KANSAS – Drastic Measures [Japan Blu-SpecCD remastered]
“Drastic Measures” was the KANSAS ninth and final studio offering from the first era before hanging up their instruments, and it’s one of my favorites. This superb Japanese remastered edition pressed on high quality Blu-SpecCD sounds incredible.
As the prime purveyors of progressive pomp rock, Kansas ruled the roost during the ‘70s accruing the sort of multiplatinum success that they could only have dreamed of at the start of their career back in their hometown of Topeka, Kansas. But it wasn’t just album sales that won them an immense following. Against all odds they actually scored hit singles, taking their music into the hearts and minds of a new and expansive audience.
“Drastic Measures”, originally released in 1983, was the band’s second album to feature new vocalist John Elefante – an appointment made necessary after the departure of Steve Walsh.
Not surprisingly, the band’s sound was evolving, moving with the times and displaying a more accessible timbre. Sure, the progressive rock element was still entirely audible but the songs and delivery fitted into the jet stream of men on a mission.
AOR for sure but with an edge and urgency that leaves little room for debate.
Kerry Livgren only contributes just three songs to the album (the more prog oriented), compared to six composed by John and Dino Elefante.
On the plus side the band had drafted in producer Neil Kernon on the back of his success with several Hall & Oates albums, snagging him just before he would become synonymous with commercial hard rock bands like Dokken, Queensryche and Autograph.
Kernon actually did a great job with the material on “Drastic Measures”, giving Kansas a punchy, sophisticated AOR sound they’d never had before.
The powerful opener “Fight Fire With Fire” is a classic slice of inventive AOR that the band still play occasionally today, and “Don’t Take Your Love Away” has the kind of light and shade that they’re known for.
Other Elefante compositions included the memorable melodic ballad “Andi”, whilst the hi-tech of “Get Rich” is very modern for the era, where Kernon’s touch is evident.
“Everybody’s My Friend” and “Incident On A Bridge” are both urgent AOR numbers with heavy keyboards. The three Livgren songs tell a tale of their own, being “End Of The Age” the more prog-friendly song but with accessible harmonies.
“Drastic Measures” is definitely a mid ’80s AOR rock album with great melodies and big keyboards, in the vein of Balance and on many passages, Journey and alike.
The modern and brilliant production by Neil Kernon is now enhanced with a huge sound and extra clarity with this brand new remaster and Blu-specCD edition.
On the Blu-spec CD’s, the master used for replication is burned with a smaller and much more precise blue-violet laser to obtain more accurate pits. The Blu-SpecCD process even improves the SACD technology and it’s Sony answer to SHM-CD.
A must have for any ’80s AOR fan.
カンサス / Drastic Measures ~ EICP-20081
【完全生産限定盤 / Blu-spec CD】
01 – Fight Fire With Fire
02 – Everybody’s My Friend
03 – Mainstream
04 – Andi
05 – Going Trough The Motions
06 – Get Rich
07 – Don’t Take Your Love Away
08 – End Of The Age
09 – Incident On A Bridge
John Elefante (vocals)
Rich Williams (guitar)
Dave Hope (bass)
Kerry Livgren (keyboards, guitar)
Phil Ehart (drums)
BUY IT !