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Thread: Monolith 40 Years Later... KANSAS

  1. #51
    Kansas and Leftoverture are good.

    Song for America and Point of Know Return are OK.

    Masque and Monolith have their moments.

    A couple of later albums have a couple of moments. At their best they were a fine band, and one that I still listen to. On occasion. When I have the time and if I want to.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  2. #52
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    I like All The World a lot. It's sort of sappy/happy in the beginning, then really goes all prog/symph. Great little epic track.

  3. #53
    I still like Point of know return best, probably, because it was the first Kansas album I had.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by yesstiles View Post
    Monolith
    Why was "No One Together" left off the album? Also, was the version of that song we know recorded during the Monolith sessions, or was it just rehearsed there and later re-recorded during the Audio-Visions sessions?
    It came down to that song or "How My Soul Cries Out For You" apparently, and the compromise struck was for that song to be on the album and No One Together to go on the next album.

    Not sure if they actually recorded a version of it on Monolith or not. The track on Audio Visions sounds like it was recorded during those sessions production-wise.

  5. #55
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    "Why was "No One Together" left off the album? Also, was the version of that song we know recorded during the Monolith sessions, or was it just rehearsed there and later re-recorded during the Audio-Visions sessions?"


    Band politics. Kerry already had his quota of tunes on Monolith so No One Together got shelved until the next album. I'm glad it did, it gave Audio Visions some much needed prog and is in my opinion the best tune on either album (Mono or AV). I think the production on AV is much better too so it wound up being better off being on that album.

    I am playing Kansas tunes in Kansas at this year's Wheatfest in Topeka in the Fall. A group of fans from across the country come together as a band for one night to play KS tunes for the fans. This year it's after the main concert. I did this back in 2002 when they recorded their Device Voice Drum DVD. Nice to be asked back. We've got Jake Livgren on vocals this year. No One Together is on the list of tunes to do so I have been dissecting it recently. I figure I might as well get the most intricate tune out of the way first. It's been fun working it, though it's a bit like peeling an onion. Lots of layers....

  6. #56
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    I have to...

    Kansas 10/10
    Leftoverture 10/10
    Monolith 8.5/10
    Song For America 8.5/10
    Point Of Know Return 8/10
    Masque 7.5/10
    The Prelude Implicit 7/10
    Somewhere To Elsewhere 6.5/10
    Freaks Of Nature 6/10
    Audiovisions 6/10
    Vinyl Confessions 5/10
    In The Spirit Of Things 4/10
    Drastic Measures 3/10
    Power 2/10
    Kansas Christmas Album (Oh wait, that was fake?!?!)
    Prog's Not Dead

  7. #57
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    my least favorite Kansas album was Freak Of Nature.
    i disliked it so much i threw it out.

  8. #58
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Really? Wow, I think it's easily the worst song of the 'classic era,' and that includes a lot of Steve Walsh's bozo-rock efforts. Each to their own!
    Wow, indeed!
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeprogmeister View Post
    It came down to that song or "How My Soul Cries Out For You" apparently, and the compromise struck was for that song to be on the album and No One Together to go on the next album.
    lol. That's quite a trade-off: Walsh insists that they put a tune that is even worse than the others on a really mediocre album, and therefore they can't have a tune on it that would be by far the best on the album!

    But then Kerry wasn't exactly delivering the goods either on Monolith. His unique and wacky, pretentious and portentous lyrics are all but gone. Replaced by trite self-examination. Eeew.

    Kerry didn't really get his lyrical mojo back until Vinyl Confessions, and at that point it was all about his religion. Nonetheless the themes of morality provided a basis for consistency and quality (and the tunes rocked!) that he never achieved again until Somewhere to Elsewhere and the underrated ProtoKaw records. All IMHO of course.

  10. #60
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    For me, Monolith and Audio Visions mark when they ran out of gas. I would say only a few songs on each are good and the rest are just going through the motions. Plus it seemed that the band had turned their backs on electric guitar-driven songs. I remember a friend saying back in the day, "they're a keyboard band now". Or maybe the guitars got buried in the mix. I like "Reason to Be" but really it's just "Dust II". "Away from You", "On the Other Side", and "People of the South Wind", despite that cheesy melody riff.

    "No One Together" was Kerry's last great stand.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    For me, Monolith and Audio Visions mark when they ran out of gas. I would say only a few songs on each are good and the rest are just going through the motions. Plus it seemed that the band had turned their backs on electric guitar-driven songs. I remember a friend saying back in the day, "they're a keyboard band now". Or maybe the guitars got buried in the mix. I like "Reason to Be" but really it's just "Dust II". "Away from You", "On the Other Side", and "People of the South Wind", despite that cheesy melody riff.

    "No One Together" was Kerry's last great stand.
    Nothing wrong with being a keyboard band. The more keyboards, the better.

