Archive for Leftoverture

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Kansas- Monolith

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by 80smetalman

 

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 ┬ánever 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.

Track Listing:

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

Kansas

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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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