Portrait (He Knew)

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"Portrait (He Knew)"
Portrait He Knew single cover.jpg
German single cover
Single by Kansas
from the album Point of Know Return
B-side "Lightning's Hand"
Genre Progressive rock, Progressive Pop
Length 4:30
Songwriter(s) Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh
Kansas singles chronology
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"Portrait (He Knew)"
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"Dust in the Wind" "Portrait (He Knew)" "People of the South Wind"
Point of Know Return track listing

"Portrait (He Knew)" is a song by the American progressive rock band Kansas. It was written by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh and was recorded for the band's fifth album, Point of Know Return. The song was also released as a single after the success of Point of Know Return and Dust in the Wind and charted at #64 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was later released on the live and compilation albums Two for the Show, Live at the Whisky, Device, Voice, Drum, The Kansas Boxed Set, The Ultimate Kansas, Sail On: The 30th Anniversary Collection, Works in Progress, and Playlist: The Very Best of Kansas. It appears in a number of different mixes and lengths: the original album version, the edited single version, a different single edit that appears as a bonus track on the European-only 1999 compilation Definitive Collection, and a new remix by the original producers Jeff Glixman as a bonus track on the CD remaster of its original parent album. It was also released on the DVDs of Device-Voice-Drum and Works in Progress.[1][2][3][4]


The inspiration for the song came from Kerry Livgren's admiration for Albert Einstein. He wrote the lyrics in a time when he was going through a spiritual transitional phase in his life, and after converting to Christianity, he re-recorded the song with his band AD, modifying the lyrics to make them fit the life of Jesus Christ and retitling the song "Portrait II".

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 64


  1. ^ "Kansas (2)– Portrait (He Knew)". discogs.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Portrait (He Knew)". allmusic.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Point of Know Return". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "POINT OF KNOW RETURN". progarchives.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014.