[A Different Kind of Kansas] -- Drastic Measures (1983) was Kansas' ninth studio album ... and seemingly the last gasp for a once mighty prog rock outfit. Of course, by this time, they had dropped any semblance of prog elements and were pretty much a mainstream rock band. Gone was the violin as well as the stately arpeggios and shimmering organ runs that had adorned previous efforts. And that's funny considering that the record was criticized for being too repetitive of those prior efforts. Maybe the detractors noticed the slick production that was still a hallmark of the Kansas recording method. But even though Drastic Measures was the band's lowest-charting record since their 1974 debut, and Kansas officially disbanded after the conclusion of the 1983 tour (don't worry, a new lineup rose from these ashes three years later), I still love this record. I might even still have the cassette copy I received as a birthday gift 30+ years ago. So, which tracks do I still sing along with these days? Read and hear more after the jump to find out!
Flashback #1: "Have you met Mick Jagger? | Ringo, George or Paul? | Do you have my number? | Will you give me a call?"
Kansas is best known for songs with epic content and sweeping violin. Songs like "Carry On Wayward Son," "Dust in the Wind," and "Hold On." But a new lead singer and a shift in direction in 1983 yielded "Everybody's My Friend," a sonic meditation on fame and fortune.
Flashback #2: "I'm miles away | I want to cry out loud | I want to fight till the end | I won't let 'em take me alive."
"Fight Fire with Fire" was Drastic Measure's first and somewhat successful single. It peaked at #58 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and even hit #3 on US Top Tracks. And it's definitely one of those seemingly unfocused anthems that were so plentiful in the 80s. I mean, seriously, I can feel the passion, but I don't know what he's fired up to fight. Maybe it's just the passage of time.
Flashback #3: "It's all too real, all these things we feel | As the years go by, things intensify."
"Incident on a Bridge" was the b-side released with "Fight Fire with Fire." It's also one of the few songs on this album that continues the Kansas trend of spiritually motivated songwriting. It never charted, but melodically and musically, it's a strong effort.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!