Archive for Kansas

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Kansas: Point of Know Return

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by 80smetalman

¬†Have you seen the episode of Family Guy where Brian advices Peter to walk through the streets in deep contemplation with the song “Dust in the Wind” playing in the background? Better yet, whenever you needed a walk to think things over have this song come to mind or listen to it on a MP3 or walkman? I have. “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas from the album “Point of Know Return” is one of the greatest accoustic ballads of all time. The funny thing is that it was only written when Kerry Livgren’s wife suggested he add lyrics to a piece he had written as a finger excercise and he wasn’t sure whether or not the band would like it as Kansas was not known for accoustic ballads. Needless to say, the song was written and recorded and you could say, the rest is history.

¬†However, “Dust in the Wind” isn’t the only good song on this album. There are some great rock tunes like “Lightning’s Hand” and song cool instrumental solos like “Paradox.” Furthermore, the title track is also a very good track. These are all reasons why this album proved to be an excellent follow up to the previous Kansas album, “Leftoverture.” The album also helped to establish Kansas as a great live act.

Track Listing:

1. Point of Know Return

2. Paradox

3. The Spider

4. Portrait (He Knew)

5. Closet Chronicles

6. Lightning’s Hand

7. Dust in the Wind

8. Sparks of the Tempest

9. Nobody’s Home

10. Hopelessly Human

Kansas

Kerry Livgren- guitar, keyboards

Phild Ehart- drums

David Hope- bass

Robby Steinhardt- violin, vocals

Steve Walsh- keyboards, vocals

Rick Williams- electric and accoustic guitars

“Point of Know Return” was released in late 1977 and helped the waters of rock along its way to overflowing its banks a year later. This I have no doubt.

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Kansas- Leftoverture

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2011 by 80smetalman

Back in the days when commercial radio didn’t largely suck, I remember riding in the car to go to the beach with my then girlfriend, when the song “Carry On My Wayward Son” came blasting through the airwaves and filling up the car speakers. It can be said that I was hooked from the moment. I found myself playing air guitar along to it and this was in the days before playing air guitar was popular.

“Carry On My Wayward Son” became a huge hit for Kansas, made the album “Leftoverture” a success and catapaulted the band into the limelight which would last throughout the rest of the 70s into the early 80s. The album itself was a do or die situation for Kansas as their record label was threatening to drop them if the album didn’t sell. Not only did “Leftoverture” sell, it went platinum and it is now established as one of the great rock albums of the decade. One of the reasons for its success, is that Kerry Livgren took over much of the song writing and took Kansas in a different direction. Out were the long sprawling songs of the previous albums in favour of shorter more accessible ones.

Track Listing:

1. Carry On My Wayward Son

2. The Wall

3. What’s On My Mind

4. Miracles Out of Nowhere

5. Opus Insert

6. Question of My Childhood

7. Cheyene Anthem

8. Magnum Opus

Kansas:

Phil Erhart- drums percussion

Dave Hope- bass

Kerry Livgren- guitar/ keyboards

Robby Steinhart- violin, viola, vocals

Steve Walsh- keyboards, vocals, xylophone, vibraphone

Rich Williams- guitar

While “Carry On My Wayward Son” is the most known song on the album, (it even appears in the Guitar Hero episode of South Park) the other tracks are very enjoyable as well. The entire album is one of those great summer vibe albums you can listen to while doing your outside summer activities. Listen and rock out!

Next post: Norway Remembered

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

Other Great Metal Ballads

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by 80smetalman

Like I said in the last post, it is a common belief that every metal band has their “token” ballad. This is true with many of them, although I still wouldn’t say that to any fans of Exodus. This next list is more of those great ballads. These aren’t necessary love songs. I mean I wouldn’t play “Community Property” by Steel Panther if I were going for seduction. Same with Kansas, according to Family Guy, you only listen to this one when you are walking the streets in deep contemplation. Anyway, enough of me, here’s the list and a few piccies.

  • Kansas- Dust In The Wind
  • Lionsheart- Flights of Angels
  • Anthrax- Nice F*cking Ballad
  • Dogs D’Amour- How Come It Never Rains
  • Warrior Soul- We Cry Out
  • Dio- This Is Our Life
  • Black Sabbath- Too Late
  • TNT- Eddie
  • Bonfire- Good Night Amanda
  • Stryper- Together As One
  • Heart- Allies
  • Von Groove- Arian
  • Vaughn- Paradise Ain’t Home
  • Pretty Maids- With These Eyes
  • Rainbow- Rainbow Eyes
  • Westworld- Suicide
  • Megadeth- A Tout Le Monde (not exactly a ballad, but it is the closest they will ever come to one
  • Tesla- Sail Away
  • Night Ranger- Sister Christian
  • Steel Panther- Community Property

I know there are probably hundreds more I can list here, so if you have your own ideas what should be included, let me know. Knowing me, I proabably missed some obvious ones.

Next post: Great Rock Albums of the 70s, Boston

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble