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Thread: Beato dissects COWS

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Beato dissects COWS

    No, he's not making steaks!

    Just peeling the onion that is Kansas' Carry On



    I think he comes off as more of an enthusiastic cheerleader on this one, more than an analyst, but it's really cool to hear certain parts soloed in the mix if nothing else.
    Last edited by Sean; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:36 PM.

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    I find it amazing that this song can still be heard occasionally on UK daytime radio and it wasn't even a hit here. To me this song has everything, great prog/rock instrumental sections combined with knock out vocal melodies and hooks.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Agreed! It's one of those tunes that seems epic despite only being about 6 minutes long. It does a lot in that time frame.

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    Morning, Morning ~

    Quite enjoyed the watching of that! VERY interesting. I'd like to have my complete collection dissected like that. I would think that the 'appreciation factor' would grow tremendously!

    Thanks for the post
    Carry On
    Chris Buckley

  5. #5
    Thanks for sharing the news Sean (also thanks for pointing out that "Carry On Wayward Son" spells out COWS). I love Rick Beato's What Makes This Song Great series on YouTube and this is one of the best ones he's done.

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    listening to the music only makes you love the song in ways you never new.
    COWS was an after thought that was added at the end of recording.
    (maybe Kerry got inspired after hearing that Journey song that has the same connecting riff)
    there was a lot of different ideas woven together in one song- and that makes the greatest tunes.
    powerful material by Kansas which was released the same time as Boston's debut.

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    A deserving track, for sure, and well done. As I watched, I kept hearing things myself, and thinking "why doesn't he point that out"? But the more I thought about it, many of those things are what made Kansas great, not that track in particular. Things like having two outstanding lead vocalists, two great guitarists, a front line where everybody does double-duty, and a rock-solid rhythm section comprised of one of the tastier bassists in 70s rock and a drummer who put together parts that were inventive and orchestral while grooving like crazy. So when RB starts his series on "What makes this BAND great", I expect his episode on Kansas to include all of those points.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by starless and bible black View Post
    thanks for pointing out that "Carry On Wayward Son" spells out COWS.
    In my wayward youth, I spent a decent amount of time contemplating whether there was some profound meaning behind these two facts:

    1. The first song on side one of Leftoverture spells COWS.
    2. The last song on side one of Leftoverture spells MOON.

    Seems to me an oblique reference to cows jumping over the Moon could have been tucked into "Magnum Opus." But that song mentions merely howling at the Moon.

    A tragic lost musical opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    No, he's not making steaks!

    Just peeling the onion that is Kansas' Carry On



    I think he comes off as more of an enthusiastic cheerleader on this one, more than an analyst, but it's really cool to hear certain parts soloed in the mix if nothing else.
    All your points are correct.
    This gem is often overlooked because it gets such a large amount of airplay. But as someone who bought it when it came out, I have always been amazed at the elements of the piece. As well, I have drummed with it since the beginning so I saw the elegant nature of its design early on. They were at the top of their game then.

    I like the way he pointed out the amazing vocals, especially the amazing bit after "...cry no more..." in the bridge. Stupendous singing.
    Last edited by Gizmotron; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think he comes off as more of an enthusiastic cheerleader on this one, more than an analyst, but it's really cool to hear certain parts soloed in the mix if nothing else.
    Yeah, he does. The whole "gain/no gain" thing was pretty funny too. I'm like, "Seriously, I can't tell the difference!"

    One thing that stands out to me is how Steve Walsh's last "Don't you cry NO MORE!!!!" really stands out when you separate it from the rest of the track. It's utterly breathtaking and must have taken quite a few takes to nail as perfectly as he did.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    One thing that stands out to me is how Steve Walsh's last "Don't you cry NO MORE!!!!" really stands out when you separate it from the rest of the track. It's utterly breathtaking and must have taken quite a few takes to nail as perfectly as he did.
    Absolutely. In his prime, Walsh possessed one of the finest voices in rock, and Livgren's writing took full advantage of it.
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    This thread reminded me of the movie "Miracles Out Of Nowhere" and I watched it last night. Jeff Glixman did the same thing....but from a producers point of view / control. Is there a term to be used when someone is playing the masters and highlighting various tracks for dissection of an overall tune?
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  13. #13
    If an alien asked me for an example of "rock" drumming, I would say Phil Ehart on "Carry on Wayward Son." Love Peart, Bruford, Bonzo, Palmer, but Ehart on this song is perfection.

