KANSAS

jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
edited December 1969 in Off topic/NON-DINO Music Area
I loved Leftoverture as a kid . Kansas was the first concert I ever saw as a 7th grader on their Dust in the Wind tour . I recently was browsing the local downtown CD store and stumbled upon a 3 CD set .... The first self titled CD , Masque and Monolith . All three for 5 bucks !

Kerry Livgren is acknowledged as one of the most prolific forefathers of prog rock . Clearly a super talented multi instrumentalist and writer . I have been a fan since I was a kid . Some of the arrangements on these tracks are awesome , especially for guys in their mid twenties . Great musicianship coupled with powerful vocals and 9 minute symphonic rock epics .

Some of the stuff really grabs me . Other tracks are just plain lame . Other tracks start off great and evolve into the soundtrack to a bad science fiction movie or vice versa . But I've been enjoying these three CDs for the past couple days and wonder if anybody else was into these albums when they came out .
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Comments

  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,653
    Leftoverture and the original Boston album both came into my home while living in Maine between Sept. of 1975 and Feb. of '77. Those two albums were my very favorite releases during that time period. I like the band Kansas very much, but, I look at Leftoverture as one of those rarities that must have had the help of fate and God and karma and who knows what else to have come out as great as it was and is.
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,943
    I like Kansas too, not so keen on the Steve Morse incarnation, great guitar as always, songwise ? Not so much.
    I like the early albums, and my fave is "Two For The Show", their live album.
    I actually saw ´em live a couple of years ago. 2005 ? Can´t remember.
    In Hamburg where they "supported" Styx.
    A bunch of Old Men (myself included), travelled to Hamburg to see them play in a beautiful, but small (max 600 seats), centuries old theater, which somehow had survived the 2. ww bombings. I remember the guys in the merch stand flipped, because I had a T-shirt with the first BOC cover on, they wanted to shake my hand because of my T-shirt, nice, but weird. That´s BOC for ya !.
    Great Concert, though Steve Walsh was straining a little.
    We actually never found out what the Kansas line up really were, except Walsh´s voice was unmistakebly Walsh, those guys were older than me and my companions !

    Styx amazed me, they were very energetic, and the vocals were so spot on that I suspected play-back, but I don´t know.
    Later we spent what energy and money we had left on weissbier on the reberbahn.
    A Beautiful night with good friends. Something I treasure.
    Hamburg is a nice city to visit.
  • DonthegreekDonthegreek Posts: 2,776
    KANSAS! One of the all time great bands! Big follower here.
  • maybeyesmaybeyes Posts: 4,522
    I have many of their albums and they were great.  I even liked stuff from the Steve Morse version although it was a different animal altogether

    Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.

  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,221
    I'm really burned out on "Carry On Wayward Son" but I love everything else from Leftoverture. Likewise, the stuff from Point of No Return that didn't get radio play to me was the good stuff too.
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,678
    I'm only recently discovering Kansas, but so far I like a lot of what I hear.
    Last year's live DVD There's Know Place Like Home is excellent.
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 2,682
    Always thought they were good but not great.  I saw some incarnation of the band in the very early 80s on a double bill with Heart.  Both bands were two of the worse I have ever seen live.  Very boring with no intensity.  I also always found Kansas tough to keep up on as to who was or wasn't in the band.  However, I was lucky to see them later with Morse at Great Adventure.  IIRC Morse played a decent amount of violin as these were the years he was hanging and playing with Nashville great Mark O'conner. 

    I thought about seeing them again 2 years ago when they did an outdoor show at the local mall near my office but I passed.  I do plan on buying the DVD from last years show in Kansas as it has gotten great reviews and of course Morse came back for the show.

    On another note, extra credit to Kerry Livgren for having Dio on one of his early solo albums.
  • DonthegreekDonthegreek Posts: 2,776
    I also always found Kansas tough to keep up on as to who was or wasn't in the band. 

    The ORIGINAL band was the best lineup. What followed wasn't bad though.
  • Incidentally, I hear A LOT of Kansas in a more recent act, the prog metal band Symphony X, in the vocals, guitar and keyboard tones, the writing and the arrangements.  Sometimes it's downright uncanny.
  • Well which Kansas are we talking about?  In my mind there are two. 

