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Song for America (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Probably the most prog of Kansas albums, this one spotlights long, orchestrated songs and unusual time signatures. There is an extended 9/8 instrumental break in the middle of the title track. "Lamplight Symphony" offers long, orchestrated passages. When the energy is there, it is intense energy, such as "Down the Road" and "The Devil Game." The longer songs unfortunately can lose a passive listener but, all in all, this is a good (if not adolescent) recording for a group in this genre. [The 2004 reissue has improved sound, new liner notes, and two bonus tracks: the single edit of "Song for America" and a live version of "Down the Road" taken from a 1975 show at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland.] ~ Mark W.B. Allender, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The AMG Review Is An Insult...

This is not an adolescent effort at all. Mark Allender's review is an adolescent effort. This is excellent 1970's AMERICAN Prog-Rock! Getting the "Song For America" single edit is enlightening. It reveals how an excellent song can be truncated and still carry itself well despite the butchering of 10 minutes down to a 3 minute single.

American Prog's Finest Moments

Kansas is undoubtedly the most creative and talented of all American prog groups, and this is the proof. "Down the Road," like "Bringing it Back" from their first album, combines British-esque prog with a country rock sound. The ten-minute title track, "Song for America," is ten minutes of the best progressive music ever to emerge from the studio. The haunting "Lamplight Symphony" lives up to its name, being one of the more classical pieces on the album. "Lonely Street" has some killer guitars, but also grim, real-world lyrics, typical of most Steve Walsh composions. "The Devil Game" rocks, simply put, and the album-closing epic "Incomudro" is downright incredible and possibly the most powerful listening experience you will ever have.

Kansas no Comparison

Kansas is beast period.


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 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...
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