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Kansas
www.kansasband.com
CD Reviews
Always Never the Same
Review by Gary Hill
Kansas recorded this album with the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Audio-Visions
Review by Scott Prinzing
I remember sitting in the custom speaker-fitted barber chair at my local record mecca as a teenager and listening to the needle drop on the first side of this album on virgin vinyl.

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Drastic Measures
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that the pop era of Kansas really turned me off to the band. That meant that I missed a lot of the discs in that period – and this was one of those.
 

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Freaks Of Nature
Review by Greg Olma

Kansas was looking to get back to their original sound.  


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In the Spirit of Things
Review by Gary Hill
By the time this album was released, Kansas seemed to really be struggling to find their place in the music scene.

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Kansas (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Along with Song For America, this disc is the first in a series of remasters of classic albums by this American prog band. The two CD's definitely show different sides to the band.
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Leftoverture
Review by Gary Hill
This was the breakthrough disc for Kansas. Many times that means “sell out” album. That’s definitely not the case here.

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Live at the Whiskey
Review by Gary Hill
A couple of these tracks were featured on the Works in Progress album from Kansas. 

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Masque
Review by Greg Olma
I don’t know why I never considered Kansas a prog band.  I was always putting them in the classic rock genre and leaving it at that.
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Monolith
Review by Gary Hill
There was a period of Kansas’ output I stayed away from like the plague. This disc was set firmly in that time. 
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Point Of Know Return
Review by Gary Hill
If Leftoverture was the album that really broke Kansas, this was the one that thrust them into superstardom. The thing is, again they did it without sacrificing their progressive rock roots. 

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Power
Review by Larry Toering
This is the first Kansas album to feature Steve Morse, and it holds up very well.

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Somewhere to Elsewhere
Review by Gary Hill
Somewhere to Elsewhere finds Kansas back to their older styles while still being innovative and originally. Fans of the classic prog era of this band should really be able to sink their teeth into this release.
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Song For America (Remaster)
Review by Gary Hill
Kansas is in the midst of reissuing its catalog. The first of these remasters is the self-titled album and this one.
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The Prelude Implicit
Review by Gary Hill
This is the most recent Kansas album. It came out in 2016.

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Two For The Show
Review by Steve Alspach
Kansas rode their crest of popularity in the late seventies with this two-album set that displays their fine skills. Released after "Point of Know Return," this album was recorded during several concert performances at various venues in the U.S. in 1977 and 1978.
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Two For the Show 30th Anniversary Edition
Review by Gary Hill
Kansas is a band that hasn’t always gotten the respect they deserve in the progressive rock community. Sure, part of that fact is due to their pop rock period in the mid portion of their career.
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Vinyl Confessions
Review by Greg Olma

Kansas will always be remembered for their Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return albums and will always be linked to the 70s.  


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Works In Progress
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is a new compilation from Kansas. There is one interesting paradox (and you might note that that is in fact a title of a Kansas song - although one not included on this set) here.

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DVD Reviews
Kansas - Device-Voice-Drum DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD is one that has both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side the performance here is very strong, and it is just plain nice to have a Kansas video.
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Kansas - There’s Know Place Like Home DVD
Review by Greg Olma
I can’t believe that Kansas is 35 years old.  I remember first getting Leftoverture when it came out and that is 33 years ago.  
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Concert Reviews
Kansas - Live at Taste of Chicago, 2000
Review by Gary Hill
Kansas is a band that started as one of the premiere progressive rock bands of America. As many prog bands did, they drifted into the sea of pop music, diluting their prog sensibilities and gaining wide market appeal for their efforts.
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Kansas - Live in Tonawanda, New York, August, 2007
Review by Sonya Kukcinovich Hill
This was absolutely an amazing event held as part of the Canal Series Concerts on the banks of the Erie Canal in Tonawanda, New York, just a stone's throw from Buffalo.
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Interviews
Kansas
Interview by Sonya Kukcinovich Hill
Interview with Rich Williams of Kansas from 2007

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Related Articles
Steve Morse
Review by MSJ Admin
Interview With Steve Morse from 2002



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Steve Morse
Review by Gary Hill
Interview with Steve Morse from 2010
Audio of this interview is available in our members' area. Log in on the main page or sign up today - memberships start at just six bucks.

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Deep Purple - + Orchestra Live At Montreux 2011 – BluRay
Review by Larry Toering

You have to respect Eagle for all they do concerning their artists’ current work and re-issues, as they have been on a serious roll lately in particular. 


