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Thread: Monolith 40 Years Later... KANSAS

  1. #101
    “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.
    I liked Power as an AOR album, minus the minor hit. I got In The Spirit Of Thingson a whim when it was released thinking no one else at my college knew a Kansas had just put out a good album (I only heard the radio songs from 1979 to 1983), although I'd skip songs. I played it a few times a few years ago and thought the songs above made for a very good EP. Some of the other songs like "Inside of Me" are good and at least better than "All I wanted." Tracks 1, 9, 10, 11 and 12 comes to 22 minutes- a lot more good music than on the early 80s albums.

  2. #102
    “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.
    I liked Power as an AOR album, minus the minor hit. I got In The Spirit Of Things on a whim when it was released thinking no one else at my college knew that Kansas had just put out a good album (I only heard the radio songs from 1979 to 1983 until last fall), although I'd skip songs. I played it a few times a few years ago and thought the songs above made for a very good EP. Some of the other songs like "Inside of Me" are good and at least better than "All I wanted." Tracks 1, 9, 10, 11 and 12 comes to 22 minutes- a lot more good music than on the early 80s albums.

  3. #103
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I have discovered that Monolith sounds best on the original vinyl pressing. It's like it lost something when it was put on CD and never had a remaster. Though three songs from it did get remastered on The Ultimate Kansas in the early 2000s. They sounded quite a bit better.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I have discovered that Monolith sounds best on the original vinyl pressing. It's like it lost something when it was put on CD and never had a remaster. Though three songs from it did get remastered on The Ultimate Kansas in the early 2000s. They sounded quite a bit better.
    There was a box set of all the studio albums that included a remaster of Monolith (unavailable elsewhere) which sounds much better.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I have discovered that Monolith sounds best on the original vinyl pressing. It's like it lost something when it was put on CD and never had a remaster. Though three songs from it did get remastered on The Ultimate Kansas in the early 2000s. They sounded quite a bit better.
    I havenít played the vinyl in years. The cd version I have sounds like a bad mp3


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  6. #106
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    All the first issue Kansas CDs sounded worse than the vinyl, but the remastered versions that came out at the turn of the century were great. I don't know why all the albums except Monolith got a remaster. If Masgue got a reissue, then certainly Monolith deserved it.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    All the first issue Kansas CDs sounded worse than the vinyl, but the remastered versions that came out at the turn of the century were great. I don't know why all the albums except Monolith got a remaster. If Masgue got a reissue, then certainly Monolith deserved it.
    Hardly. The cd remasters were way more compressed. They sound better in the car, but certainly not on a good home system. I do agree that the vinyl is best though.

  8. #108
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    I always thought the original pressing (on CD) of LO was fine the way it sounded. I got the remaster. Normally I don't buy remastered CDs of classic rock albums I already have but for Kansas I bought all the remasters.

  9. #109
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    Monolith was a step down from the ones before it, and was the end of an era for me. This band appealed to me greatly; a mix of hard rock and symphonic, to my ears it was just what I wanted to hear.

    I was so happy when I heard Steve Morse was going to join Kansas. Thinking of things like _The Dregs of the Earth_, I thought his songwriting would be a wonderful shot in the arm. I found the actual result to be quite disappointing. I think my favourite of the latter-day Kansas albums was _Freaks of Nature_. They actually tried some new directions on that one.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post

    I was so happy when I heard Steve Morse was going to join Kansas. Thinking of things like _The Dregs of the Earth_, I thought his songwriting would be a wonderful shot in the arm. I found the actual result to be quite disappointing. .
    Me too. The best thing about Steve Morse in Kansas was seeing him play the original Music Man Steve Morse model prototype on MTV, in the All I Ever Wanted and Can't Cry Anymore videos. It was the first guitar that Sterling Ball made for Steve, with the interface for the Roland GR-700 guitar synth (with the associated extra controls) built in. That guitar looked cool as hell.

  11. #111
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Me too. The best thing about Steve Morse in Kansas was seeing him play the original Music Man Steve Morse model prototype on MTV, in the All I Ever Wanted and Can't Cry Anymore videos. It was the first guitar that Sterling Ball made for Steve, with the interface for the Roland GR-700 guitar synth (with the associated extra controls) built in. That guitar looked cool as hell.
    It's not Kansas without the violin, but it was pretty cool seeing Morse play some of the violin and keyboard lines on guitar, too.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Me too. The best thing about Steve Morse in Kansas was seeing him play the original Music Man Steve Morse model prototype on MTV, in the All I Ever Wanted and Can't Cry Anymore videos. It was the first guitar that Sterling Ball made for Steve, with the interface for the Roland GR-700 guitar synth (with the associated extra controls) built in. That guitar looked cool as hell.
    Sadly, though, I think Steve Morse's experience in Kansas can be summarized by the fact that it lead to him quitting the music business entirely for a while and becoming an airline pilot.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post

    I was so happy when I heard Steve Morse was going to join Kansas. Thinking of things like _The Dregs of the Earth_, I thought his songwriting would be a wonderful shot in the arm. I found the actual result to be quite disappointing. I think my favourite of the latter-day Kansas albums was _Freaks of Nature_. They actually tried some new directions on that one.
    Spot on. That is exactly my experience. I also agree about FON. It was the wrong time (1995) for a Kansas album, but it is a damn fine album.

  14. #114
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    I just listened to Song for America through Monolith and the live record, Two for the Show. I think Kansas is criminally underrated by the prog cognescenti. There are great contrarpuntal instrumental passages, two fantastic singers, an amazing rhythm section (Phil Ehart is a monster!), and inspired compositions. Yes, they were popular on radio, but their music was deceptively complex, maybe more so than the Big 4 or 5 (ok, they weren't as complex as GG). Listening to these records on headphones while sitting around the fire pit watching the stars come out with a couple of bourbon Manhattans was a revelation! I had never heard Two for the Show. Wow! The energy and precision of these performances are spectacular. They stay fairly close to the recorded arrangements with some nice added flourishes to make the live versions unique. Kansas in their prime was truly a treasure!

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