Kerry Livgren – Seeds of Change – 1980

Kerry Livgren made the big announcement in 1980 that he had become a born-again Christian. That caused a bit of friction with some of his bandmates in Kansas, although they continued making albums together after that. The album cover features a baby in the womb of a diamond. Kansas albums were always big on imagery, and I think this could be discussed at length (by someone), but the baby seems to be a pretty clear reference to being born again. Notably though, Kerry did the majority of his Christian themed writing for his solo projects and with his new band, A. D. This record includes vocals from Christian rock artist Mylon Lefevre on a few tracks, as well as lead vocals by famed metal guitarist Ronnie James Dio on “Mask Of The Great Deceiver” and “To Live For The King.” This is a 7 song affair, with some marathon song lengths reaching over 8 minutes long. There is only 1 song under 5 minutes on the album. The musical offering here continues on from a consistent arc where Kerry left off with Kansas at the time. It’s a record that would not isolate any fans, and the high level of talent he had to make this album certainly shows. It’s a great transition album for him, aptly named “Seeds of Change.”

Tracklist
1 – Just One Way – 5:46
2 – Mask Of The Great Deceiver – 7:36
3 – How Can You Live – 4:13
4 – Whiskey Seed – 5:33
5 – To Live For The King – 4:55
6 – Down To The Core – 5:18
7 – Ground Zero – 8:36

Credits
Kerry Livgren – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Vocals
Brad Aaron – Producer, Background Vocals
Barriemore Barlow – Drums
Bobby Campo – Trumpet
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Phil Ehart – Drums
John Fristoe – Background Vocals
Gary Gilbert – Bass
Paul Goddard – Bass
Joey Jelf – Background Vocals
Darryl Kutz – Harmonica
Mylon LeFevre – Vocals
Victoria Livgren – Background Vocals
Davey Moire – Vocals
David Pack – Vocals
Jeff Pollard – Vocals
Robby Steinhardt – Violin
John Thompson – Drums
Steve Venezia – Background Vocals
Steve Walsh – Vocals
Donna Williams – Background Vocals

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – CBS Records
Manufactured By – CBS Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.
Recorded At – Axis Sound Studio
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing

Kansas – Audio-Visions – 1980

The last album to feature the original (at least recorded version) members of Kansas. It is also the first “post-conversion” Kansas album for band leader Kerry Livgren. Lead singer Steve Walsh would soon leave the band to pursue solo ventures. It was also considered that his departure was influenced by the increasing Christian content presented by Livgren and supported by two other recent Christian converts in the band. The album shows a disjointed vision with Livgren’s distinctly Christian content and Walsh’s decidedly worldly lyrical influence. But Walsh was a very special vocalist and hearing him sing Livgren’s work is compelling. He also stayed around long enough to work on the demos for the follow-up album (Vinyl Confessions) and I do have copies of those demos. AV has all the trademarks and trappings of Kansas with progressive, classically influenced rock epics filled with progressive time signature changes, creative arrangements, violin interludes and thought provoking lyrical images. It also contains what could be Livgren’s finest Christian song on a Kansas project, No One Together. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes this song should rank along with Portrait (He Knew), Song For America, Journey from Mariabronn and Magnum Opus in Kansas “epic” lore.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Relentless – 4:55
2 – Anything For You – 3:56
3 – Hold On – 3:45
4 – Loner – 2:26
5 – Curtain Of Iron – 6:08
6 – Got To Rock On – 3:19
7 – Don’t Open Your Eyes – 4:03
8 – No One Together – 6:54
9 – No Room For A Stranger – 2:55
10 – Back Door – 4:20

