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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 Legacy 1999
Audio CD$5.15
$2.43 (used)
Point Of Know ReturnPoint Of Know Return
Audio CD$3.94
$3.93 (used)
Epic Europe 2001
Audio CD$4.73
$4.72 (used)
The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)The Prelude Implicit (Special Edition)
Extra tracks
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$12.97
$9.99 (used)
Song For AmericaSong For America
Audio CD$3.94
$3.73 (used)
Audio CD$3.94
$3.93 (used)
The Essential KansasThe Essential Kansas
Sony Legacy 2010
Audio CD$12.25
$8.94 (used)
Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)
Remastered · Extra tracks
Sony Legacy 2008
Audio CD$13.86
$10.95 (used)
Audio CD$3.95
$3.94 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
43m 28s
Kansas - Live: Dust In The Wind (CD 1997) EMI USD $4.99 Buy It Now 43m 57s
JIMMY WITHERSPOON with JAY McSHANN kansas city blues, nm- lp on RCA LONG PLAY USD $39.95 Buy It Now 47m 5s
COUNT BASIE KANSAS CITY 7 LP Impulse A-15 Mono WLP Promo EX Vinyl Van Gelder USD $74.95 Buy It Now 52m 21s
Kansas - Original Album Classics (5 x CDs, 2009) USD $8.94 [0 bids]
1h 10m
KANSAS, The Best Of Kansas LP, CBS Records, 1984, NM/VG+ CONDITION! USD $4.99 [1 bids]
1h 13m
HERMAN'S HERMITS - KANSAS CITY - RARE 7" 45 VINYL RECORD - 1966 USD $7.44 Buy It Now 1h 23m
EARL SCRUGGS & THE EARL SCRUGGS REVUE Live at Kansas State 18C31758 8 Track Tape USD $14.88 Buy It Now 1h 38m
~DAMAGED ARTWORK CD : Live in Kansas City 2004 USD $4.77 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Eugene Jemison Ballad Maris Des Cygnes Massacre- Kansas Emigrants - 78 Folk USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1h 45m
The Best of Kansas USD $8.65 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Buck Owens The Kansas City Song / I'd Love To Be Your Man PROMO 45 RPM (RE) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 4m
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2 CDs! NEW CD Kansas: Point Of Know Return Extra tracks, Or USD $19.98 Buy It Now 2h 11m
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2 CDs! NEW CD Kansas: Leftoverture Original recording remas USD $19.98 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Moore:Devil and Daniel Webster Lyric Opera Kansas Audio CD USD $29.53 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Max's Kansas City 1976, CD USD $10.00 [0 bids]
2h 20m
Kansas Drastic Measures LP album with Mainstream 1983 CBS Kansas vinyl! USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Kansas City Kings Basketball Can't you Just Feel It! Promo EvaTone Soundsheet 33 USD $32.00 Buy It Now 2h 39m
Kansas Point of Know Return Classic Rock LP vinyl record USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2h 44m
KANSAS 'What's On My Mind' 1977 Yugoslavian promotional 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $12.78 Buy It Now 2h 46m
KANSAS Leftoverture LP Classic Hard Rock Prog Vinyl RARE 1976 Record Original USD $6.00 [1 bids]
2h 50m
Kansas - What´s On My Mind / Lonely Street (7" Dutch) USD $16.99 [0 bids]
2h 51m
Kansas Two for the Show 1976 2-Lp Radio Show Burns Media Promotional-only issue USD $39.95 Buy It Now 3h 5m
The Best of Kansas USD $2.50 Buy It Now 3h 9m
KANSAS 'Point Of Know Return' 1978 Dutch 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $8.94 Buy It Now 3h 14m
BENNIE MOTEN'S KANSAS CITY ORCHESTRA 78 rpm VICTOR 21693 pre war jazz V+ USD $9.99 [1 bids]
3h 22m
KANSAS ~ Vinyl Confessions 1982 Rock LP Orig US Kirshner FZ 38002 w/Lyric Sleeve USD $1.95 [1 bids]
3h 29m
Early Recordings/1929-193 [VINYL] Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe Mc Vinyl USD $38.06 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Kansas [Expanded] [Remaster] by Kansas (CD, Feb-2008, Sbme Special Mkts.) USD $10.98 Buy It Now 3h 36m
The Bob Harvey Band CD Bridget's Birthday 1999 Kansas City Rock USD $42.99 Buy It Now 3h 53m
Kansas : Best of CD (1990) USD $4.98 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Jay McShann - Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 [New CD] USD $9.47 Buy It Now 3h 59m
ZEPP Classic " FILLMORE WEST " & " KANSAS CITY " ~ LIVE '69 (1 CD) USD $17.49 [0 bids]
4h 14m
Vent - Long Lost Human 7" Kansas Hardcore Hydra Head Green Vinyl1995 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Jay McShann - Kansas City Blues 1944-1949 [New CD] USD $10.42 Buy It Now 4h 24m
The John Lewis Group - Kansas City Breaks - Very nice E LP - see description USD $6.00 Buy It Now 4h 44m
Live At Max's Kansas City Volumes 1 and 2 Heartbreakers Audio CD USD $20.27 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Dawna Ward 45rpm 3G'S Glad That You Could Be Here' Kansas City gospel funk soul USD $29.98 [0 bids]
4h 49m
Kansas City - His Legendary Golden Classics Wilbert Harrison Audio CD USD $21.40 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Kansas - Audio-Visions [CD New] USD $10.94 Buy It Now 5h 28m
AD- Reconstructions- new/sealed cassette tape- Kerry Livgren- Kansas original USD $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 31m
