KANSAS ‘Power’ MCA (1986)

‘Power’ is one of the band’s best albums in my humble opinion. This album was the first after the band reformed in 1985. They had split a couple of years earlier after a couple of albums featuring the Elefante brothers, John and Dino. This album saw original members drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams being joined by returning vocalist Steve Walsh (who also played keyboards), who had formed the band Streets after leaving Kansas in 1981 and he brought along fellow Streets member Billy Greer on bass. On guitar was former Dixie Dreggs member Steve Morse who added a heavier sound to the band’s music.

Starting with ‘Silhouettes In Disguise’ this sets the album’s sound and style out nicely, heavy guitar riffs, fast paced hard rock and a lovely rich, big drum sound. The title track again has the drums to the fore and again it is a great hard rock tune. ‘All I Wanted’ sees the band bring it down a notch with vocalist Steve Walsh giving a passionate delivery. He gets another chance at a ballad on ‘Can’t Cry Anymore’, a real show stopper. The acoustic based ‘Taking In The View’ may only put some of with the children’s choir which can come across as a bit twee

‘Tomb 19′ is a song that could have been made for ‘Indiana Jones’ movies, the whole song has a cinematic feel to it and has a very catchy chorus. ‘Secret Service’ allows Steve Morse to let fly both on heavy riffs and a couple of tasty solos. ‘Three Pretenders’ is very similar as well and for a slight musical interlude the instrumental ‘Musicatto’ adds a touch of classical music to the mix.

Often overlooked by Kansas fans this may not be like the bands 70′s more prog rock leanings or their last two albums which saw a return to the more prog/epic sound. But it is a very strong set of melodic hard rock tunes with two real stand out ballads. Can’t recommend this album highly enough! The next album ‘Spirit of Things’ is another personal favourate, a concept album based on an old ghost town and one I will do a classic album review on someday…

1. Silhouettes in disguise

2. Power

3. All I wanted

4. Secret service

5. We’re not alone anymore

6. Musicatto

7. Taking the view

8. Three pretenders

9. Tomb 19

10. Can’t cry anymore

The band released ‘Spirit Of Things’ in 1988, then did a couple more studio albums the last of which was released in 2000. The band still tour, mainly in the US. Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Billy Greer and Phil Ehart still remain joined by David Ragsdale (violin/guitar) on his second stint with the band. Steve Morse went off to join Deep Purple where he remains to this day and still does a few gigs with his previous band the Dixie Dreggs (their song ‘Take It Off The Top’ was the theme tune to Tommy Vance’s ‘Rock Show’ on BBC Radio One).

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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 STEVE HARLEY Uncovered (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREEK Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)

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