KANSAS – Power [Japanese SHM-CD Limited Edition] Out Of Print
A year and a half after KANSAS disbanded at the end of 1983, former lead singer and keyboardist Steve Walsh returned to revive the group along with original band members Phil Ehart and Rich Williams.
Bass player and excellent vocalist Billy Greer (who had worked with Walsh in the short-lived band Streets after he left Kansas in 1981, and now front Seventh Key) completed the new line-up with skilled guitarist Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs and later Deep Purple), who added a heavier, rockier sound to the band’s music.
They released “Power” the following year, one of the best melodic hard rock albums appeared in the mid-Eighties. Sadly, this is an album ignored by many fans of the genre because the ‘Kansas’ moniker afraid the more ‘easy’ listeners.
In fact, this is not your typical Kansas with a progressive feel / melodic waves, but a terrific, glossy produced melodic hard rock collection of songs with an AOR touch, catchy and punchy.
Starting with the killer “Silhouettes In Disguise”, this track sets the album’s sound and style nicely; heavy guitar riffs, fast paced hard rock rhythm and a lovely rich, big drum sound. The title track, again, has that ’80s, bombastic compressed drums to the fore and again it is a great hard / melodic rock tune.
The Foreigner-influenced (as the entire album) “All I Wanted” – Top 40 AC hit – sees the band going straight to a pure AOR melody full of synths with vocalist Steve Walsh giving a passionate delivery. He gets another chance in the awesome power ballad “Can’t Cry Anymore”, a real show stopper.
A video featuring comedian Richard Belzer was produced for “Can’t Cry Anymore” but never was widely released. The audio was remixed and it’s different from the album version.
The acoustic based “Taking In The View” visits late ’70s classic Kansas, “Musicatto” adds a touch of classical music to the mix, while “Secret Service” allows Steve Morse to let fly both on heavy riffs and a couple of tasty solos.
“Tomb 19” is another great commercial ’80s AOR track full of dynamics and an insane catchy chorus.
Often overlooked by rabid Kansas fans, “Power” may not be like the band’s more prog rock leanings (which I love), but it’s a fantastic mid-80s sounding Melodic Rock / AOR album (genres which I love even more!).
Songwriting, performances and production are first rate, not strange as all involved are superb musicians.
This Japanese SHM-CD press sounds truly awesome, a Limited Edition that turned out of print.
A must have for any ’80s MHR / AOR fan.
Universal Music Japan ～ 【UICY-75137】
01 – Silhouettes In Disguise
02 – Power
03 – All I Wanted
04 – Secret Service
05 – We’re Not Alone Anymore
06 – Musicatto
07 – Taking In The View
08 – Three Pretenders
09 – Tomb 19
10 – Can’t Cry Anymore
Steve Walsh: vocals, keyboards
Billy Greer: bass, vocals
Steve Morse: guitars
Rich Williams: guitars
Phil Ehart: drums