VELVET UNDERGROUND Live at Max's Kansas City COTILLION LP USD $15.51 [4 bids]
5h 38m
Kansas Audio Visions (1980) Vinyl/LP USD $5.00 [0 bids]
5h 41m
CD: Michael Stern, Kansas City Symphony "Shakespeare's Tempest" HDCD 2008 USD $28.49 Buy It Now 5h 58m
Kansas - In the Spirit of Things (CD, Oct-1988, Universal) USD $8.95 Buy It Now 6h
Kansas Self Tilted Debut NEW SEALED Kirshner NOT 180 Gram or Club USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 10m
Kansas Extended Versions CD USD $7.97 Buy It Now 6h 31m
Kansas City Swing, Blues, Jive and Boogie Various Artists Audio CD USD $14.79 Buy It Now 6h 33m
Four Classic Albums Plus (Goin' To Kansas City Blues / Witherspoon Mulligan Webs USD $17.19 Buy It Now 6h 36m
Four Classic Albums Plus (Sinatra - Basie / Count Basie And The Kansas City 7 / USD $10.51 Buy It Now 6h 36m
Jennifer Knapp : Kansas CD (1998) USD $1.19 Buy It Now 6h 42m
40 Plus Rock & Roll Cassette Tapes Who Rush Queen Kansas Aerosmith Roth & More USD $49.99 [0 bids]
6h 43m
Schwieger Kansas City Philharmonic Balakirev / Glazunov URANIA US-5131 LP - SEAL USD $5.95 [0 bids]
6h 47m
LESTER YOUNG AND T Lester Young And The Kansas City 6 K23P-6613 Vinyl JAPAN 1979 USD $91.64 Buy It Now 7h 4m
Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 CD VG condition Jazz USD $4.37 Buy It Now 7h 11m
Attempted: Live at Max's Kansas City 1980 by Suicide (CD, Mar-2004, Sympathy... USD $12.95 Buy It Now 7h 28m
The Prelude Implicit by Kansas (CD, Sep-2016, Inside Out Music) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 7h 29m
The Essential Kansas by Kansas (CD, Oct-2010, 2 Discs, Sony Music... USD $13.95 Buy It Now 7h 30m
Kansas City Holiday Party Mix Music CD 93.3 Christmas 1999 FREE SHIPPING USD $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 34m
Kansas Masque Prog USD $3.00 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Kansas - Audio-Visions [New CD] Holland - Import USD $9.28 Buy It Now 7h 41m
7h 41m
Kansas Box 2 CD NEW Wheels Hold On Steve Walsch Unreleased Live&Demo Recordings USD $26.99 Buy It Now 7h 50m
KANSAS mint vinyl lp AUDIO-VISIONS USD $5.48 [0 bids]
8h 4m
DAVE DIAMOND * 45 * Diesel Drivin' Daddy / Kansas Night * 1975 * DJ PROMO MINT USD $7.20 Buy It Now 8h 17m
NEW Count Basie 12" Kansas City Suite Benny Carter MINT Roulette Birdland SEALED USD $238.43 Buy It Now 8h 23m
KANSAS drastic measures Lp RECORD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 28m
Dino Massa Kansas City Quintet - Echoes Of Europe [New CD] USD $16.96 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Record Album Kansas Masque 1975 Kirshner PZ 33806 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
Kansas Power @1986 MCA Release Cassette Tape VG+ USD $4.00 Buy It Now 9h 4m
1957 Joan O'Bryant 10" Folk Songs and Ballads of Kansas FA 2134 FOLKWAYS RECORDS USD $109.72 Buy It Now 9h 6m
Kansas Album Leftoverture 1975 Kirshner PZ 34224 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9h 7m
Cassette Kansas Leftoverture 1976 Kirshner ?- PZT 34224 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 7m
Kansas Album Point of Know Return 1977 Kirshner JZ 34929 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9h 7m
KANSAS - BOXED SET (2 CD SET) USD $10.99 Buy It Now 9h 21m
Count Basie - Kansas City 7 / Memories Ad-Lib [New CD] Bonus Track, Rmst USD $8.80 Buy It Now 9h 23m
Count Basie - Kansas City Suite: Music of Benny Carter [New CD] USD $8.98 Buy It Now 9h 23m
KANSAS "POINT OF KNOW RETURN" VINYL 12'' LP 33 RPM RECORD 1977 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 9h 39m
KANSAS Triple Feature: Self-Titled/Masque/Monolith (CD 2009) 3-CD USA Digipak USD $12.76 Buy It Now 9h 47m
JIMMY WITHERSPOON - Blowin In From Kansas City ~ VINYL LP USD $17.00 Buy It Now 9h 48m
KANSAS - There's Know Place Like Home - CD ** Very Good condition ** USD $15.75 Buy It Now 10h 20m
There's Know Place Like Home Kansas Audio CD USD $18.25 Buy It Now 10h 39m
KANSAS Always Never The Same JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $28.00 Buy It Now 10h 49m
Kansas - Vinyl Confessions LP Vinyl Record Album Kirshner 1982 Face It vintage USD $3.75 Buy It Now 11h
GHOST: Oooh Child / Kansas City 45 (dj) Soul USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11h 2m
KANSAS CITY SOUL LP: OLETA ADAMS private press Going On Record live 1983 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 20m
KANSAS - "Power" LP - 1986 ORIG 1st US PROMO w/ STICKER & INNER SLEEVE USD $9.88 Buy It Now 11h 23m
Lester Young The Complete Japan 1987 Nippon CD Quartet Kansas City Seven Keynote USD $24.99 Buy It Now 12h 8m
KANSAS CITY POP INSTRUMENTAL 45: "R" BOYS Broken Moods/It's About Time R 514 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 12h 18m
Count Basie - Kansas City Suite: Music of Benny Carter [New CD] USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 30m
Count Basie - Kansas City 7 / Memories Ad-Lib [New CD] Bonus Track, Rmst USD $9.76 Buy It Now 12h 31m
Kansas/Songs For America USD $2.10 Buy It Now 12h 55m
Kansas/Power USD $1.75 Buy It Now 13h

