Great Rock Albums of 1979: Kansas- Monolith
When you have put out two very successful albums in a row, like Kansas did with “Leftoverature” and “Point of Know Return,” it isn’t easy going for the hat trick. After refamiliarising myself with their 1979 offering, “Monolith,” I have to conclude that it might not quite match the previous two albums, but it’s a great album nonetheless. It did take me back to that year where I used to listen to it with my friend who was a big Kansas fan and I remember how good this album was. I never in agreement with the clown from Rolling Stone who claimed that Kansas were trying to be an American version of The Moody Blues or Emerson Lake and Palmer. Kansas have always been unique with their sound and I have always appreciated that.
When I hear the harder rock song “How My Soul Cries Out For You,” I am in total disagreement with the above comment from Rolling Stone, not that I have ever paid much attention to them anyway. While none of the tracks are on a level with the classics “Carry On My Wayward Son” or “Dust in the Wind,” “Monolith” features many good tracks in its own right, including the one already mentioned. I have always loved their use of the violin and Robby Steinhardt is very good at his craft and this definitely shows on the intro to “Angels Have Fallen,” which is a cool classic Kansas track in its own right. The entire track seems to follow in the vein of these songs and what you get is a good solid album that you must listen to with full attentiveness because you never know when they spring another surprise on you with the changes in the songs.
1. On the Other Side
2. People of the South Wind
3. Angels Have Fallen
4. How My Soul Cries Out for You
5. A Glimpse of Home
6. Away From You
7. Stay Out of Trouble
8. Reason to Be
Phil Ehart- drums
David Hope- bass
Kerry Livgren- guitar, keyboards
Robby Steinhardt- violin, vocals
Steve Walsh- vocals, keyboards
Rich Williams- guitar
There is no doubt that many will have their own favourite track on this album, especially the single “People of the South Wind.” Whatever your fave, it is assured that “Monolith” is a great album from a band that brought its own unique style to rock back in the late 70s.
Next post: Soundtrack to The Warriors
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