In the Spirit of Things

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In the Spirit of Things
Kansas - In the Spirit of Things.jpg
Art direction by Storm Thorgerson
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 25, 1988[1]
StudioSoundscape Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
Can-Am Recorders and Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles, California
GenreArt rock, hard rock
ProducerBob Ezrin, Greg Ladanyi, Phil Ehart
Kansas chronology
In the Spirit of Things
Carry On
Singles from In the Spirit of Things
  1. "Stand Beside Me" / "House on Fire"
    Released: 1988

In the Spirit of Things is the eleventh 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.[2][3] It is the first Kansas album since 1975's Masque to lack a hit single.


According to the author Dan Fitzgerald, Rich Williams was inspired to create this album after having read the book Ghost Towns of Kansas, Volume II (1979), specifically the chapter on Neosho Falls.[4]

The album is Kansas's last studio effort for a major label. It didn't receive much promotion, as MCA Records 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, including a glossy video for "Stand Beside Me". The song was played regularly on MTV and allowed the single to hit the album rock charts, the 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 would also be the last Kansas release to appear in vinyl format until the release of The Prelude Implicit in 2016.

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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[5]

In its 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.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Ghosts"Steve Walsh, Steve Morse, Bob Ezrin4:18
2."One Big Sky" (additional lyrics by Ezrin, Walsh, Phil Ehart)Howard Kleinfeld, Michael Dan Ehmig5:17
3."Inside of Me"Morse, Walsh4:42
4."One Man, One Heart"Mark Spiro, Dann Huff4:20
5."House on Fire"Walsh, Morse, Ezrin, Ehart4:42
6."Once in a Lifetime"Antonina Armato, Dennis Morgan, Albert Hammond4:14
Side two
7."Stand Beside Me"Marc Jordan, Bruce Gaitsch3:28
8."I Counted on Love"Morse, Walsh3:33
9."The Preacher"Walsh, Morse4:18
10."Rainmaker"Walsh, Morse, Ezrin6:44
11."T.O. Witcher" (instrumental)Morse1:39
12."Bells of Saint James"Walsh, Morse5:39


Additional personnel


Year Chart Position
1988 Billboard 200 (US)[6] 114
Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Stand Beside Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks (US)[7] 13


  1. ^ "In the Spirit of Things - Kansas". Apple Music. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Devault, Russ (February 17, 1989). "Haunted By a Hit, Kansas Would Like Fans to Get Into 'Spirit of Things'". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  3. ^ Popson, Tom (January 27, 1989). "Band Hears Music In Deserted Kansas Town". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Fitzgerald, Daniel (2009). "Foreword (2009 Version)". Ghost Towns of Kansas (2 ed.). Dan Fitzgerald Company. p. 14. ISBN 9781449505196.
  5. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "In the Spirit of Things - Kansas | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Kansas Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Kansas Chart History: Mainstream Rock". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2017.