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Kansas were formed in (yes) Kansas by guitarist Kerry Livgren and drummer Phil Ehart, who had already led a couple of bands in the early 1970s. Proto-Kaw (Cuneiform) collects early recordings from 1971-73 of a proto-Kansas line-up that played melodic progressive-rock.

Leveraging the classical touches from violinist Robby Steinhardt and keyboardist Steve Walsh, the band's early albums, Kansas (Kirshner, 1974), Masque (1975) and Song For America (1975) approached Yes' pomp-rock from a more intimate and melodic angle. The first one contains the pretty Can I Tell You and the ambitious Death Of Mother Nature Suite. Leftoverture (1976) was the album that turned them into stars, thanks to the catchy Carry On Wayward Son and to the elegant Magnum Opus Suite, while Point Of Known Return (1977) yielded their signature ballad, Dust In The Wind, and Point Of Know Return. Monolith (1979) and Audio-Visions (1980) continued the string of hit albums, but Vinyl Confessions (1982), the first album without Walsh, was the beginning of the end, and the group disbanded after Drastic Measures (1983).

Kansas' vocalist Steve Walsh moved to Atlanta and recruited bassist Billy Greer, drummer Tim Gehrt, and guitarist Mike Slamer to form the Streets. They released 1st (Atlantic, 1984), with the hit If Love Should Go, and Crimes in Mind (1985).

Ehart, Williams and Walsh reformed Kansas, adding Steve Morse, and recorded Power (MCA, 1986) and In The Spirit Of Things (1988).

Freaks Of Nature (Intersound, 1995)

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Valerio Carone)

I Kansas furono fondati in Kansas (e già...) dal chitarrista Kerry Livgren e il batterista Phil Ehart, che aveva già guidato un paio di band nei primi anni '70. Proto-Kaw (Cuneiform) è una collezione di primi pezzi dal 1971 al '73 di una formazione proto-Kansas che suonava progressive-rock melodico.

Facendo leva sul tocco classico del violinista Robby Steinhardt e del tastierista Steve Walsh, i primi album della band, Kansas (Kirshner, 1974), Masque (1975) e Song For America (1975) ammiccavano al "pomp-rock" degli Yes da un punto di vista più intimistico e melodico. Il primo contiene la bella Can I Tell You e l'ambiziosa Death Of Mother Nature Suite. Leftoverture (1976) è l'album che li ha trasformati in star, grazie alla acchiappante Carry On Wayward Son ed alla elegante Magnum Opus Suite, mentrePoint Of Known Return (1977) contiene la loro ballata per eccezione, Dust In The Wind, ePoint Of Know Return. Monolith (1979) ed Audio-Visions (1980) continuano la sequenza di album di successo, ma Vinyl Confessions (1982), il primo album senza Walsh, segna l'inizio della fine, e la band si scioglierà dopo Drastic Measures (1983).

Ehart, Williams e Walsh hanno riunito i Kansas, aggiungendo Steve Morse, per l'incisione di Power (MCA, 1986) e In The Spirit Of Things (1988).

Freaks Of Nature (Intersound, 1995)

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