described in the last paragraph, and you can understand why LEFTOVERTURE is quite a great album.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 230 ratings

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The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars I remember the disappointment I felt in 2000 when Somewhere to Elsewhere was released, not that it was a bad album, because it is pretty decent, but there was no magic. In that moment I felt that the KANSAS studio album years were over and they would have to survive as a cover band of their early glorious years. But yesterday I listened The Prelude Implicit and was really impressed, specially because I expected nothing above average.

Some people complain that the original members of the band are away and that's true, but let's be honest, Steve Walsh had lost the voice long time ago and Ronnie Platt has a very similar range, Dave Hope never was a key member and Billy Greer is more important to the band both as bassist and singer. Dave Ragsdale is a long time member of KANSAS successfully replacing the the once irreplaceable Robby Steinhardt, so with this guys the two original members who keep getting better plus Zak Rizvi and David Manion, the band is sounding as in their best days'..The only problem is the absence of Kerry in the composition, but seems they can survive without him with all the band joining efforts in songwriting.

Now let's talk about The Prelude Implicit, an album that sounds to me as a visit to the band's history, where each song represents a stage in the early development of the band.

With this Heart reminds me of Song for America with songs that flow gently based in a simpler but fluid violin sections. Visibility Zero is a nice homage to harder tracks like Carry on my Wayward Son, but with a nod to the AORISH sound of the late 70's. As a comment, it's nice to listen Dave Ragsdale leaving his classical oriented comfort zone towards a more aggressive sound that is typical of the band and reminds us of Robby.

The Unsung Heroes is one of my favorite songs, being that they blend a powerful but nostalgic blues based ballad with the pomp so characteristic of the band recreating the spirit of the mid 70's.

Ok now is the moment of change and Rhythm in the Spirit marks a turning point, even when they start with a pompous intro as in many Leftoverture tracks plus the violin and keyboard sound of Point of Know Return, they add a modern touch with more emphasis in blues and rock. A nice blend that I believe they should explore more.

Refugee IMO inspired in Cheyenne Anthem, they go for a more mystical and nostalgic approach, simply delightful from start to end and Ronnie Platt does an outstanding job well supported by David Manion on the keyboards. Another high point.

After listening the first notes of The Voyage of Eight Eighteen, songs as Opus Insert, Lamplight Symphony and Song for America come to my mind and even when they change their approach repeatedly jumping from pristine Symphonic to Heavy Rock, it's like a time machine that takes me back to 1977, the best track of the album by far.

Camouflage reminds me of Freaks of Nature, more oriented towards good classic Rock rather than Prog, very nice song, but the least transcendent, luckily is followed by the amazing Summer, the perfect balance between artistic and commercial music.

Crowded Isolation took me by surprise, this is something new, seems that this could be the sound that the new formation is looking for, and it's very good, with radical changes and great choirs'.It's interesting to notice that Phil Ehart maintains the high level despite the years passed, the guy is really a fantastic drummer.

The official release ends with Section 60, another track that takes me back to Point of Know Return era, simply breathtaking and the perfect closer for the official record.

The Deluxe edition has two bonus cover versions of traditional American songs Home On The Range (Hymn of Kansas) and Oh Shenandoah , as a tribute to their state and nation, but I always rate an album in base of their official songs, and The Prelude Implicit deserves no less than 4 solid stars, being that is their best release since Point of Know Return, but without reaching the level of their peak.

I won't ever make the mistake of dismissing KANSAS again, so will be waiting for their next album, seems that KANSAS still has gas for a few more years without having to survive as a caricature of their early years like other classic bands that looked at the Topeka boys over the shoulder in the 70's.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 230 ratings

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The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Know return to the point of know return

America's premiere progressive Rock band has finally returned with a new studio record - their first in 16 years! The current version of the band has a massive seven man line-up with some old faces and some newer faces. The leader of the band is drummer Phil Ehart who also is the band's manager. Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams are the only two founding members still with the band. Bass player Billy Greer has been with the band since 1985 while violinist David Ragsdale's association with the band goes back to the early 90's. Three new guys have now entered the band: Ronnie Platt on lead vocals, David Manion on keyboards, and Zak Rizvi on guitars.