Credits
A&R [Correspondence] – Brad Lentz
Bass, Vocals – Dave Hope
Co-producer, Engineer – Brad Aaron, Davy Moire
Crew – Clay Schell, Jerry Gilleland, Merle McLain, Steve “The Count” Venezia
Design [Album], Art Direction, Illustration [Additional] – Tom Drennon
Design Concept [Album] – Kansas
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Phil Ehart
Engineer [Assistant] – Greg Webster
Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals – Kerry Livgren
Guitar, Percussion, Vocals – Rich Williams
Illustration – Peter Lloyd
Keyboards, Vibraphone [Vibes], Percussion, Lead Vocals – Steve Walsh
Management – Budd Carr
Mastered By – George Marino
Photography By [Inner Sleeve] – Exley
Producer – Kansas
Technician [Studio Assistance] – Jerry Gilleland, Count Venezia
Violin, Viola, Lead Vocals – Robby Steinhardt
Voice [Additional], Sounds – Donna Williams, Joey Jelf, Lisa White, Terry Ehart, The Four Bassmen, Vicci Livgren
Written-By – Hope (tracks: B2), Livgren (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B2, B3), Ehart (tracks: B2), Williams (tracks: B2, B4), Walsh (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B2, B4, B5)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Axis Sound Studio
Mixed At – Axis Sound Studio
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Record Company – Don Kirshner Entertainment Corp.
Distributed By – CBS Records
Distributed By – CBS Inc.
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing
Published By – CBS Music Publishing
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.

Kansas – Drastic Measures – 1983

When it became public that Kerry Livgren of Kansas had been “born again” nobody knew what was next for the iconic 70s band. Drastic Measures is their first recording after that and it is a stellar album by any measure. The sound on Drastic Measures is harder than the sound that Kansas was known for due to songs like Dust in the Wind. The 80s demanded a little more modern and hard rock sound, and they delivered, but not without bringing in the softer sounds needed to bring the lyrics home, or the mood of a song like “Andi.” The opening track “Fire With Fire” lets you know they mean business right away. Even though it’s at a slower pace, “Going Through The Motions” still carries a strong rock vibe with a strong rhythm in it. After this album, Kerry put his efforts into his new band “AD” which was mostly new members, other than Dave Hope.

Tracklist
1 – Fight Fire With Fire – 3:40
2 – Everybody’s My Friend – 4:09
3 – Mainstream – 6:36
4 – Andi – 4:15
5 – Going Through The Motions – 5:43
6 – Get Rich – 3:43
7 – Don’t Take Your Love Away – 3:44
8 – End Of The Age – 4:33
9 – Incident On A Bridge – 5:37

Credits
Art Direction – Drennon Studio
Backing Vocals – David Pack, Kyle Henderson, Terry Brock
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Boxcar PeeWee And The Megapeople (tracks: A3), The Gang Of Men (tracks: B1, B2), Women At Work (tracks: B1)
Bass – Dave Hope
Crew [Kansas Crew] – Buren Fowler, Clay Schell, Davy Moire*, Jerry Gilleland, John Thompson (15), Merle McLain
Drums – Phil Ehart
Engineer [Recording Engineer Assistance – Bullet Recording] – Danny Mundhenk
Engineer [Recording Engineer Assistance – Le Mobile] – Cliff Bonnell, Guy Charbonneau
Guitar – Rich Williams
Keyboards [Additional] – Neil Kernon (tracks: A2)
Keyboards, Guitar – Kerry Livgren
Keyboards, Vocals – John Elefante
Lacquer Cut By – HW*
Management – Budd Carr, The Carr Company
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Photography By – Glen Wexler
Producer – Kansas (2), Neil Kernon
Recorded By, Mixed By – Neil Kernon
Steel Guitar – Jim Vest (tracks: A4, B3)
Words By, Music By – Dino Elefante (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to B3), John Elefante (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B3), Kerry Livgren (tracks: A3, B4, B5)

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Manufactured By – CBS Records
Distributed By – CBS Records
Recorded At – Lakewood Fairgrounds
Recorded By – Le Mobile
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Mixed At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – Son Of Other Room
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Carrollton, GA
Published By – Full Grown Man Music
Published By – Mastodon Music
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing

A. D. – Reconstructions – 1986

This album was the second and last album using “AD” as the band name.

This album saw the departure of vocalist Warren Ham. Replacing him was Michael Gleason who had worked with Livgren in the past.

This album had more keyboards so it had a more 80’s techno sound but it wasn’t done too strong. Kerry engineered and produced this album and some reviewers actually criticized his skills in this area but personally I though the production was on par with his other albums.

