Kansas - Drastic Measures

Kansas – Drastic Measures


An unusual album by Kansas’ own high standards, and one that has been commented on by many saying it’s their most ‘un-Kansas’ album ever.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Kansas
ALBUM: Drastic Measures
SERIAL: QZ 38733
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: John Elefante – vocals * Kerry Livgren – guitars, keyboards * Rich Williams – guitars * Dave Hope – bass * Phil Ehart – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fight Fire With Fire * 02 Everybody’s My Friend * 03 Mainstreet * 04 Andi * 05 Going Through The Motions * 06 Get Rich * 07 Don’t Take Your Love Away * 08 End Of The Age * 09 Incident On A Bridge



An unusual album by Kansas’ own high standards, and one that has been commented on by many as their most ‘un-Kansas’ album ever. By this stage of their career, they were literally caught in a crossfire of their own making. Steve Walsh having departed for a new career with Streets, the band then bringing in Christian John Elefante as the new lead singer. He first appeared on their prior album ‘Vinyl Confessions’.

Also making a contribution was famed AOR producer Neil Kernon. I’m pretty certain he got the band running at less than 100% full throttle for this album, minds and hearts obviously elsewhere, particularly Livgren, whose burgeoning Christian beliefs were at odds with band members and fans alike.

Livgren also mentioned that the album was in fact recorded in a huge building in Atlanta, rather than in the traditional studio environment. Hence the ‘bigger than usual’ sound, coupled with Kernon’s flair for the dramatic (or is that drastic?) makes this a different Kansas album in comparison to past efforts.

The Songs

For all that though, you take the good with the ‘not so good’, as represented by the songs. As there are only nine of them, it’s not hard to determine winners and losers. Opener ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ is a good bombastic affair, containing a good sense of atmosphere and brooding power, as befits the title.

Though Livgren said he didn’t like ‘Everybody’s My Friend’, it is still an upbeat and energetic piece of AOR. ‘Mainstreet’ is a story of the pitfalls of the music industry, another upbeat rocker with Elefante’s trademark vocal stading out.

The track ‘Andi’ is a philosophical view of a young girl growing up with few friends, who simply wants to be lady when she grows up… ‘She hasn’t a friend, they think she’s a boy, they leave her alone, but what they don’t know, Andi has dreams all of her own’. I don’t particularly care for the regimented boredom of ‘Going Through The Motions’, nor the indulgence of ‘Get Rich’.

However, ‘Don’t Take Your Love Away’ and ‘Incident On A Bridge’ are superb moments. The former a sweeping melodic rock piece, the latter a bouncy upbeat tune, the lyrics according to Livgren, a chronicle of his time playing in the band, whilst writing it in such a way that it represented an epitaph of sorts.

In Summary

Thus ended Phase I of the Kansas story. This incarnation of the band chucking it in not long after. However as we all know, the story didn’t stop there, with a resurgence three years later with a new lineup including the return of Steve Walsh and renewed vigour for the excellent ‘Power’ album. The chronicle of Kansas continues to this day.


Fight Fire With Fire

Kansas - Fight Fire With Fire (Official Video)

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