Notable for their absence are Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, but despite the absence of these important men the band manages to stay faithful to the sound and spirit of the original band and the new guys do a very good job. The result is a true Kansas album, clearly modelled on the band's classic works from the 1970's. In my view, this new album is not quite as good as the band's previous album Somewhere To Elsewhere from 2000 (and neither is it as good as the first two albums by Livgren's excellent band Proto-Kaw), but The Prelude Implicit is however better than the Kansas albums from the 80's and 90's.

The album holds ten tracks, ranging from four to eight minutes in length. Most of the songs are good and thoroughly enjoyable, but there is no real standout track like the majestic Icarus II from the aforementioned Somewhere To Elsewhere, and nothing here is as good as the band's greatest classic works from the 70's. The weakest spots on the album are the lame chorus of Summer (sung by Greer) which reminds me of Uriah Heep (Bernie Shaw-era) and the lounge-boogie of Unsung Heroes. Refugee is a strong tracks and this album's Dust In The Wind. It is a very emotional song and a plea to protect the refugee children and is thus very apt for the times.

The Prelude Implicit is a definitely a worthy album, and a very welcome return of one of my favourite bands. Recommended for all Kansas fans, but not quite an excellent album for me.

 Point Of Know Return by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 692 ratings

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Point Of Know Return
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars For a good long time Kansas seem to have weaved a tricky course between attempting to establish serious progressive rock credentials on one hand and catering to commercial realities on the other. To my ears, it's on Point of Know Return that they find a golden balance between the two, and in the process of so doing create the sort of masterful pop-prog synthesis that precious few groups (Supertramp and Kayak among them) managed to accomplish in the 1970s.

Proving that you don't need long song lengths to create a sense of epic sweep or intricacy, and with a sound which finally manages to be catchy and accessible without commercial pandering, this to me is the essential Kansas, where they at last become the USA's major entry into the 1970s prog pantheon. Here is planted the seed that so many US prog acts would follow in turn.

 Masque by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.66 | 470 ratings

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Masque
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A mixed bag of an album - one wonders whether the title was Kansas' sneaky way of letting the world know that this didn't represent their real identity, but merely offered a veneer of commerciality for the sake of appeasing their record company. It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man) is just as vapid a piece of mid-1970s hard rock as the title implies, with occasional organ breaks from Steve Walsh which feel like a pastiche of Tony Kaye's playing on the Yes Album, only less prominent because we can't turn off those MOR radio listeners, can we?

From there the album veers between chasing a broader audience and catering to those fond of their more progressive style; Two Cents Worth feels like a failed attempt to mimic Steely Dan, for instance, whilst on tracks like Icarus (Bourne on Wings of Steel) or concluding micro-epic The Pinnacle the band offer polished, quality progressive pieces which demonstrate where their affections truly lie. It's only on such pieces that Kansas feel like they're actually expressing a distinct personality, rather than masquerading as one chart-topping AOR outfit or another.

Because of the presence of the superior pieces, this album isn't a complete waste of time, but at the same time it's rather badly sabotaged by the presence of some real clunkers, with the result that even if you are sold on Kansas' particular style of progressive rock, you may well find that you're better served if you can find a decent compilation or live album covering the better numbers from here and leaving the album itself on the shelf.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 230 ratings

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The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Starting this piece I should mention that I was never a fan of Kansas. I respect them a lot, I like their music the normal amount, I have some of their albums in my music collection, but that's all. So, when I heard about the release of the new album I didn't pay much attention. So, I am not going to write a detailed review, but I will write some of my thoughts instead. The Prelude Implicit is the first album that the band released after 16 years of silence. Their previous studio work was 'Somewhere to Elsewhere' that was released in 2009. I wasn't sure if that album was a good idea, especially since two of their most important members were not in the band anymore. (For those who are not so familiar with Kansas, I should mention that Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, who used to be the basic songwriters are not a part of Kansas anymore). But despite all that, I decided to give the album a try, and I was really surprised! The Prelude Impicit is a very good album and it includes all the classic elements and the typical sound of Kansas, that the band became famous for, and it is very pleasant to the ears. But further than the sound, there is one more very important matter. The singer! Steve Walsh had a very characteristic voice, and it is always a risk to replace the singer. But in this case, there is no problem at all. His replacement (Ronnie Platt) has a very similar voice and his overall performance is excellent! The album includes some fine moments, starting with the beautiful With this Heart, which is the opening song. As for the Progressive Rock fans, they will surely love 'The Voyage of Eight Eighteen', the longest song in the album, which is simply wonderful! The truth is that, The Prelude Implicit requires a few listenings in order to fully appreciate it, so give it some time before you make your final decision. In general, the album sounds 'fresh' enough, and the band seems to be in a good form. I definitely recommend this album, not only to the 'hard-core' fans of Kansas, (who already bought it I guess), but to all those who, like me, respect this great band and can appreciate a really good album. My rating would be 3.5 stars, but I will give 4. P.S: I think that as some point PA should allow us to rate the albums more detailed, and give half stars as well. Not only 1-2-3-4-5.
 Always Never The Same by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.39 | 131 ratings

