Vinyl Confessions

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Vinyl Confessions
Kansas - Vinyl Confessions.jpg
Studio album by Kansas
Released June 1982
Recorded Late 1981/Early 1982
Genre Progressive rock, AOR, Christian rock
Length 43:20
Label Kirshner
Producer Kansas, Ken Scott
Kansas chronology
Vinyl Confessions
Drastic Measures
Singles from Vinyl Confessions
  1. "Play the Game Tonight"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Right Away"
    Released: 1982
  3. "Chasing Shadows"
    Released: 1982

Vinyl Confessions is the eighth studio album by American rock band Kansas, released in 1982 (see 1982 in music). It includes "Play the Game Tonight", which broke the Top 20 and is Kansas's third highest-charting single, surpassed only by "Carry on Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind".[1] The album was reissued in remastered format on CD in 1996 on Legacy/Epic and again in 2011.


Vinyl Confessions was a major turning point for the band. After the conversion of both guitarist/keyboard player Kerry Livgren and bass player Dave Hope to Christianity, and the focus that Livgren placed on his religion in the band's lyrics, lead singer Steve Walsh did not agree with the new direction of the band and left to form his own band, Streets. Walsh had also contributed much as a songwriter, so the band was forced to find a new lead singer who not only had a vocal style that fit the band's music, but also could contribute material for the upcoming album. After a long audition process, the choice came down to three strong candidates: Warren Ham, Michael Gleason and John Elefante. The band eventually settled on Elefante.

"Fair Exchange" described the world under the rule of the Anti-Christ, while "Chasing Shadows" pointed out the frustration in seeking anything outside Biblical truth. "Diamonds and Pearls" emphasized the value of spiritual wealth over financial wealth, while "Face It", "Windows" and "Borderline" all had strong evangelistic appeals to the listener. The album's closer, "Crossfire," made the album's position abundantly clear in its indirect reference to Jesus Christ ("the one who rose").

Vinyl Confessions did not go unnoticed by the nascent Contemporary Christian music (CCM) industry, which was just coming into its own at that time. Numerous Christian magazines trumpeted Kansas' new musical direction, and CCM Magazine even chose Vinyl Confessions as the No. 1 CCM album of 1982. All this attention created an entirely new audience of listeners for Kansas, but it also created further tensions within the band. Those tensions came to a head during the recording of their next album, Drastic Measures.

Vinyl Confessions was also the last album with violinist/vocalist Robby Steinhardt, who left the band after the supporting tour and did not return until 1997.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2] 5/5 stars[3]

While acknowledging the comeback success of the single "Play the Game Tonight", AllMusic's retrospective review was largely negative. They criticized the Christian lyrics as being "often of a judgmental, us-versus-you nature", and insinuated that the album fell more into a generic pop rock vein than Kansas's earlier albums ("it was getting hard to distinguish Kansas from Foreigner and Journey").[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Play the Game Tonight" Phil Ehart, Danny Flower, Rob Frazier, Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams 3:26
2. "Right Away" Dino Elefante, John Elefante 4:06
3. "Fair Exchange" Livgren 5:01
4. "Chasing Shadows" D. Elefante, J. Elefante 3:20
5. "Diamonds and Pearls" Livgren 4:50
6. "Face It" D. Elefante, J. Elefante 4:17
7. "Windows" Livgren 3:32
8. "Borderline" Livgren 4:00
9. "Play On" J. Elefante, Livgren 3:32
10. "Crossfire" Livgren 6:35


Additional personnel


  • Kansas – producer
  • Ken Scott – producer, engineer
  • Brian Leshon – assistant engineer
  • David Spritz – assistant engineer
  • Phil Jost – assistant engineer
  • Ralph Sutton – assistant engineer[4]
  • Chateau Recorders – recording location, mixing location
  • Original Masteringworks – mastering location
  • Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab – mastering location
  • Stan Ricker – mastering engineer


Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1982 Billboard 200 16

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1982 "Play the Game Tonight" Mainstream Rock 4
Pop Singles 17[1]
"Right Away" Mainstream Rock 33
Pop Singles 73[1]
"Chasing Shadows" Mainstream Rock 54


  1. ^ a b c Kansas Billboard chart history, Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Allmusic review
  3. ^ "review". Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  4. ^