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Kansas

Fusing the complexity of British prog rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, Kansas were among the most popular bands of the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio playlists to this day. Formed in Topeka in 1970, the founding members of the group (guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart) first played together while in high school; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their name to White Clover, reverting back to the Kansa ...read more

Fusing the complexity of British prog rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, Kansas were among the most popular bands of the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio playlists to this day. Formed in Topeka in 1970, the founding members of the group (guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart) first played together while in high school; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their name to White Clover, reverting back to the Kansas moniker for good upon the 1972 arrivals of vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh and guitarist Richard Williams. The group spent the early part of the decade touring relentlessly and struggling for recognition; initially, their mix of boogie and prog rock baffled club patrons, but in due time they established a strong enough following to win a record deal with the Kirshner label.

Kansas' self-titled debut LP appeared in 1974; while only mildly successful, the group toured behind it tirelessly, and their fan base grew to the point that their third effort, 1975's Masque, sold a quarter of a million copies. In 1976, Leftoverture truly catapulted Kansas to stardom. On the strength of the smash hit "Carry On Wayward Son," the album reached the Top Five and sold over three million copies. 1977's Point of Know Return was even more successful, spawning the monster hit "Dust in the Wind." While the 1978 live LP Two for the Show struggled to break the Top 40, its studio follow-up, Monolith, the band's first self-produced effort, reached the Top Ten. That same year, Walsh issued Schemer-Dreamer, a solo record.

In the wake of 1980's Audio-Visions, Kansas began to splinter; both Hope and Livgren became born-again Christians, the latter issuing the solo venture Seeds of Change, and their newfound spirituality caused divisions within the band's ranks. Walsh soon quit to form a new band, Streets; the remaining members forged on without him, tapping vocalist John Elefante as his replacement. The first Kansas LP without Walsh, 1982's Vinyl Confessions, launched the hit "Play the Game Tonight," but after only one more album, 1983's Drastic Measures, they disbanded. In 1986, however, Kansas re-formed around Ehart, Williams and Walsh; adding the famed guitarist Steve Morse as well as bassist Billy Greer, the refurbished band debuted with the album Power, scoring a Top 20 hit with "All I Wanted." When the follow-up, 1988's In the Spirit of Things, failed to hit, seven years passed before the release of their next effort, Freaks of Nature. Always Never the Same followed in 1998. Seeing the return of founder singer/songwriter Kerry Livgren, Somewhere to Elsewhere was released in 2000.

Over the course of the next 16 years, Kansas continued to tour in various configurations. In the interim, they also spawned two spin-off bands, Proto-Kaw and Native Window. Meanwhile, in October of 2002, Kansas issued a live album entitled Device-Voice-Drum. In 2009, they released their fifth live album, There's Know Place Like Home. Steve Walsh retired from the band in 2014, but the Kansas continued on with Ronnie Platt as their new vocalist-keyboard player. Finally, in 2016, the band released The Prelude Implicit, their fifteenth studio album, and the first in sixteen years.

Credit to AllMusic « hide

Similar Bands: Renaissance , Genesis, Styx, Kerry Livgren, Rush

LPs
The Prelude Implicit
2016

3.4
19 Votes
Somewhere to Elsewhere
2000

3.1
29 Votes
Always Never the Same
1998

2.5
27 Votes
Freaks of Nature
1995

3.1
27 Votes
In the Spirit of Things
1988

2.6
26 Votes
Power
1986

2.5
31 Votes
Drastic Measures
1983

2.2
30 Votes
Vinyl Confessions
1982

2.8
39 Votes
Audio-Visions
1980

3.2
37 Votes
Monolith
1979

3.1
48 Votes
Point of Know Return
1977

3.8
150 Votes
Leftoverture
1976

3.9
250 Votes
Masque
1975

3.8
85 Votes
Song for America
1974

3.9
83 Votes
Kansas
1974

4
96 Votes
Live Albums
There's Know Place Like Home
2009

3.8
5 Votes
Device - Voice - Drum
2002

3.8
3 Votes
Live at the Whisky
1992

3.3
6 Votes
Two for the Show
1978

4.3
23 Votes
Compilations
The Ultimate Kansas
2002

4.5
1 Votes
Carry On
1992

3.3
2 Votes
The Best of Kansas
1984

3.6
58 Votes

Contributors: Divaman, Necrotica, Friday13th, rockandmetaljunkie, Voivod, Lakes., bigdctherock, SabakaNjecu, tom79, Alex101, Sabrutin, rockandmetaljunkie, Lakes.,

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