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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 mostpopular bandsof the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio play lists to thisday. Formed in Topeka in1970, the founding members of the group -- guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart --first played together while in highschool; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their nameto White Clover, reverting back to the Kansasm ...read more

Fusing the complexity of British prog rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, Kansas were among the mostpopular bandsof the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio play lists to thisday. Formed in Topeka in1970, the founding members of the group -- guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart --first played together while in highschool; with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their nameto White Clover, reverting back to the Kansasmoniker for good upon the 1972 arrivals of vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh and guitaristRichard Williams. The group spent the early part of thedecade touring relentlessly and struggling for recognition; initially, their mix ofboogie and prog rock baffled club patrons, but in due time theyestablished a strong enough following to win a record deal with the Kirshnerlabel.

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

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

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

LPs
Somewhere to Elsewhere
2000

3
18 Votes
Always Never the Same
1998

2.2
17 Votes
Freaks of Nature
1995

3.3
16 Votes
In the Spirit of Things
1988

2.6
15 Votes
Power
1986

2.6
19 Votes
Drastic Measures
1983

2.2
19 Votes
Vinyl Confessions
1982

2.9
24 Votes
Audio-Visions
1980

3.4
23 Votes
Monolith
1979

3.2
29 Votes
Point of Know Return
1977

3.8
108 Votes
Leftoverture
1976

3.8
185 Votes
Masque
1975

3.8
57 Votes
Song for America
1974

3.8
48 Votes
Kansas
1974

3.9
57 Votes
Live Albums
There's Know Place Like Home
2009

4.2
3 Votes
Device - Voice - Drum
2002

4
2 Votes
Live at the Whisky
1992

3.3
5 Votes
Two for the Show
1978

4.3
17 Votes
Compilations
The Ultimate Kansas
2002

Carry On
1992

3.3
2 Votes
The Best of Kansas
1984

3.6
54 Votes

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