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Kansas|Leftoverture  (Expanded Edition)

Leftoverture (Expanded Edition)

Kansas

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For any art rock band, the fourth album means it's time for a self-styled masterpiece -- if you need proof, look at Selling England by the Pound or Fragile. So, with Kansas, the most determinedly arty of all American art rock bands, they composed and recorded Leftoverture, an impenetrable conundrum of significance that's capped off by nothing less than a five-part suite, appropriately titled "Magnum Opus," and featuring such promising movement titles as "Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat" and "Release the Beavers." Of course, there's no telling whether this closing opus relates to the opener, "Carry On Wayward Son," the greatest single Kansas ever cut -- a song that manages to be pompous, powerful, ridiculous, and catchy all at once. That they never manage to rival it anywhere on this record is as much a testament to their crippling ambition as their lack of skills. And it's unfair to say Kansas are unskilled, since they are certainly instrumentally proficient and they can craft songs or, rather, compositions that appear rather ambitious. Except these compositions aren't particularly complex, rhythmically or harmonically, and are in their own way as ambling as boogie rock, which still feels to be their foundation. It's not really fair to attack Kansas for a concept album with an impenetrable concept -- it's possible to listen to Lamb Lies Down on Broadway hundreds of times and not know what the hell Rael is up to -- but there's neither hooks nor true grandiosity here to make it interesting. That said, this still may be Kansas' most consistent set, outside of Point of Know Return. Take that for what you will.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Leftoverture (Expanded Edition)

Kansas

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1
Carry on Wayward Son (Album Version)
00:05:23

Dave Hope, Vocal - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
The Wall (Album Version)
00:04:47

Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Jeff Glixman, Producer - S. Walsh, Composer - S. Walsh, Lyricist - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
What's on My Mind (Album Version)
00:03:28

Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Miracles out of Nowhere (Album Version)
00:06:26

Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Opus Insert (Album Version)
00:04:26

Ray Black, 2nd Engineer - Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Bill Evans, Engineer - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Edwin Hodgood, 2nd Engineer - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Jeff Glixman, 2nd Engineer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer - Darcy Proper, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Questions of My Childhood (Album Version)
00:03:36

Ray Black, 2nd Engineer - Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Bill Evans, Engineer - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Edwin Hodgood, 2nd Engineer - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Jeff Glixman, 2nd Engineer - S. Walsh, Composer - S. Walsh, Lyricist - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer - Darcy Proper, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Cheyenne Anthem (Album Version)
00:06:53

Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Magnum Opus: Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat / Howling at the Moon / Man Overboard / Industry on Parade / Release the Beavers / Gnat Attack (Album Version)
00:08:25

Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Piano - P. Ehart, Composer - P. Ehart, Lyricist - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - R. Williams, Composer - R. Williams, Lyricist - Dave Moire, Engineer - Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - R. Steinhardt, Composer - R. Steinhardt, Lyricist - D. Hope, Composer - D. Hope, Lyricist - Phil Ehart, Drums - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Jeff Glixman, 2nd Engineer - Kansas, Performer - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer - Ray Black, 2nd Engineer - Edwin Hodgood, 2nd Engineer - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Darcy Proper, Mastering Engineer - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer - Bill Evans, Engineer - S. Walsh, Composer - S. Walsh, Lyricist - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist

(P) 1976 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Carry on Wayward Son (Live at Pine Knob, Clarkston, MI - July 1978) (Live)
00:04:43

Ray Black, 2nd Engineer - Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Bill Evans, Engineer - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Edwin Hodgood, 2nd Engineer - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Jeff Glixman, 2nd Engineer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer - Darcy Proper, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1978 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Cheyenne Anthem (Live at the Palladium, New York, NY - December 1977) (Live)
00:06:41

Ray Black, 2nd Engineer - Dave Hope, Vocal - Dave Hope, Acoustic Bass - K. Livgren, Composer - K. Livgren, Lyricist - Kansas, Performer - Kerry Livgren, Guitar - Kerry Livgren, Piano - Kerry Livgren, Harp - Kerry Livgren, Clarinet - Bill Evans, Engineer - Robby Steinhardt, Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Background Vocal - Robby Steinhardt, Violin - Robby Steinhardt, Viola - Phil Ehart, Percussion - Phil Ehart, Drums - Edwin Hodgood, 2nd Engineer - Jeff Glixman, Producer - Jeff Glixman, 2nd Engineer - Rich Williams, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Rich Williams, Electric Guitar - Steve Walsh, Background Vocal - Steve Walsh, Piano - Steve Walsh, Organ - Steve Walsh, Synthesizer - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer - Darcy Proper, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1977 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

For any art rock band, the fourth album means it's time for a self-styled masterpiece -- if you need proof, look at Selling England by the Pound or Fragile. So, with Kansas, the most determinedly arty of all American art rock bands, they composed and recorded Leftoverture, an impenetrable conundrum of significance that's capped off by nothing less than a five-part suite, appropriately titled "Magnum Opus," and featuring such promising movement titles as "Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat" and "Release the Beavers." Of course, there's no telling whether this closing opus relates to the opener, "Carry On Wayward Son," the greatest single Kansas ever cut -- a song that manages to be pompous, powerful, ridiculous, and catchy all at once. That they never manage to rival it anywhere on this record is as much a testament to their crippling ambition as their lack of skills. And it's unfair to say Kansas are unskilled, since they are certainly instrumentally proficient and they can craft songs or, rather, compositions that appear rather ambitious. Except these compositions aren't particularly complex, rhythmically or harmonically, and are in their own way as ambling as boogie rock, which still feels to be their foundation. It's not really fair to attack Kansas for a concept album with an impenetrable concept -- it's possible to listen to Lamb Lies Down on Broadway hundreds of times and not know what the hell Rael is up to -- but there's neither hooks nor true grandiosity here to make it interesting. That said, this still may be Kansas' most consistent set, outside of Point of Know Return. Take that for what you will.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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