Kansas ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: 517143
Label:
Epic
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Remastered version of the band's first classic release. Comes with one bonus track - a live version of "Bringing It Back".

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  • When it comes to Dream Theater influenced prog metal no one does it like the Italians. Zen, Scenario, Mystere De Notre Dame, Solid Vision...the list goes on and on. Add Daedalus to the list as well. Like most of these bands mentioned there is a common flaw - lets call it a lapse of originality and a vocalist with good range but an accent. But all of these bands transcend these deficiencies with great chops and excellent compositions. Basically what I'm saying is that if you are a fan of the genre you are going to love this disc...just keep an eye out the window for the Originality Police. This is actually the second album for this band from Genoa. They went first class all the way - Roland Grapow mixed it and Rob Tyrant contributed some guest vocals. Noted illustrator Mark Wilkinson did the artwork. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $17.00
  • Remastered edition with 3 unreleased demos."Although punk rock's furious revolution threatened to overthrow rock's old guard in 1977, bands like Foreigner came along and proved that there was plenty of room in the marketplace for both the violent, upstart minimalism of punk and the airbrushed slickness of what would be called "arena rock." Along with Boston, Journey, Heart, and others, Foreigner celebrated professionalism over raw emotion. And, looking back, it's easy to see why they sold millions; not everyone in the world was pissed off, dissatisfied with the economy, or even necessarily looking for a change. In fact, for most suburban American teens, Foreigner's immaculate rock sound was the perfect soundtrack for cruising through well-manicured neighborhoods in their Chevy Novas. The album spawned some of the biggest FM hits of 1977, including the anthemic "Feels Like the First Time" and "Cold as Ice," both of which were anchored -- like most of Foreigner's songs -- by the muscular but traditional riffing of guitarist Mick Jones, the soaring vocals of Lou Gramm, and the state-of-the-art rock production values of the day, which allowed the band to sound hard but polished. As pure rock craftsmanship goes, Foreigner was as good as it got in the late '70s." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "The legendary Marillion guitarist and founding member Steve Rothery has long been known for his unique playing style, and in the live setting the experience cannot be matched. ‘Live In Rome’ sees the Steve Rothery band captured over 2CD’s and 1 DVD at a magical sold out show in Italy on stage at the Cross Roads Live Club earlier this year. ‘Live In Rome’ sees his intricate musicianship and atmospheric soundscapes given the space they deserve.This brilliant live set sees Rothery airing tracks from his forthcoming solo album ‘The Ghosts of Pripyat, due out on the 22nd September. Financed by an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign which reached its fifteen thousand pound target in the first 24 hours, it went on to raise almost sixty thousand pounds and cements the already rock solid relationship that he has built with his fans worldwide. At one point it was even the second most popular music project on Kickstarter in the world. The studio album not only sees him helped by his fans, but a raft of guest musicians too, including Steve Hackett, Don Airey and many more.‘Live In Rome’ also features some brilliant performances of classic material from the Marillion cannon, with Rothery’s chosen band proving a natural fit for the music despite it being just the second time this particular group of musicians had played together live. Joining him for the evening were Dave Foster (Mr. So & So) on guitar, Yatim Halimi (Panic Room) on bass & Leon Parr on drums, as well as guests Riccardo Romano (RanestRane) on keyboards and vocalists Manuela Milanese and Alessandro Carmassi. The former bringing her sweet tones to ‘Waiting To Happen’ and ‘Sugar Mice’, and the latter packing a punch on classics such as ‘Cinderella Search’ and ‘Easter’.With the interest in Steve Rothery’s solo career at an all-time high thanks to his successful crowd-funding campaign, ‘Live In Rome’ is a fantastic look into the progression of the forth-coming ‘The Ghost of Pripyat’ album and a brilliantly crafted document of what the man him-self called “an unforgettable experience.”"
    $16.00
  • A new release from Causa Sui is like money in the bank.  The new Live At Freak Valley is no exception.  The live milieu is where the band really shines.  If you are unfamilar with the band you should know that the band's origins date back to the stoner scene but they evolved into something different - something more psychedelic - more organic.  The quartet features Jakob Skott (drums), Jonas Munk (guitar), Jess Kahr (bass), and Rasmus Rasmussen (keyboards).  The band goes off on looooong instrumental jams.  Munk's guitarwork has a beautiful fluidity that plays off of Rasmussen's keyboards which tend to surge to the forefront like waves on the ocean - or sit back and become a nice supporting backdrop for Munk's lead work.  I love when Munk burst out with a chunk of heavy riffage that recalls their stoner days.  Reminds me of vintage Zeppelin!  Highly recommended.
