"Can I Tell You Something, I Got to Tell You One Thing, If You Expect the Freedom, That You Say is Yours, Prove That You Deserve it, Help Us to Preserve It, Or Being Free Will Be Just ... Words and Nothing More."
So begins "Can I Tell You" from the debut album from one of the true greats of American progressive rock, Kansas. Along with the follow-up Song For America, the first two Kansas releases are finally getting the long overdue remaster treatment. Soundwise, I can say that this album is now presented in the best sonic incarnation possible. The keyboards, especially the organ parts, seem to be a bit more crisp and higher in the mix, giving the songs a much richer sound, and the guitars and violin passages both sound truly majestic. The packaging is superb as well, with an extensive essay by Bret Adams, full song lyrics, studio & on-location photographs, and beautifullly preserved and recreated cover artwork. Compared to the original CD version of this album, this is a treasure.
Those not familiar with this album are really missing out on a classic, and one of the best debut's ever in prog. From the bluesy rocker "Bringing It Back" (check out the almost 10 minute live version included as a bonus track!) to the melodic ballad "Lonely Wind", to the rampaging prog rock classics "Belexis", "Journey From Mariabronn" or the epic 1-2 punch of "Apercu/Death of Mother Nature Suite", there's no real weak tracks here. Although the songwriting of Karry Livgren and Steve Walsh would take on a more pronounced and mature nature on future releases, the blueprint for Song For America, Leftoverture, and Point of Know Return started here.
An essential part of any prog rock collection just got better. Get ready to head to the CD shops at the end of June when this baby is officially released.
1) Can I Tell You (3:32)
2) Bringing It Back (3:33)
3) Lonely Wind (4:17)
4) Belexis (4:24)
5) Journey From Mariabronn (7:56)
6) The Pilgrimage (3:43)
7) Apercu (9:36)
8) Death of Mother Nature Suite (7:53)
9) Bringing It Back-live (9:41)
Total Time (54:48)