Kansas' Turning Point - Leftoverture(1976)
On October 21, 1976, the American prog band Kansas released their most commercially successful album Leftoverture via Kirshner Records. The album contained the singles "Carry On Wayward Son" and "What's On My Mind", which were immediate hits at the time and started the popular period of Kansas. Because the frontman and primary songwriter Steve Walsh faced writer's block before the recording period, his contribution to Leftoverture was limited. This void was filled by Kerry Allen Livgren, the guitarist and keyboardist of the band. Since Livgren had the opportunity and permission to change the musical direction of the band, Kansas stepped away from their straightforward rock roots and discovered more of the progressive realm. They contributed to the prog scene with much classical music inspired compositions, combined with vocal harmony experiments and folk-rock sections. This new direction was massively important since back in the 70s the prog scene was mostly occupied by the English bands and we weren't able to hear new cultures and musical styles at the time. With Kansas, the prog scene was introduced to so many different musical styles that the audience wasn't familiar with before them. This entrance of Kansas was controversial for some, and they faced mixed reviews. Some said that they lacked strong hooks and the outcome was boring & non-intelligent music. On the contrary, many loved the folk and classic inspired energic atmosphere with the emotional singing and well production. Nevertheless, no bad review was able to stand against the album hitting the top of the charts and becoming an instant classic.