heavy metal rock tributes
Category: Harder than Steel Published on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:47 Written by Drakontas Hits: 1787
Well, I have to share this info with you! When Nymph and I chose to arrange a dedication for an album of the band “Kansas” in the “Harder Than Steel” section, we started a small fight! We couldn’t agree on which album we should pinpoint. “Leftoverture” (my suggestion) or “Point of Know Return” (Marianne’s suggestion)? The reasons are of course obvious… The first one contains "Carry on Wayward Son" and the other album has “Dust in the Wind”. The Solomon’s solution came after 20 minutes or so… We will write for both albums! (Laughing). So, join this short journey to the depths of two of the most important AOR and progressive rock albums...
Shall I say that there were many bands that inspired out of Kansas song and also covered it? (among them are “Dream Theater” and “Yngwie Malmsteen”)...
Drakontas - 2009
This is actually the first album of Kansas that made such a great success. It was their fourth attempt and they had no further excuses in disappointing their label. You have to keep in mind that their previous album “Masque” didn’t sell a lot (even if that album is like an icon for some prog-rock lovers)… Their second album “Song for America” showed little things… So, they need to create something great and they did it!
The opening track “Carry on Wayward Son” hit like thunder! Amazing vocals and inspiring melodies fill the air. Groovy rhythm section and thundering dual solos and riffs. It is a really progressive masterpiece, but above all that song is easy to be heard by anyone. This was exactly what the band was looking for. That song was of course released as a single and sold over one million copies till today!!! The song “Wall” is next. A mid-tempo ballad with many prog influences and baroque elements. The keyboards in that song are impressive! It was the ideal following song because it delivers a very positive aura and it was what actually the listener wanted after an energetic song like “Carry on Wayward Son”. “What's on My Mind”, “Miracles Out of Nowhere” and “Opus Insert” are songs in order to smooth the listening experience. “Questions of My Childhood” has very good lyrical ideas and we can find jazz influences. It is the most complicated song of the album. “Cheyenne Anthem” is dedicated to the same-name tribe of Indians. It has big solo featuring many organs and sounds, perfectly combined together (even if it is too “happy” composition for me!). Reaching the end, “Magnum Opus” (an over 8 minutes track) is the ultimate song for the prog-lovers! The violin in this song delivers great tunes and the vast solos are simply incredible. If you hear it carefully you will understand that it is actually a 6-pieces song where each piece has its own personality.
Kansas paid much attention on this album. Nothing was made by chance. Starting from the cover, which shows a painter with long beard (he is like Da Vinci, without the beard of course!) that paints scores and pentagrams… Really inspired! It seems like the music of this album is a famous painting. Checking out the instruments we can understand that they paid never ending hours just to find the appropriate sound of each instrument. Violins, keyboards, effects, guitars, even vocals are completely under different standards, many years ahead as people say...
The doors opened widely for them to enter the halls of mainstream. All the concerts since that album were sold out, there were amazing selling numbers (5 times multi-platinum album) and the hit song “Carry on Wayward Son” reached the 11th place at the top 100 in America! No bad, right? (laughing). Recently that song appeared in the video game “Guitar Hero II”. Shall I say that there were many bands that inspired out of this song and also covered it? (among them are “Dream Theater” and “Yngwie Malmsteen”).
Kansas - Leftoverture
- Carry on Wayward Son
- The Wall
- What's on My Mind
- Miracles Out of Nowhere
- Opus Insert
- Questions of My Childhood
- Cheyenne Anthem
- Magnum Opus