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Kerry Livgren - /AD - Timeline
Review by Scott Prinzing

After Kerry Livgren’s excellent solo debut in 1980, he waited a few years before his second.


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Various Artists - 108 Rock Star Guitars written by Lisa S. Johnson
Review by G. W. Hill

This is the quintessential coffee table book. That’s particularly true for those who love guitars.


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Steve Morse and Sarah Spencer - Angelfire
Review by Gary Hill
This collaboration is an interesting disc. It tends towards mellower, acoustic driven music.

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John Wetton - Anthology Volume 1: Studio Recordings
Review by G. W. Hill

This anthology of songs from John Wetton is quite strong. It’s not all progressive rock, and for the most par even when it lands there, it’s more in the AOR end of the spectrum.


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Deep Purple - Around the World Live DVD Set
Review by Gary Hill
This is an amazing set and well worth the price of admission. You get four DVD’s (three full concerts and a documentary) all encased in a classy box.
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Various Artists - Back Against the Wall
Review by Gary Hill
There are few people who haven't at least heard of Pink Floyd's The Wall. I would hazard to say that those who have never heard the album are in the minority as well.
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Steve Morse - Band – Live in Baden – Baden Germany March 1990 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of the classic Steve Morse Band performance from 1990.
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Steve Morse - Band – Outstanding in Their Field
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Steve Morse and his band, this is exactly what you’d expect.
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Band of Brothers - Band of Brothers
Review by Gary Hill
Brian Tarquin is one of the three guys who are listed as making up Band of Brothers. The other two are Phil Naro and Reggie Pryor.

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Proto-Kaw - Before Became After
Review by Gary Hill
Proto-Kaw was one of the early groupings of the band that was later known as Kansas. When Cuneiform records released an album of their old material in 2002 it got the creative juices in Kansas/Proto-Kaw man Kerry Livgren.
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Brian Tarquin - Brian Tarquin Project - Vegas Blue
Review by Gary Hill

You can always count on Brian Tarquin to put together some strong projects, This is no exception.


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Dixie Dregs - California Screamin'
Review by Larry Toering

If I were to be asked if I thought this were among the best Dixie Dregs to be released over the years, I would have to reach for my soapbox and say “no,” for several reasons.


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Billy Sherwood - Citizen
Review by G. W. Hill

A contender for best of the year, this is arguably Sherwood’s best solo album ever.


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Various Artists - Citizens of Hope and Glory. The Story of Progressive Rock written by Stephen Lambe
Review by Scott Montgomery

This is an enjoyable read that saunters through the chronology and culture of progressive rock.


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Jon Lord - Concerto for Group & Orchestra
Review by G. W. Hill

The music here is, by definition, a marriage of classical and rock sounds in three extensive pieces.
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Jon Lord - Concerto For Group And Orchestra – Mediabook Edition
Review by Larry Toering

Just weeks before Jon Lord's passing in 2012, he finished work on what he took pride in being his ultimate achievement in the studio. 


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Dixie Dregs - Dregs Of The Earth
Review by Larry Toering

In 1980 this music was not an abundant commodity, and that is why it remains one of my favorite prog albums of all time.


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Proto-Kaw - Early Recordings from Kansas 1971-1973
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is exactly what the title says, a collection of early demos and two live tracks from the band that would eventually take the rock world by storm under the name of Kansas. Much of the material is far closer to old King Crimson than to the sound that we all know of as that Midwestern group.
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Port Mahadia - Echoes In Time
Review by Gary Hill
This CD is a concept album and has both an epic and personal angle to its story.
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The Prog Collective - Epilogue
Review by G. W. Hill

This is quite a cool set. The main man behind this is Billy Sherwood, and I always like the stuff he does.


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Various Artists - Fly Like an Eagle - An All-Star Tribute to Steve Miller Band
Review by G. W. Hill

Cleopatra Records loves doing these tribute albums, typically with Billy Sherwood in charge.


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Flying Colors - Flying Colors
Review by Larry Toering

Flying Colors, for once in a long time prove that rock music can still be everything it's supposed to be in a landscape that constantly attempts to limit it.