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Always Never The Same
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars We're not in Kansas anymore

When looking at the track list of this album you will immediately notice several familiar song titles which might lead you to assume that this is either a live album or a compilation of some kind. It is not a compilation as all the material here is newly recorded. It isn't a live album either, though it does have a live feel. But neither is it a regular studio album. What we have here is the band re-recording some of their classic songs and a few new ones together with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The album was recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England and this location explains why they choose to open the album with a cover of a well-known band that is associated with the studio in question. This is followed by orchestral versions of Kansas classics like Song For America, Miracles Out Of Nowhere, Dust In The Wind, and Hold On, alternating with orchestral interludes and some newly written songs.

In my opinion, Kansas' wonderful music is not benefited by the orchestral treatment and the presence of the orchestra adds little of value. The novelty of the orchestra wears off pretty quickly and one is left wondering what the point of the whole exercise is.

Preamble is composed by conductor Larry Baird and functions like an intro to Song For America while Prelude And Introduction is an orchestral medley of some other Kansas songs. The most interesting new compositions are In Your Eyes, The Sky Is Falling, and Need To Know, all of which were written by Steve Walsh. These are not essential by any means, but at least they make this album worthwhile for the fans as they are not available elsewhere.

The selections from the band's back catalogue are rather predictable and most of these songs are featured in much better versions on multiple live albums. If you wish to hear Kansas performing with an orchestra with much better results than what can be heard on this album, I would recommend the very much better live concert video and album There's Know Place Like Home.

 Kansas - Live at the Whiskey by KANSAS album cover Live, 1992
2.91 | 48 ratings

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Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars One for the money

Live At The Whiskey features a live performance recorded and filmed in 1992. The album was Kansas' second live album after 1978's Two For The Show and the video (released on VHS) was the band's second live video after 1982's Best Of Kansas Live. While the latter has been reissued on DVD (under the more appropriate title Live Confessions), the Live At The Whiskey video footage has never been reissued on DVD - and most probably never will be as the video quality is said to be poor (I haven't seen this film myself).

Since the band didn't have any new album out at this point the set list featured on Live At The Whiskey consists entirely of Kansas classics, primarily from the Point Of Know Return and Leftoverture albums. Almost all of the songs featured here were previously included on the fantastic Two For The Show and the band were doing themselves a certain disservice with this choice as it inevitably invites a comparison which is not favourable to Live At The Whiskey. They could have chosen a few more interesting songs that had not been featured on a live album before, but as it stands this set list is just too predictable. To be fair, they did change the arrangements a bit on some songs bringing in an element of surprise.

The European version of this album that I'm familiar with has Journey from Mariabronn (including Belexes) as an extra track while the American version oddly has a 1975 live recording of Lonely Street instead.

A good, but hardly necessary live album.

 The Best of Kansas by KANSAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1984
2.53 | 73 ratings

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The Best of Kansas
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Not perfect for the lover of Kansas (or for the beginner)

The Best Of Kansas was the band's first compilation album, and like most releases of its kind it is almost useless. But in this case not completely useless as it does hold one track not available anywhere else: Perfect Lover. (I'm speaking here of the original version of Best Of Kansas released in 1984. The 1999 version omits Perfect Lover.) This song was written by the then current lead singer of the band John Elfante (together with his brother Dino, not a member of Kansas) and could have fitted well on the 1983 album Drastic Measures for which the Elfantes wrote the bulk of the material - and which, in my view, is the least good Kansas album ever. Fight Fire With Fire is one of these songs from that album which is also present on this compilation. Elfante first joined Kansas for the 1982 album Vinyl Confessions, and that album is represented here by Play The Game Tonight.

