Thursday, November 19, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Kansas


They were a classic rock band who controlled the music of the 70s with their impressive use of rock guitars and keyboards, floating between hard rock and progressive rock to make a name for themselves. Kansas was bassist Dave Hope, drummer Phil Ehart, and guitarist/keyboardist/synth player Kerry Livgren, vocalist Lynn Meredith, keyboardist Don Montre, keyboardist Dan Wright, and saxophonist Larry Baker. All hailed from the state of Kansas, hence the name of the band. They released their first album in 1974, garnering praise and comparisons to great UK bands like Genesis, Renaissance and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The use of layered music closely tied to more classical movements drew the attention of many. But it was their fourth album in 1976, Leftoverture, that really brought them to the attention of the US audience. The first single to hit the charts was Carry On My Wayward Son, which placed #11.

Their next hit would be from the same album, and could close to being the definitive power ballad of the 70s. Dust In The Wind broke from the rock sound, played slow and almost acoustic with the strong and clear vocals of singer Meredith. It flew up the charts to #6 on the Billboard Top 100, and became an anthem for people and proms for years to come.

Kansas made many more appearances on the charts, but their last trip to the top 5 was with 1983's Fight Fire With Fire from the Drastic Measures album.

To find out about Kansas has been up to since, check in to their official website here.


  1. I never bought a CD by them, but I always loved DUST IN THE WIND when I heard it on the car radio... that is what I label- CAR MUSIC.

  2. I'm a huge fan as well as my brother. We have their first 4 or 5 albums and Carry On is such an amazing song it is actually one of my all time fave rock classics.
    Point of No Return is also a good one. I remember their album covers were awesome and the look of the guys in the band scared me....but they were good!

  3. I saw them live in Allentown, PA. It must have been around 1977 or 78. I am not sure. What a concert! I really enjoyed it. I did love the sound of Kansas. But I must admit, I was really impressed by the warm up band that played first. A little known (at the time) group called Cheap Trick. It was love at first sound!

  4. Stephen, It certainly was an anthem for the age.

    SteveA, yes, remember when album art was so great, and not designed for a small CD?

    Stan, Cheap Trick! They are on my list. I remember buying Live At Budokan!



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