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Vinyl Confessions

4.2 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 27, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 27, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002ARS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Kansas Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rick Langdon VINE VOICE on July 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have been a hard core Kansas fan for many years. As much as I like Steve Walsh in his prime (no better voice in Rock/Prog)and the classic Kansas albums that seem to be on everyone's top list such as Leftoverture and Point of Know Return, AND even think that Masque and Monolith are strong efforts, I really think Vinyl Confessions is a very solid album. Put aside any bias toward your lead vocalist of choice and listen to the strong compositions and well crafted production. Listen to some new direction in instrumentation along side the usual stellar players; Listen to some urgency, inspiration and direction in the lyrical content. I believe that a fresh, unbiased listen will reveal a very strong, cohesive work worthy of at least a few accolades.

As a Christian, I confess the worldview in the lyrics has strong appeal but the music, passion and artistry are evident the lyrics notwithstanding. Ironically, I think that it is this same worldview in the lyrics that causes many to be turned off from this very artistic offering. Why is it that some can listen to all kinds of philosophies in music, both agreeable and disagreeable, and still appreciate the artistry, but as soon as Christian lyrics come into play, all of a sudden it cannot be tolerated or at least it is relegated to a lower tier.

My honest opinion is that Vinyl Confessions is worthy of better consideration among the list of Kansas albums and certainly represents the most thematic and cohesive effort of Kansas' latter days. The only complaint I have is that the sonic quality of the current CD version is vastly inferior to the vinyl album. Remastering is greatly needed and deserved. Hopefully Sony will come through some day soon.

- Scriptor
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Format: Audio CD
Big changes were in the works for Kansas by the time "Vinyl Confessions" came out in 1982. Lead vocalist / keyboardist Steve Walsh had left the band over the blatantly Christian lyrics that Kerry Livgren was writing. Violinist / Vocalist Robby Steinhardt was still on board, but had been reduced to a backup role in much of the music and vocals. The band had become Kerry Livgren's animal which is reflected in the abundance of Christian oriented lyrics found throughout the album. The band brought in an unseasoned young vocalist in John Elefante who was also a Christian. Much to a lot of people's surprise the single from the album "Play The Game Tonight" bolted into the top 40 and got the band back on the radio in a big way. It is actually a great little song and one of my all time favorite Kansas singles. As a whole I don't think this album stands up to the band's earlier works, but that is not to say it is bad. Elefante had a great voice and fit in well with the band. The songs are mostly on the short side with the longest (and best track on the disc) being "Crossfire" clocking in at a little over 6 minutes. Another really strong track is the rocking "Windows" on which Elefante really shines and Robby Steinhardt is actually given some violin playing to do. The rest of the album is all ok, but I find it fairly pedestrian for Kansas standards.
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Format: Audio CD
As someone who has witnessed this marvelous band several times (mainly in the early and mid 90's), I had the pleasure of telling others that I was one of the fortunate ones to have seen Steve Walsh do a hand-stand on his keyboard and play it at the same time.. Needless to say, the respect I have for this man and his vocal abilities still carries to this day.. When 'Vinyl Confessions' hit my ears for the first time sometime back in 1983, I wondered whose voice had graced this very under-appreciated album as I knew it was not that of Steve Walsh's. At the time, it didn't seem to matter as each song heard here is a true progression of a band whose direction has always moved forward. "Play the game tonight" was an AOR radio favorite and from its opening, you can hear John Elefante, the new lead man, attempting to create a spirit always present in each Kansas outing. By the time I got to the very emotional but very philosophical "Chasing shadows", I found myself lost in a melody that I don't think Steve could have done any better. This song today still reaches a very deep inner part of me with its haunting, emotive guitar, piano and violin and amazing harmonies.

John's Christian influences are definitely appearing here as "Face it" reminds all of us who we exactly are if we choose not to better ourselves, while "Borderline" (another of my favorites), challenges the listener to make the decision in their own lives to keep following the ways of the world or to turn it over into the hands of a higher power. No filler here everyone.. just straight-ahead AOR with a very powerful message to change something negative in our lives, whether that would be the way of living, thinking, or the approach we take in every step of our day.
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Format: Audio CD
A lot of people don't like this album for two reasons: 1) John Elefante and 2) Christian lyrics.
Steve Walsh left the band prior to this release and was replaced by Elefante, an unknown vocalist. Since most fans are really fond of Walsh's singing, they are also extra critical of Elefante's (after all, how does one replace a legand?). Three quick points: 1) by this time Walsh's voice was not the same as it once was (you can hear it in Monolith, Audio Visions and Power), 2) Elefante was not as good as Walsh in the studio, 3) Elefante was better than Walsh live (listen to Two For The Show and you'll get an idea of how Walsh sounded live). Also, Walsh was a much better keyboardist than Elefante and they are about on par songwriting.
While Kansas really couldn't replace Walsh, Elefante did a great job as vocalist on this album.
As far as the Christian lyrics, fans don't seem to mind the religous lyrics found throughout their music from the beginning. Kerry Livgren, one of the primary songwriters, had been on a religous quest since before Kansas was a band and he tried them all, really--and wrote about it. Only when those lyrics turned to Christianity did fans start complaining. Kind of wierd, huh? The lyrics on this record are not distracting whatsoever.
OK, now about Vinyl Confessions. Recorded in 1982, this is actually a good album from Kansas. Their 8th release, this one is better than Audio Visions (1980), Drastic Measures (1983) and Power (1986) and just slightly better than Monolith (1979). Only their first five albums are better (in other words, I'd rank Vinyl Confessions as Kansas' sixth best album of all time).
Vinyl Confessions is consistant, has prog-rock influences from start to finish and is well played by the entire band.
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