Two tracks from 1980's Audio-Visions are present, Hold On and No One Together, bringing the number of 80's tracks up to five (out of ten tracks in total). From the 70's albums, we have two songs each from Point of Know Return - the title track and Dust In The Wind - and Leftoverture - Carry On Wayward Son and The Wall. Finally, an edited version of the title track from Song For America is chosen. The albums Monolith from 1979, 1975's Masque, and the self-titled 1974 debut are overlooked. Needless to add, the focus of this compilation is not on the progressive side of the band. This may be Kansas' greatest hits, but by no means is this the best of Kansas.

As is almost always the case, you are much better off getting the original studio albums on which these songs first appeared (plus those albums not represented here) and not bothering with this compilation unless you are a hard core fan who will want this album (the 1984 version) for the one track not available elsewhere to complete your collection.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 230 ratings

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The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by pacidy

4 stars I just bought this album and feel that I will be listening to it, at least parts of it, for quite a while. There's a lot of musical depth here, reminiscent of the early days of Kansas. It's the first album with Ronnie Platt on lead vocals. His voice is clear as a bell, reaching the high notes with relative ease, sounding some combination of the early Walsh but with a softer feel, not the same stridency that Walsh sometimes got. The music is pretty solid throughout, and at its best, at least compares with such songs as Hopelessly Human or Closet Chronicles, thought not really coming close to the greatness that is Song for America or Magnum Opus.

With This Heart -- didn't really like this one at first, but it has grown on me with its uplifting feeling and lyrics

Visibility Zero -- lyrics seem to be about our current Congress! The music here is uninspiring until the lead violin comes in. Those instrumental interludes pop up a lot in the middle of songs, elevating them above the ordinary, as in ...

The Unsung Heroes -- a rather maudlin song is saved by the dual lead violin/guitar interlude. I can't help but think of Peyton Manning yelling, "Cut! That! Meat!"

Rhythm in the Spirit -- the first attempt at a real prog song. This one doesn't know whether it wants to be a heavy metal or a Kansas song, alternating between dissonant guitar crunching and a violin passage reminiscent of the end of Song for America. The slow coda seems like a missed opportunity -- this could have been extended and developed into a dramatic ending, a whole other section, or even a separate song.

Refugee -- what a beautiful and haunting song about the ongoing tragedy of human sex trafficking. The acoustic guitar intro sets the tone right away.

The Voyage of Eight Eighteen -- the longest song and a great one -- there's a lot of musical richness here, what with the guitar now playing an often somewhat dissonant counterpoint, rather than a harmony, to the violin, and unexpected sonorities popping up here and there. I feel like I'll probably discover more to it with each relisten. Lyrically, it continues the theme of Rhythm in the Spirit, reading as the yearning in all of us for our better natures, for the light of understanding to sweep away the darkness of superstition and fear, for evolution.

Camouflage -- this one gets darker, with the lead guitar and organ carrying the instrumental passages, appropriate for the lyrics which point at someone who is about to be exposed.

Summer -- this song brings in something from the early days that's missing in most of the album. Tempo. Velocity. Pace. Fast enough to get you up and dancing, in the tradition of such boogie-woogie rockers as Can I Tell You, Down the Road, Carry On, Wayward Son (at least the coda), Point of Know Return, Lightning's Hand, or even Stay out of Trouble. You can almost feel the older band members shedding about four decades for this one.

Crowded Isolation -- another standout song. Is that a Moog I here in the instrumental? It's wonderful, whatever it is. The driving guitar with its octave intervals pounds this song into the brain, and the organ solo ends it in a flourish.

Section 60 -- a tribute to fallen soldiers needs to be elegaic and soaring, and this one is, ending appropriately on a rudimental drum outro.

Bonus Tracks -- I like the instrumental Oh Shenandoah! the better of these two, probably because I'm not wild about either song.

Overall rating -- This is hard. I want to give it 4 stars, but really, is it as good as Point of Know Return? Maybe; comparing The Voyage of Eight Eighteen with Helplessly Hoping, it's hard to say, but I think the shorter tracks on PoKR are stronger. Is it really an "Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection?" It's definitely not up there with "Leftoverture," but that's a legitimate 5-star album. I think The Prelude Implicit is at least 3.5 stars, so I'll be generous and round it to 4.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to ClemofNazareth for the last updates

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