    $23.00
  • ""If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Like most late '80s power metal, Wrathchild America's Climbin' the Walls is full of speedy, muscular riffs, complex time changes, and superb drumming -- especially on the title track and "Silent Darkness." Unfortunately, other songs like "London after Midnight" and "Hell's Gates" are buried in cheesy demonic lyrics, lacking in actual hooks, and loaded with clichés, the most irritating of which has to be the pure filler of instrumental track "Hernia." The album's only truly surprising moment arrives with a faithful, but unspectacular cover of Pink Floyd's "Time."" - Allmusic Guide
    $11.00
  • After Ronnie James Dio split, Blackmore replaced him with Graham Bonnet and brought in his old bandmates Roger Glover to handle bass as well as produce.  Dio's mystical element was gone but the album was rock solid.  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • "There is plenty of excellent melodic Metal to come out of Italy; RHAPSODY OF FIRE, TRAGODIA and ELVENKING, but upon closer inspection of the more progressive side of the scene, we have a band like CHRONOS ZERO. An ambitious project with grand lyrical and musical aspirations, they have finished their debut piece, “A Prelude to Emptiness”, and it is by no means empty. The thing I love about brand new modern bands is how I'm always surprised at the sheer quality of the debut release, and this band is no exception. They adapt Progressive Metal from the masters such as SYMPHONY X and NEVERMORE, add the melodic flourishes of KAMELOT and an aggressive, yet melodic singer such as Gustavo of ADAGIO.The album has one monster of an opening track in “Spires”, which is completely instrumental, but is unrelenting in progressive riff artillery, not so dissimilar to MESHUGGAH in heaviness. Woven under this neck-snapping guitar playing is innovative, high-end bass playing and foreboding keyboard atmospherics. The MESHUGGAH vibe is noticeably carried on in “Breath of Chaos”, where the mixing of the extremely down-tuned bass adds a much deeper dimension to the album's already crunchy guitar work. The particular riff that characterises most of this song instantly made it one of my favourite tracks on the record. Here we also first hear a taste of the vocals, and it appears to take great skill to pull off a convincing combination of aggressive raucousness and grasp of melody, and the hitting of high notes, which Gianbattista does unquestionably. In addition, there are also featured seductive female vocals, which add a further, interesting dimension to the already-deep music.Parts I and II of “Lost Hope, New Hope” are exemplary of true progression in heavy metal music; two parts to a story, they are both very different, but intelligently interwoven tracks. Part 1 is very much so up-tempo and more aggressive, thrashing about that glorious riff sound I have come to love from this band, and experiences sudden mood swings to jazzier, quieter sections; here, the neo-classical influences are shining throw, as does a blistering guitar solo. Part II contains no vocals, but leans much more to the atmospheric side, but contains even more complex riff mastery, the sheer heaviness and stunted rhythm of which is brain-addling.  “Sigh of Damnation” marks a subtle change to a more melodic sound, dominated by a greater presence of interwoven male and guest female vocals, and the range of the main vocalist is fully explored here, proving that he is most capable of tender pieces in addition to his powerful bellows. The final track, “Sorrowful Fate”, begins with an effective minor scale acoustic trill, and features almost solely female vocals by Claudia; it is about time she and her beautiful voice had almost a whole song to itself. Expectedly, yet unexpectedly, it features a drastic change from a settled, yet foreboding sound, to an explosive and punching beat down, characterised by a further, small performance from Gianbattista, perhaps hitting his most powerful notes yet.I found this an extremely enjoyable album to listen to. An issue that sometimes brings down some Prog albums is the overuse of instrumentals, but I found this to not be the case, because of the sheer musicianship purveyed here. This is exactly what I look for in Progressive Metal." - Metal Temple
    $13.00
  • Flairck was never a commercial oriented band but I guess if I had to pick one album that had those leanings it would be this one. They actually enlisted Maggie Reilly to sing vocals and Mike Batt produced. So you have four pleasant vocal tracks and the rest sounds like a typical Flairck acoustic album with some embellishment courtesy of the Fairlight synth.
    $11.00
  • Third album from this New Jersey symphonic rock band.  All of the band's albums are conceptual pieces based around literary works.  In fact the band's name is derived from a Ray Bradbury story.  On A Dark And Stormy Night is based on Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy novel of the same name.  The album is a wet dream for any fan of symphonic prog.  As I make my way through the album I'm frequently reminded of some similarities to Glass Hammer.  This is very keyboard driven music with a healthy amount of guitar leads.  There are even some nice Mellotron sounds popping up now and then.  These guys dream big and hit the mark.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • The band gave Terry Brown the boot as producer. Peter Collins came in and kicked the band's ass a bit. The tunes are a bit more progressive sounding but radio fodder like "The Big Money" made these guys trillions.  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition with one bonus track."A telling thing about Robert Plant at his peak is how he would sneak on-stage with Rockpile and sing Elvis songs, or how Swan Song signed Dave Edmunds when his retro-rock was about the furthest thing from the monolithic Zeppelin of Physical Graffiti. Plant always harbored deep, abiding love for early rock & roll, a fact that was often obscured by his restlessness, too, a side that he indulged on his first two post-Zep solo albums -- glistening, modern albums with a heavier debt to Robert Fripp than Little Richard. Two albums in, he switched tactics for the EP detour The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1, an unabashedly retro-rock project that hauled out five golden oldies from the pre-Beatles era and served them up authentically, or at least as authentic nostalgia. There is a certain sense of pastiche here, particularly in how "Sea of Love" is drenched in oceans of strings, far more than on the Phil Phillips original, which manages to evoke the era of lily white pop covers in a way that no straightforward cover could, but that's part of the charm of the record. Some may find this kind of pastiche a bit distancing, even campy, but there's a genuine warmth in Plant's performance, and his ad-hoc group of Honeydrippers -- including Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in uncredited cameos -- have a great time running through these handful of oldies, particularly "Rockin' at Midnight." It may not be much more than a lark, but it's truly fun, even if it might have been slightly more fun making it than it is listening to it." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00