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Deep Purple - From Here to inFinite BluRay
Review by Larry Toering
This is an upgrade to the movie that came with Deep Purple's latest album, for which they just released a Gold Edition.
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Ian Gillan - Gillan’s Inn
Review by Rick Damigella
Setting convention and professionalism aside for one moment… I am a card carrying Ian Gillan fan. I have seen him live numerous times, have listened to countless hours of his singing from throughout his storied career, from the Javelins through multiple incarnations fronting Deep Purple to his stint as Jesus.
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Steve Walsh - Glossolalia
Review by Gary Hill
One of the more recognizable voices in '70's rock, Steve Walsh is both the most well-known voice of Kansas and their keyboardist. He is joined on this solo release by Trent Gardner (Explorer's Club), Virgil Donati (Planet X), Page Waldron, Jim Roberts, Mike Slamer and Billy Greer.
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Steve Morse - High Tension Wires
Review by Larry Toering

This is Steve Morse's first real solo outing, and it is still considered one of his very best albums.


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Telergy - Hypatia
Review by G. W. Hill

Telergy consistently releases strong progressive rock albums.


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Deep Purple - In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The whole nearly clichéd concept of doing a concert with a symphony orchestra is, thankfully, starting to fall out of style. Just you don’t misunderstand, there are some instances where it works really well, but more often than not it comes across as a gimmicky concept that falls pretty flat.
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Deep Purple - Infinite
Review by Larry Toering
Deep Purple and producer Bob Ezrin return with what could be (and most believe will be) their swan song offering.

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Various Artists - Leonardo The Absolute Man
Review by Gary Hill
This is a rock opera based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Although this album says "original cast recording" and I have (as does Magna Carta on their website) listed it here as by "Various Artists", it is probably closer to the truth to say that it is by Trent Gardner and friends.
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Various Artists - Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute To the Doors
Review by G. W. Hill

I’ve always been a big fan of the Doors.


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Dixie Dregs - Live at Montreux 1978 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Anyone wanting to see what makes the Dixie Dregs so special would do well to check out this awesome DVD. This band is so tight and purely smokes!
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Deep Purple - Live at Montreux 1996
Review by Gary Hill
Deep Purple has always had a special place in my heart. When I first started getting into hard rock a friend turned me onto the In Rock album and I was amazed.
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Deep Purple - Live at Montreux 1996 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes it's all about the impression. I saw Deep Purple once quite a few years back, and frankly, I found them to be boring.
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Deep Purple - Live At Montreux 2011
Review by Larry Toering

As a major fan of Deep Purple, I am approaching this with a more informative angle, to not only shed any overly biased factors, but explain a few things from within the Purple frame of mind.


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Deep Purple - Live at the NEC DVD
Review by G. W. Hill
This comes from the 2002 tour. Jon Lord had announced his retirement from Deep Purple. Don Airey was the new keyboardist. 

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Flying Colors - Live In Europe DVD
Review by Greg Olma

Flying Colors is a prog super group that has been around for quite a few years now.


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Deep Purple - Live in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2017
Review by Larry Toering
Maybe it was overkill, but I haven’t found any evidence in my recall of this concert to back that.

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Deep Purple - Live in Rockford, IL, 2005
Review by Mike Korn
Deep Purple don't play all that many dates in the U.S. anymore, preferring to concentrate on the more lucrative foreign markets, so it was quite a surprise to see they got a gig here in Rockford. This is a band that got its start the same year that Led Zeppelin did and they have been prolific since that long ago year of 1968.
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Deep Purple - Live in Roseburg, Oregon August 2014
Review by Larry Toering
Deep Purple came out on stage with a vengeance and blew the crowd off their feet by the end of the opening number.
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Flying Colors - Live in St Charles, Illinois, October 2014
Review by Greg Olma

Flying Colors, for those of you who don’t know, is a prog super group that has been around for a few years now.  


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Deep Purple - Live in Ventura, California, August, 2007
Review by Rick Damigella
Deep Purple stormed through Southern California in August as part of their current world tour, playing three shows from San Diego to Ventura over five days. I took in two of the gigs, the first being in Costa Mesa at the long underutilized Pacific Amphitheater and then the very next night at the Ventura Theater.
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Various Artists - Magna Carta Guitar Greats – Volume I
Review by Grant Hill
These Magna Carta sampler discs serve as a great way for people to sample a number of their releases without having to shell out the cash for each and every one of them. I'd have to say that as these things go, this is one of the better ones – and they are all quite good.
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Steve Morse - Major Impacts
Review by Gary Hill
Steve Morse has come up with a very intriguing concept for an album in this release. The disc is an all instrumental excursion through his varied influences.
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Steve Morse - Major Impacts 2
Review by Steve Alspach
I suppose it makes sense that if Steve Morse can't really be pegged to any one style, it's because his influences can't be pegged either. On Major Impacts 2 Morse continues to pay respect to the musicians who caught his ear.


