480. Audio Visions – Kansas
The last album to feature the original (at least recorded version) members of Kansas. It is also the first “post-conversion” Kansas album for band leader Kerry Livgren. Lead singer Steve Walsh would soon leave the band to pursue solo ventures. It was also considered that his departure was influenced by the increasing Christian content presented by Livgren and supported by two other recent Christian converts in the band.
The album shows a disjointed vision with Livgren’s distinctly Christian content and Walsh’s decidedly worldly lyrical influence. But Walsh was a very special vocalist and hearing him sing Livgren’s work is compelling. He also stayed around long enough to work on the demos for the follow-up album (Vinyl Confessions) and I do have copies of those demos.
AV has all the trademarks and trappings of Kansas with progressive, classically influenced rock epics filled with progressive time signature changes, creative arrangements, violin interludes and thought provoking lyrical images. It also contains what could be Livgren’s finest Christian song on a Kansas project, No One Together. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes this song should rank along with Portrait (He Knew), Song For America, Journey from Mariabronn and Magnum Opus in Kansas “epic” lore.