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KANSAS discography

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

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

3.98 | 530 ratings
4.13 | 619 ratings
Song For America
3.66 | 456 ratings
4.22 | 955 ratings
4.15 | 673 ratings
Point Of Know Return
3.19 | 320 ratings
3.04 | 248 ratings
2.71 | 199 ratings
Vinyl Confessions
2.21 | 189 ratings
Drastic Measures
2.70 | 204 ratings
2.85 | 176 ratings
In The Spirit Of Things
3.59 | 15 ratings
The Christmas Album
3.23 | 187 ratings
Freaks Of Nature
3.39 | 129 ratings
Always Never The Same
3.49 | 235 ratings
Somewhere To Elsewhere
3.85 | 208 ratings
The Prelude Implicit

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

4.31 | 219 ratings
Two for the Show
2.91 | 46 ratings
Kansas - Live at the Whiskey
2.63 | 38 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Kansas (1989)
2.17 | 15 ratings
Live: Dust In The Wind
4.03 | 61 ratings
Device, Voice, Drum
2.15 | 9 ratings
Dust In The Wind
1.52 | 6 ratings
From The Front Row...Live!
2.06 | 7 ratings
Greatest Hits Live (Kansas)
4.13 | 53 ratings
There's Know Place Like Home
4.30 | 10 ratings
Bryn Mawr 1976
2.39 | 4 ratings
Carry on for no Return

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

3.28 | 14 ratings
Best Of Kansas Live (VHS) (aka Live Confessions DVD)
4.21 | 60 ratings
Device - Voice - Drum (DVD)
4.58 | 56 ratings
There´s Know Place Like Home (DVD)
4.25 | 17 ratings
Miracles Out Of Nowhere