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Various Artists - Mountains Come Out of the Sky. The Illustrated History of Prog Rock – written by Will Romano
Review by Scott Montgomery
Overall, this is a very good and highly recommended overview of the genre and its history. 
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Various Artists - Mullets Rock Too
Review by Gary Hill
It's a safe bet you've heard every song on this disc – although you might not have heard the Ace Frehley track as performed by him. That doesn't mean this set isn't enjoyable.
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Native Window - Native Window
Review by Gary Hill
It’s Kansas, but it isn’t. When you have Billy Greer, David Ragsdale , Phil Ehart and Richard Williams as the members of a band you can be sure the comparisons to Kansas well be rampant – since all of these guys have been in that group. 
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Dixie Dregs - Night Of The Living Dregs
Review by Larry Toering

This is a half studio, half live recording, and one of the best Dixie Dregs outings from which to choose.


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Deep Purple - Now What?!
Review by G. W. Hill

I definitely would not put every Deep Purple album in progressive rock. This one, though, certainly qualifies.


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Deep Purple - Now What?! (Special Edition CD+DVD)
Review by Larry Toering

To make it back after seven years culminating into eight for a studio album at this stage in the Deep Purple legacy was a big risk, but one I find to be smaller than the last time the name went eight years in existence without an album, which was 1976 to 1984.


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Various Artists - Popoff Archive 2: Progressive Rock written by Martin Popoff
Review by Greg Olma
The music world has many characters who work behind the scenes, from producers to engineers to marketing people (and many more). 

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Steve Morse - Prime Cuts
Review by Gary Hill
Joining Magna Carta's Prime Cuts series is this release of music by Steve Morse. The majority of the material comes from three solo albums of his, Split Decision, Major Impacts 1, and Major Impacts 2.
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Billy Sheehan - Prime Cuts
Review by Steve Alspach
Ever play a bass guitar? "Strings" are a misnomer - they use great big, fat, wires. You have to work up some muscle in your fingers to aptly play a bass.
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Kerry Livgren - Prime Mover II
Review by Scott Prinzing

It can be argued that after Kerry Livgren left Kansas in 1983, the band was never the same. 


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Deep Purple - Purpendicular (Reissue)
Review by G. W. Hill

This new reissue of Purpendicular includes two bonus tracks.


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John Wetton - Raised in Captivity
Review by Gary Hill

The latest solo release from John Wetton finds him with a lot of great guest appearances. 


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Explorer's Club - Raising the Mammoth
Review by Gary Hill
Explorer's Club is in session once again. This time Trent Gardner has assembled a different group of musicians that includes drummer Terry Bozzio (UK, Frank Zappa, Bozzio Levin Stevens), bassist John Myung (Liquid Tension Experiment, Platypus, Dream Theater), Kerry Livgren (guitarist for Kansas), Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) and keyboardist Mark Robertson (Cairo).
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Deep Purple - Rapture Of The Deep (Special Edition 2CD)
Review by Greg Olma
Deep Purple never seems to get the respect that they deserve. Everyone talks about Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as the creators of the hard rock sound.
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Jordan Rudess - Rhythm of Time
Review by Josh Turner
Jordan Rudess is a virtual virtuoso. His must be an android based on the way that he plays.
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Various Artists - Rockin' the City of Angels written by Douglas Harr
Review by G. W. Hill
This book is something very special. A good tag-line for this would be "come for the pictures, stay for the stories."

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Flying Colors - Second Nature
Review by Larry Toering

This band has succeeded the sophomore curse by not trying to defeat it, but succumbing to all of the cliches and eclectic efforts to do so.


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Kerry Livgren - Seeds of Change
Review by Scott Prinzing

The first solo outing by Kansas founder Kerry Livgren is still a rewarding listen three decades after its 1980 release. 