Track Listing:
1 – All Fall Down – 4:27
2 – Life Of Crime – 4:16
3 – No Standing – 3:56
4 – Exiles – 4:15
5 – We Draw That Line – 3:43
6 – Walking The Wire – 3:44
7 – You Are The Distance – 4:06
8 – Highway To The Heart – 3:45
9 – One Golden Thread – 4:20

Credits:
Art Direction – Jean Hoefel
Backing Vocals – Terry Brock (tracks: A2, A4 to B2, B4, B5)
Bass Guitar – Dave Hope
Design [Jacket Design] – Jim Shanman
Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion – Kerry Livgren
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards – Michael Gleason
Percussion – Dennis Holt
Producer, Engineer – Kerry Livgren
Written-By – Kerry Livgren (tracks: A1 to B1, B3, B5), Michael Gleason (tracks: A1, B2 to B4 )

A. D. – Art Of The State – 1985

This was Kerry Livgren’s first album calling his band just AD. This album bumped up against the mainstream record label and rumour has it that the legalities of Kerry getting this album out was a nightmare.

Kerry stated that the complete name change to AD was because he wanted to credit the whole band but behind the scenes it is fairly well known that his contract with CBS records meant he couldn’t even use his name.

This release was on Kerygma Records and distributed by Sparrow. The album itself has a bit of a Kansas feel but not as much as you might think.

Kerry’s songwriting skills are strong on this album and that helps the album stand out from his work with Kansas.

Track Listing:
1 – All Creation Sings – 4:22
2 – We Are The Men – 4:41
3 – Lead Me To Reason – 3:56
4 – The Only Way To Have A Friend – 4:16
5 – Games Of Chance And Circumstance – 4:18
6 – The Fury – 5:34
7 – Progress – 4:39
8 – Heartland – 3:42
9 – Zion – 3:26
10 – Up From The Wastland – 4:25

Credits:
Art Direction – Bill Murphy
Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Engineer [Assistant], Cover [Front Cover Concept] – Mike Gleason
Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Woodwind, Harmonica – Warren Ham
Bass Guitar – Dave Hope
Cover – Tim Wild
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Dennis Holt
Executive Producer, Management, Cover [Front Cover Concept], Art Direction – Ken Marcellino
Guitar, Keyboards, Producer, Engineer – Kerry Livgren

Kerry Livgren AD – Time Line – 1984

This was the 2nd album from Kerry Livgren after he and Dave Hope left Kansas.

While Kansas headed into obscurity Kerry Livgren’s Christian music career was just starting to take off. While most of the band members had connections to Kansas the album really doesn’t have much of a Kansas sound.

It has almost a funkier sound and features a brass section. Livgren wanted to have the band perform under the name AD, but the record label insisted he attach his name to the album making for a rather odd name for the band.

Track Listing:
1 – Time Line 4:04
2 – Tonight 4:53
3 – Make Or Break It 3:49
4 – Take Us To The Water 4:28
5 – Beyond The Pale 3:33
6 – New Age Blues 3:54
7 – Slow Motion Suicide 4:46
8 – High On A Hill 3:52
9 – Life Undercover 3:27
10 – Welcome To The War 4:11

Credits:
Art Direction – Ken Marcellino
and, Bass Guitar – Dave Hope
Band, Drums, Percussion – Dennis Holt
Band, Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards, Programmed By [DMX Prog.], Bass – Kerry Livgren
Band, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion – Michael Gleason
Band, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Woodwind [Woodwinds], Harmonica – Warren Ham
Concept By [Front Concept] – Ken Marcellino, Kerry Livgren, Mark Ferjulian, Rick Griffin
Engineer [Assisted By] – Davy Moire (tracks: 10), Michael Gleason
Executive-Producer – Budd Carr, Ken Marcellino, Mark Ferjulian
Illustration [Front Cover], Design [Logo] – Rick Griffin
Management – Ken Marcellino, Mark Ferjulian
Mastered By – Glen Meadows
Photography By [Back Cover] – Mark Tucker
Producer [Produced By], Engineer [Engineered By] – Kerry Livgren