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

2.53 | 73 ratings
The Best of Kansas
3.83 | 41 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas Box Set
3.14 | 13 ratings
The Definitive Collection
3.24 | 40 ratings
The Best of Kansas (1999)
1.35 | 8 ratings
Extended Versions
3.91 | 30 ratings
The Ultimate Kansas
4.14 | 7 ratings
Closet Chronicles - The Best of Kansas
4.13 | 5 ratings
Dust In The Wind
4.18 | 32 ratings
Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection 1974-2004
2.95 | 7 ratings
On The Other Side
2.41 | 8 ratings
Works In Progress
4.15 | 18 ratings
Original Album Classics
3.76 | 5 ratings
The Music of Kansas
4.32 | 13 ratings
The Classic Albums Collection 1974-1983

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

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

KANSAS Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 208 ratings

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 | 673 ratings

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 | 456 ratings

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
3.85 | 208 ratings

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 | 129 ratings

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 | 46 ratings

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

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
3.85 | 208 ratings

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.

 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 208 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by James007

5 stars Albums thrown together this late in a band's career are always a tricky proposition. This project was being completed without any assistance from Kerry Livgren. I think we'd all seen the track record when he's not involved (see "Freak of Nature"). So I was prepared for this album to be somewhere between Ho-Hum and Mailed-In. I am here to say that I was completely wrong. This album has many fresh moments and is often inspired. Kansas fans will be extraordinarily pleased and the general rank and file prog fan will enjoy this album as well. Is it on par with "Leftoverture" or "Song For America"? Nope. Is it the best offering they've thrown down since POKR? I think so, and I am an unapologetic fan of "Somewhere to Elsewhere" and "Vinyl Confessions". Newly found lead singer Ronnie Platt is Steve Walsh without the tight pant or huge ego. They've added a second guitarist for the first time since Steve Morse left them and the addition is impressive. The solo passages on this record are well executed. The vocal harmonies are crisp and fun, and the violin bits are the best David Ragsdale has given us. And while I'm at it, Billy Greer is underrated as a bassist. All in all, a solid effort from a bunch of geezer I'd written off. Well done
 The Prelude Implicit by KANSAS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 208 ratings

The Prelude Implicit
Kansas Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ok, I´ve got to admit: I´m impressed. Very impressed. Kansas`s first studio album after 16 years was not something I was waiting eagerly. After all, I could not think of this band without Steve Walsh. Secondly, it seemed that the band really needed at least one Kerry Livgren song on the album to make it worthwhile. And now reduced to only two original members (guitarist Rich Williams and the indefatigable drummer Phil Ehart), none of them much of songwriters themselves, how could the "new" Kansas be of ay relevance, or even interest?

Well, thanks to some correct choices of new recruits, the band really resurrected from the ashes (the Phoenix on the cover is no coincidence). Not only they chose the right people to play, they also had some strong and convincing material to release. First think you´ll probably notice is how Ronnie Platt did the seemly impossible task of replacing Steve Walsh: the guy not only has a very similar voice but has also his emotional interpretation. Not a small feat for such an iconic and unique singer. He even plays the keyboards! The fact that the band decided to hire a second guitarist (Zak Rizvi, also a songwriter and producer) and keyboards player (David Manion) made the band sound stronger and closer to their classic line up.

Of course nothing of this would never had worked out without good new compositions. And the band delivered the good! The first three tracks were very good, but did not really move me, maybe because they were short ones. They were certainly strong enough to justify their inclusions but the "real" classic Kansas comes in full power from Rhythm In The Spirit onward. That song has all the right elements you´d expect from the good old days: prog stuff with great guitar, violin and keys interplay. The rhythm section is also on top form and added to the powerful delivering of Platt´s voice it becomes one of those tracks that would sit comfortably along with any other of their 70´s stuff. Better still, the following tunes were as good as this one! Sometimes in songs like the 8 minute+ The Voyage of Eight Eighteen you´ll feel like you´re hearing something lifted direct from Leftoverture or Mask. The semi-acoustic Refugee is another highlight, but really, The Prelude Implicit is one of those CDs you want to listen to again and again, without skipping a single track. Everything here takes you back to their glory days without really copying themselves: the music is different, yet so familiar and refreshing you cannot help but loving every minute of it.

I would not go as far as another reviewer that says this CD is their best since Point... but I must say that it´s very hard to find anything after that one that has the same balance between tracks, that sounds as good as a whole. Certainly it´s Kansas best in decades.

If you´re a fan of the band you can go no wrong with this album. It´s a real resurrection of a great group. I only hope it won´t take them so much time to bring us with such brilliant record. It was well worth the wait, though. Welcome back, my friends!

Rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

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

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