  12. #62
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that many do not care for the Steve Morse albums
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  13. #63
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I'm surprised that many do not care for the Steve Morse albums
    I'm not a big list guy, but I really like both of them, especially Power. Walsh still sounds great, and Morse smokes on it.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I'm surprised that many do not care for the Steve Morse albums
    I quite like Power, I thought it was a good re-emergence at the time.

  15. #65
    My list order (studio albums only):

    Song For America
    Point of Know Return
    Leftoverture
    Masque
    Kansas
    Monolith
    Audio Visions
    Somewhere to Elsewhere
    Power
    Vinyl Confessions
    In the Spirit of Things
    Drastic Measures
    Prelude Implicit
    Freaks of Nature
    Always Never the Same

  16. #66
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    I had the Morse albums but got rid of them years ago. Neither album did much for me besides one or two tracks from each album. I'd take Monolith and AV over Power and ITSOT.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    I'm not a big list guy, but I really like both of them, especially Power. Walsh still sounds great, and Morse smokes on it.
    Once again, we agree. I love “Power” and think it is one of Walsh’s shining moments. It is more rock and less prog, but it all works for me. I think Morse could have been used a bit more than he was, but overall, I have always really enjoyed the album. “In The Spirit Of Things” should have been a great Kansas record, but the record company forced them to use quite a few outside songs for it, and pretty much none of them worked IMO. The songs from the band, that stick to the original concept (“Ghosts”, “Rainmaker”, The Preacher” and “Bells Of St. James”) are all good. I just wish they had been allowed to expand on that theme a bit more.

  18. #68
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    I thought Power would have been better if it didnít have that horrible 80ís production


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #69
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Really? Wow, I think it's easily the worst song of the 'classic era,' and that includes a lot of Steve Walsh's bozo-rock efforts. Each to their own!
    hat's the lack of respect for Walsh? I thought he was a rerrific performer on stage, which made up for his songwriting .

    I know there was some thing of rift between the Livgren fans and the Walsh fans, but bnever understood the whys and abouts

    Quote Originally Posted by BravadoNJ View Post
    my least favorite Kansas album was Freak Of Nature.
    i disliked it so much i threw it out.
    TBH, I never really gave any attention to any of those 90's & 00's albums. I did listen to a few Proto Kaw, but was underwhelmed

    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I'm surprised that many do not care for the Steve Morse albums
    So am I, as they also came with the return of Walsh and Elefante's boot out of the band, but this was the late 80's, the worst time for rock music.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    I thought Power would have been better if it didn’t have that horrible 80’s production


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    True, the production is very much of it's time.

  21. #71
    "People of the South Wind" sounds like Chicago to me.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    "People of the South Wind" sounds like Chicago to me.
    Wow. Gobsmacked.

    I'll co-sign Richard's comments in post #52, but this isn't a band that I spend any time with these days, really. I was a fan in the 70s, but not a hardcore fan, and I only saw them once. They opened for someone. It was either opening for Yes on the Masterworks tour or maybe Jethro Tull sometime this millenium. I tend to think the former. Anyway, I was very unimpressed, but I would have loved to see them in the 70s. I think they were on one of the World Series Of Rock bills at the Richfield Coliseum that got cancelled after an attendee got stabbed at an earlier version. (I think it was Kansas and the Tubes, with a host of openers I can't recall.)

    Edit: I get the disdain for the AOR turn, but not the diss for Elefante. He was a great vocalist. "Fight Fire With Fire" was a great song, with a great video for MTV at the time.
    Last edited by moecurlythanu; 05-16-2019 at 11:08 PM.
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  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    "People of the South Wind" sounds like Chicago to me.
    Actually, I can kinda see that. The intro does kinda sound like something like a horn section might have played. And Walsh's vocal isn't too far away from Peter Cetera. Like maybe it was a Kansas version of a Chicago song.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Wow. Gobsmacked.

    I'll co-sign Richard's comments in post #52, but this isn't a band that I spend any time with these days, really. I was a fan in the 70s, but not a hardcore fan, and I only saw them once. They opened for someone. It was either opening for Yes on the Masterworks tour or maybe Jethro Tull sometime this millenium. I tend to think the former. Anyway, I was very unimpressed, but I would have loved to see them in the 70s. I think they were on one of the World Series Of Rock bills at the Richfield Coliseum that got cancelled after an attendee got stabbed at an earlier version. (I think it was Kansas and the Tubes, with a host of openers I can't recall.)

    Edit: I get the disdain for the AOR turn, but not the diss for Elefante. He was a great vocalist. "Fight Fire With Fire" was a great song, with a great video for MTV at the time.
    I know they opened for Queen and Aerosmith. I also think they toured with Genesis, who were very impressed by Kansas. That's how Walsh came to sing on Hackett's Narnia.

  25. #75
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Power is a good album, but it does not have much of a Kansas sound to it. In The Spirit really does not either. So they rank low on the list for me.

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