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Kansas (Bonus Track Version)

Kansas

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Album Review

Kansas stood apart from their peers, since they were an American band that dared play on the epic scale of such English art rockers as Genesis. Consequently, Kansas is a truly weird hybrid of British pomp, doggedly artistic concept, and arena boogie, all served up with more violin than there is flute on a Jethro Tull album. It's hard not to admire their blatant ambition in one sense, since few bands try as hard as Kansas do here. Still, there're a lot of scales and arpeggios, galloping triplets, dramatic organ, and stately ballads that signify nothing and go nowhere. Since it's as grounded in boogie as it is in art, the group never gets as weird as their more interesting counterparts, but that reliance on arena rock does make them unique. But uniqueness isn't the same as good, or even interesting listening, even if Kansas remains a period piece like no other. [The 2004 reissue boasts improved sound, new liner notes, and one bonus track: a live "Bringing It Back" recorded in 1975 at the legendary Agora Ballroom in Cleveland.]

Biography

Formed: 1970 in Topeka, KS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 play lists 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...
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Kansas (Bonus Track Version), Kansas
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