Chart Performance: Pop (#6); 1978
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
Despite being critically overshadowed by the likes of Yes and Genesis, Topeka’s Kansas held its own in the crowded progressive rock field of the 1970’s. Their first three albums came at nine month intervals with moderate success. 1976’s Leftoverture broke the previous chart pattern with a surprise #5 peak fueled by Carry On Wayward Son(#11; 1977), penned by the group’s chief songwriter, Kerry Livgren. The title tune off 1977’s Point Of Know Return charted acceptably by grazing the Top 30, followed by Dust In The Wind – another Livgren composition – which broke the act into the Top 10. Robby Steinhardt’s violin playing coupled with Livgren’s mix of prog rock stylings and heartland America themes, helped distinguish Kansas from its more critically respected competitors. By the start of the 1980’s, Kansas had outperformed many of them, releasing a total of eight gold or platinum-selling albums, and recording several classic rock classics in the process.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- Jeff Glixman
Lyrics Written by:
- Kerry Livgren