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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Kansas - 1983 Drastic Measures
 
Kansas - 1983 Drastic Measures



ARTIST: Kansas
ALBUM: Drastic Measures
LABEL: CBS/Epic
SERIAL: QZ 38733
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1996, Legacy, ZK 66426 * 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY096

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Elefante - vocals * Kerry Livgren - guitars, keyboards * Rich Williams - guitars * Dave Hope - bass * Phil Ehart - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fight Fire With Fire * 02 Everybody's My Friend * 03 Mainstreet * 04 Andi * 05 Going Through The Motions * 06 Get Rich * 07 Don't Take Your Love Away * 08 End Of The Age * 09 Incident On A Bridge

WEBLINKS: www.kansasband.com


Background
An unusual album by their own high standards, and one that has been commented on by many as their most 'un-Kansas' album ever. By this stage of their career, they were literally caught in a crossfire of their own making. Steve Walsh having departed for a new career with Streets, the band then bringing in Christian John Elefante as the new lead singer. He first appeared on their prior album 'Vinyl Confessions'. Also making a contribution was famed AOR producer Neil Kernon. I'm pretty certain he got the band running at less than 100% full throttle for this album, minds and hearts obviously elsewhere, particularly Livgren, whose burgeoning Christian beliefs were at odds with band members and fans alike. Livgren also mentioned that the album was in fact recorded in a huge building in Atlanta, rather than in the traditional studio environment. Hence the 'bigger than usual' sound, coupled with Kernon's flair for the dramatic (or is that drastic?) makes this a different Kansas album in comparison to past efforts.


The Songs
For all that though, you take the good with the 'not so good', as represented by the songs. As there are only nine of them, it's not hard to determine winners and losers. Opener 'Fight Fire With Fire' is a good bombastic affair, containing a good sense of atmosphere and brooding power, as befits the title. Though Livgren said he didn't like 'Everybody's My Friend', it is still an upbeat and energetic piece of AOR. 'Mainstreet' is a story of the pitfalls of the music industry, another upbeat rocker with Elefante's trademark vocal stading out. The track 'Andi' is a philosophical view of a young girl growing up with few friends, who simply wants to be lady when she grows up... 'She hasn't a friend, they think she's a boy, they leave her alone, but what they don't know, Andi has dreams all of her own..'. I don't particularly care for the regimented boredom of 'Going Through The Motions', nor the indulgence of 'Get Rich'. However, 'Don't Take Your Love Away' and 'Incident On A Bridge' are superb moments. The former a sweeping melodic rock piece, the latter a bouncy upbeat tune, the lyrics according to Livgren, a chronicle of his time playing in the band, whilst writing it in such a way that it represented an epitaph of sorts.


In Summary
Thus ended Phase I of the Kansas story. This incarnation of the band chucking it in not long after. However as we all know, the story didn't stop there, with a resurgence three years later with a new lineup and renewed vigour for the excellent 'Power' album. The chronicle of Kansas continues to this day..


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Comments
#1 | Eric on December 15 2007 03:20:47
I saw these guys in 1983 supporting this record at the Minnesota state fair with Pure Prairie League as opening act. While it's obviously not the best Kansas album ('Masque' gets my vote), it's one that I play every now and then and still enjoy. Big kudos to 'Everybody's My Friend' which still gets airplay up here in the Northern plains...Thumbs Up
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 04 2008 15:52:04
I still drag this album out every once in a while too. I think it's a pretty underrated album. Some great tracks.
#3 | rostoned on June 04 2008 15:57:58
I like 'Andi' a lot. The highest charting single from this platter was 'Fight Fire With Fire' which went only to #58, a disappointment for a lead off single and signalled the beginning of the end for the Elefante era. But three years later they came back powerfully (pun intended), with a surprising TOP 20 hit single under their collective and progressive sleeves....
#4 | Jez on June 13 2008 09:01:04
Fantastic disc and one of my fave Kansas albums, even though it is quite different form their previous ones. 'Fight Fire Wit hFire' and 'Incident On A Bridge' are extremely great tracks and my top picks on here, but generally the rest of the stuff isn't far behind and is of great quality also. Highly recommended
#5 | rostoned on October 26 2008 00:18:43
Didn't know that John Elefante performed a fantastic ballad on the 1985 OST of 'St. Elmo's Fire', in which he is a fantastic mix of Steve Walsh and a bit of Steve Perry IMHO. Listen to the song here:

YouTube Video:
#6 | AOR Lee on August 06 2013 05:48:16
One of AOR's essential albums. As often happens, the success it deserved evaporated. Maybe the album cover was a little strange / offputting to some, but no question on the songs : timeless
#7 | super80boy on October 26 2013 02:55:59
Brimming with big arena rock sounds and melodies, this record is a good listen and it has an early MTV video for the single 'Fight Fire With Fire', which is quite entertaining, they way the classic videos used to be....
 
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