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Steve Walsh - Shadowman
Review by Greg Olma
I have always been a Kansas fan so it must come as no surprise that I find Steve Walsh's voice one of the best in prog rock. I have followed his career through his band Streets (and his solo material) and have never been disappointed.
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Vapourspace - Sonic Residue from Vapourspace
Review by Steve Alspach
Here's an interesting concept - take songs from various releases from a progressive rock record label and let the music be transformed by a techno mix until it's nearly unrecognizable from the original source.
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December People - Sounds Like Christmas
Review by Gary Hill
To get you in the spirit of the holiday, The December People have released a fresh collection of progressive rock takes on Christmas music. Feeling out of sorts for not knowing who the December People are?
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Steve Morse - Split Decision
Review by Gary Hill
According to the liner notes, this album is named "Split Decision" because Morse had in mind two different albums, one a hard rocking collection and the other a sedate set of pieces.
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Various Artists - Stadium Rock written by Jeb Wright
Review by Greg Olma
The story behind this book is a simple one. 
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Steve Morse - Stressfest
Review by Larry Toering

After Steve Morse found himself in Deep Purple by way of Joe Satriani's rather swift exit due to contractual obligations, or so the story goes, this was one of his opportunities to continue in the fiery direction he was going in on his solo albums with Dave LaRue on bass and Van Romaine on drums.


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Magellan - Symphony for a Misanthrope
Review by Gary Hill
I've seen pictures of the Gardner brothers, the backbone of Magellan, and if I didn't know any better I'd have sworn that I opened up a 401k with them.
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Various Artists - Tales From Yesterday
Review by Gary Hill
A tribute to the music of Yes, Tales From Yesterday, features some very fine renditions of Yessongs performed by a variety of artists (including several past and present members of Yes). This is a mixed bag. Some of the tracks are quite faithful to the original, while others represent major reworkings.
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Roswell Six - Terra Incognita: A Line in the Sand
Review by Gary Hill
I continue to be astounded with the quality of music coming out in 2010.

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Neal Morse - Testimony
Review by Steve Alspach
Neal Morse's first post-Spock's Beard album is a big pill to swallow - over two hours' worth of music that document Morse's conversion to Christianity.
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The Fusion Syndicate - The Fusion Syndicate
Review by G. W. Hill

What an amazing set this is.


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Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions
Review by G. W. Hill
This is essentially a compilation disc of cover tunes from Joe Lynn Turner.

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Various Artists - The Show That Never Ends
Review by Gary Hill
This album is a compilation of various progressive rock performances that were presented on the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show. All of the outings are quite good, and the selection of artists is also. 



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Proto-Kaw - The Wait of Glory
Review by Gary Hill
The second new disc for Proto-Kaw since they reunited, there isn't a bad cut on show here. The band was called "Kansas" in the early '70's and Kerry Livgren took that name with him when he joined another band that was destined for fame.
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Deep Purple - They All Came Down To Montreux – Live at Montreux 2006 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When it comes time to figure out a list of the best videos of the year, this one will be very close to the top. While I enjoyed the DVD of Purple’s earlier Montreux appearances, this one is heads above that one.
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Deep Purple - Total Abandon: Australia '99
Review by G. W. Hill

This live album from Deep Purple finds the band in a killer performance.


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Carmine Appice - Ultimate Guitar Zeus
Review by Gary Hill
An album like this could be a tricky venture. Essentially the concept is a series of songs with the same basic core band.
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Various Artists - Underrated Rock Book: The 200 Most Overlooked Albums 1970-2015 written by Jim Santora, Jr.
Review by Gary Hill

The premise is simple: list 200 albums that are under-appreciated. When Jim Santora started the project he set some ground rules. 


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Various Artists - We Wish You a Metal Christmas And a Headbanging New Year (2010 Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of a CD I’ve already reviewed – with a few extra cuts.
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Various Artists - We Wish You a Metal Xmas...and a Headbanging New Year
Review by Gary Hill

So many times discs like this are really uneven. Well, that’s not the case here.


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Dixie Dregs - What If
Review by Steve Alspach
What If was the second album by the Dixie Dregs, released in 1978. The band left Capricorn after one album and signed to Polydor (which may have been a good move - those who had never heard the band would not be blamed if they thought that this band from Miami, signed to Capricorn, would be another southern-fried boogie band).

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Deep Purple - with Orchestra - Live in Verona
Review by G. W. Hill

I know there are those who disagree with me, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider Deep Purple to be a progressive rock band.


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Various Artists - Working Man
Review by Gary Hill
One of the early Magna Carta tribute CD's, this one is definitely not one of their finest. It does have some strong points, though, and the main area in which it is lacking is vocals.
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