Play the Game Tonight

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"Play the Game Tonight"
Play the Game Tonight.jpg
Single by Kansas
from the album Vinyl Confessions
B-side "Play On"
Released May 1982
Recorded 1981-1982
Genre Progressive rock
Length 3:26
Label Kirshner, Legacy/Epic
Writer(s) Phil Ehart, Danny Flower, Rob Frazier, Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams
Producer(s) Kansas, Ken Scott
Kansas singles chronology
"Got to Rock On"
"Play the Game Tonight"
"Right Away"

"Play the Game Tonight" is a progressive rock single recorded by Kansas for their 1982 album Vinyl Confessions. It managed to chart at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the 15th single, 10th top 100 hit, sixth top 40 hit, and the third of four Top 20 hits produced by Kansas.

The song was written and produced during the John Elefante period of Kansas and was on the first of two albums to be produced during that period (the other being Drastic Measures). It is also one of the two hits produced during this time along with "Fight Fire With Fire". The song has been re-released on several live and compilation albums, including The Best of Kansas, The Ultimate Kansas, Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection, and the Device, Voice, Drum live CD/DVD combo.


The song begins with a slow, mysterious piano intro played by John Elefante, which continues playing as Elefante comes in on vocals, singing the first verse. As the verse progresses to the end, there is an increase in volume leading up to the chorus, where Elefante is backed by Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren, and Roger Taylor on vocals. The same structure repeats with the second verse and chorus, leading up to a violin solo by Steinhardt, progressing into the third and final chorus. On the album Vinyl Confessions, a follow-up to the song, "Play On", is played near the end of the album.

Music video[edit]

The music video depicts, in between the band playing the song, a chess game played by two hooded beings. One is dressed in white and represents Life and all Mankind's accomplishments (a baby developing in a womb and a Moon landing (Apollo 11 ?) is seen in two clippings), while the other wears black and is meant to represent Death and Destruction (as seen by clips of a military landing (war) and a nuclear explosion).[citation needed] The pieces in the chess set are characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.[citation needed] At the end of the video, the chess piece that is the rook, on the side of the figure in white, makes a move across the board to the king piece of the figure in black; putting him into either check or checkmate, as the camera zooms out and the black figure pauses, before the video fades out.

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  2. ^ "1982 Year End". Retrieved 2016-11-13. 

External links[edit]