    This is Kansas' "Roundabout." Pop song structure with great hooks, melodies, and prog's magically arrangements, musicianship, and passion. Steve Walsh gave Freddie Mercury a run for his money as supreme rock vocalist on COWS.

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    I concur with the enthusiastic nods above regarding this outstanding song by Kansas. As to its popularity, it was their second biggest single hit reaching #11 on the Billboard charts in February of 1977. Only "Dust In The Wind" was a bigger hit for them, but both of them went to Gold status. I recall doing storm duty in Kansas as a claim adjuster during the Summer of '77 and spotted a billboard just outside Topeka's city limit which read something like "Carry On Kansas ~ Topeka's favorite Sons". This piece of work, like most of the Kansas catalogue, remains relevant and great for listening to one more time - even 42+ years later. Thanks for the post and video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adinfinitum View Post
    If an alien asked me for an example of "rock" drumming, I would say Phil Ehart on "Carry on Wayward Son." Love Peart, Bruford, Bonzo, Palmer, but Ehart on this song is perfection.

    This is Kansas' "Roundabout." Pop song structure with great hooks, melodies, and prog's magically arrangements, musicianship, and passion. Steve Walsh gave Freddie Mercury a run for his money as supreme rock vocalist on COWS.
    Well, dang...this is a perfect post!
    Well done!

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    Another great episode. Even though that song was so massively popular in it's day i never tired of it. It is festooned with some of the greatest rock guitar solos and i'm surprised he doesn't credit who's responsible, i've always assumed it's Livgren.

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    Oh, but how about one thing?

    I love the piece. And I love most everything about its production. Except for the amount of reverb. The piece is drenched in reverb...too much in my opinion. It is distracting to me, especially when it first starts.

    Anyone else ever notice that?
    Last edited by Gizmotron; 1 Week Ago at 07:47 PM.

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    I think that was added when it was remastered about 20 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adinfinitum View Post
    If an alien asked me for an example of "rock" drumming, I would say Phil Ehart on "Carry on Wayward Son." Love Peart, Bruford, Bonzo, Palmer, but Ehart on this song is perfection.

    This is Kansas' "Roundabout." Pop song structure with great hooks, melodies, and prog's magically arrangements, musicianship, and passion. Steve Walsh gave Freddie Mercury a run for his money as supreme rock vocalist on COWS.
    ehart on any song is perfection along with barrimore barlow he is my favorite drummer. discipline, power, perfect technique' creativity and perfect sound. couldn't ask for more from a drummer

  20. #20
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starless and bible black View Post
    "Carry On Wayward Son" spells out COWS


    Disclaimer: I have never bought a Kansas record, though something like 42 or 43 years ago I borrowed the album with COWS on it from a guy for a day or two and I didn't change the channel when they came on Don Kirschner like I did when Gary Mule Deer would show up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post


    Disclaimer: I have never bought a Kansas record, though something like 42 or 43 years ago I borrowed the album with COWS on it from a guy for a day or two and I didn't change the channel when they came on Don Kirschner like I did when Gary Mule Deer would show up.

    Alrighty then; now we know the real reason why a Kansas Song title spells out as "COWS". Although if the state of Kansas had been first in the head of cattle list it would have been more fitting, as opposed to a distant 3rd.

    Regarding the DK Rock Concert appearance I recall how satisfying it was that a prog rock band was on instead of the usual pop artists that were paraded out each week. I remember that Mahavishnu Orchestra also performed on that show at one time and both their performance and Kansas' were outstanding.

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    Regarding Beato approaching the track as more of a fan/cheerleader: I just re-watched the MOoN doc, and on the bonus DVD Jeff Glixman dissects COWS at the console in a similar way. He doesn't delve into the theory or technique like Beato does (basically just lets the tape run while soloing/grouping various tracks) but his love for the music and appreciation of the talent of the band comes through loud and clear. Given the opportunity, which of us would behave any differently given the chance to play in that musical sandbox? The track is really just that good.
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