    There's the super cool 1970's rock and roll band with all the elements of a highly underated and talented group of lads.  They've got a fantastic drummer, lots of cool base lines, intresting vocals, lyrics and of course a great lead guitar sound and tone along with the notable addition of the keyboards, synthesizers, other percussion instruments, etc . They have a sound that is strangely typical of the era.  At once they are a group that a lot of people forget about or never explored in the first place and at the same time they are a great example of the type of staple music people listened to and loved.  I agree with Chris in that I tire occasionally of Wayward Son but personally I still dig it.  And I am not a fan of Dust In The Wind (that would be another thread entirely.)  The rest of (and perhaps the less well known) the cool 1970's rock and roll that is Kansas gets two thumbs up from me.  I totally love it. 

    Then there's the other  Kansas.  The one that makes me want to bolt from my stereo, screaming and trying desperately to grab at my eyeballs to keep them from exiting their sockets because I'm rolling them so ferociously.  It's the Kansas with the overly progressive (sorry Jay!), oddly stage show musical (Sorry Freddy Mercury), "God enlightened", BORING music that grates on my nerves.  I totally get that it's my own preference.  I can appreciate that they are doing things that are sophisticated and doing them well.  I just can't fucking stand the sound of it. Please make it stop before my ears start to vomit blood.  What is all that "reverent" sounding, pretentious, progressive ad nauseum, men in green tights on an off Broadway stage stuff doing coming from a band that I really like when they aren't doing all that????? 

    Please get your progressive out of my rock. 

    *The one exception is the song Death Of Mother Nature.  The ONLY reason I can tolerate it is because of that cool Wicked Witch Of The West noise that's repeated throughout the composition.... Can anyone tell me what that is?  I just love The WW of the W and Kansas has invited her into this song.  Makes me smile every time. 

    So there we have it.  My probably unpopular opinion of Kansas One and Kansas Two.  I both love and hate this skitzofrenic band.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    Steve Walsh is probably one of my all time favorite voices . No doubt that guy is a rocker . I can only imagine the eye rolling that must of gone down while he sang some of Livgren's cheesed out lyrics over some of that tinkling piano .

    Tunes like The Fight of Icarus just grab me by the ears .  :clap1: Its on the same album as Death of Mother Nature . I can't believe somebone's ears would vomit blood while listening to that one. :hmm:

    I understand KANSAS was under alot of pressure to provide a " radio " hit and I think that resulted in some of the forays into cheeseville . I still like Carry On . I can still listen to that one unlike most of the radio friendly " classic " rock songs that have been ruined over the past 25 years .

    Unison guitar and violin sound incredable to my ears . Melodies by the Dregs and Mahavishnu have always killed me . I dig the tone of Jerry Goodman and Mark Wood . The electric violin is AWESOME !

  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,494
    Jeb....I have that same 3 cd set you are talking about. Some really good stuff on it. I always dug Kansas to.
    I don't think they started getting hard to listen to until maybe the 'Audio Visions' era. Not because it
    was prog but because it started getting lame. There were still good songs here and there. I always
    liked that song "Fight Fire With Fire". Its not Steve Walsh, but I always thought that song had an
    edge to it....even if it was kind of cheesy. I also liked the first album Steve Morse was on..'Power'.
    Some great guitar playing on that one, and even though it had prog elements it was more a straight
    ahead rock album.

    Having said that....Kansas need Walsh and Livgren in the band....and even to a lesser extent I prefer
    it when they had Robbie Steinhart. Robbie and Walsh were both great singers who harmonized very
    well together. Livgren and Walsh were really good songwriters.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I liked these CDs so much I went and picked up LEFTOVERTURE and woke up some old brain cells . I used to listen to this album everyday as a 6th grader . I gotta say the writing on LEFTOVERTURE is stunning . The vocal harmonies just kill me .

    Theres a little bit of cheese but every genre suffers from some type of over indulgence or lameness .


    Leftoverture is a masterpiece IMHO . :up:
  • LEFTOVERTURE & POINT OF KNOW RETURN are both great albums and I listen to them a lot.

    I may well have to investigate Symphony X. I've got some on disc that I haven't quite got around to yet. :)

    When I first heard Dream Theater (Images And Words) I was reminded a bit of Kansas. If Kansas had better chops, a worse singer and were no good at actual 'tunes', they would BE DT! LOL!

    Ducks for cover...

    ;)
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,678
    [quote author=Snail link=topic=10190.msg157108#msg157108 date=1270710003]
    When I first heard Dream Theater (Images And Words) I was reminded a bit of Kansas. If Kansas had better chops, a worse singer and were no good at actual 'tunes', they would BE DT! LOL!
    [/quote]

    :roll: :roll: :roll:
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