In the Spirit of Things

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In the Spirit of Things
Studio album by Kansas
Released October 1988
Recorded 1988
Genre Hard rock, symphonic rock
Length 52:54
Label MCA
Producer Phil Ehart, Bob Ezrin, Greg Ladanyi, and Paul Maxon
Kansas chronology
Power
(1986)
In the Spirit of Things
(1988)
Live at the Whisky
(1992)

In the Spirit of Things is the 11th studio album by American rock band Kansas, released in 1988 (see 1988 in music). It is a very loosely organized concept album telling the story of a flood hitting the real Kansas city of Neosho Falls in 1951. The album is often cited by lead vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter Steve Walsh as his favorite Kansas album. Its odd mixture of hard rock, progressive rock, and '80s power ballads (forced on the band by MCA Records, which selected outside songwriters in an attempt to generate hit singles) failed to catch on with a mass audience but it remains a cult favorite among Kansas fans. It was the first Kansas album since 1975's Masque to lack a hit single.

The album was Kansas's last studio effort for a major label. It didn't receive much by way of promotion, as MCA dropped a slew of "older" artists shortly after its release and famously switched its attention to current younger acts such as Tiffany. Kansas got caught in that decision and the album was a commercial failure. The label did produce several promotional materials for the record, though, including a glossy video for "Stand Beside Me," which was played regularly on MTV and allowed the single to hit the album rock charts, the very last Kansas single to chart in any format. Other songs were released in odd formats, such as a 12" promotional single of "I Counted on Love," an import edited CD single of "House on Fire," and a small-sized CD single of "Stand Beside Me." The album also marked the last Kansas release to appear in vinyl format.

A tour in support of this album included a broadcast by the King Biscuit Flower Hour, which many years later released the show as a CD.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

In their retrospective review, Allmusic deemed the album "one of the group's more consistent albums and easily a latter-day highlight." They criticized the album's dated production and the lack of a single to compare to their 1970s hits, but argued it to be one of Kansas's most focused efforts.[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ghosts" (Bob Ezrin, Steve Morse, Steve Walsh) – 4:18
  2. "One Big Sky" (Phil Ehart, M. Ehmig, Ezrin, H. Kleinfeld, Walsh) – 5:17
  3. "Inside of Me" (Morse, Walsh) – 4:42
  4. "One Man, One Heart" (Dann Huff, Mark Spiro) – 4:20
  5. "House on Fire" (Ehart, Ezrin, Morse, Walsh) – 4:42
  6. "Once in a Lifetime" (Antonina Armato, Albert Hammond, Dennis Morgan) – 4:14
  7. "Stand Beside Me" (Bruce Gaitsch, Marc Jordan) – 3:28
  8. "I Counted on Love" (Morse, Walsh) – 3:33
  9. "The Preacher" (Morse, Walsh) – 4:18
  10. "Rainmaker" (Ezrin, Morse, Walsh) – 6:44
  11. "T.O. Witcher" (Morse) – 1:39
  12. "Bells of Saint James" (Morse, Walsh) – 5:39

The band[edit]

Additional personnel

Production[edit]

  • Producers: Phil Ehart, Bob Ezrin, Greg Ladanyi, Paul Maxon
  • Engineers: Bob Ezrin, Stan Katayama, Greg Ladanyi, Bob Loftus, Brendan O'Brien, Garth Richardson
  • Assistant engineers: Lawrence Fried, Stan Katayama, Edd Miller
  • Mixing: Bob Ezrin, Greg Ladanyi, Garth Richardson
  • Mastering: Stephen Marcussen, Doug Sax
  • Drum programming: Ricky Keller
  • Keyboard programming: Ricky Keller, Greg Robert
  • Production supervisor: Robert Hrycyna
  • Technical supervisor: Robert Hrycyna
  • Equipment assistant: Jack Adams
  • Arrangers: Bob Ezrin, Kansas
  • Art direction: Storm Thorgerson
  • Photography: Paul Maxon, Tony May, Glenn Wexler, front cover Derek Burnett
  • Stylist: Jon Crossland

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1988 The Billboard 200 114

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Stand Beside Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "In the Spirit of Things - Kansas | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011.