Friday, October 11, 2019

"All I Wanted" by Kansas

Song#:  2918
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  81
Peak:  19
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the poor performing 1983 album Drastic Measures, Kansas made the decision to break up. A hits compilation, 1984's The Best of Kansas, would complete their contract with Epic and one final new song, "Perfect Lover," would be issued out as a single. It could only reach #54 at Rock. Then in '85, the band's original lead singer Steve Walsh (he had left them in 1981) got the itch to revive Kansas. He and two other original members got back together and padded out the band with two new members. The reformed group got signed to MCA Records and were able to record a new album titled Power. With the LP, the band moved further away from their prog rock roots and into more pop/rock territory. This first single certainly demonstrated a change in direction and it ended up doing pretty well. It got to #10 at Rock while being their first song to crack the Pop Top 20 since 1982's "Play the Game Tonight" (#18). It also made the AC chart at #14 becoming only their second single to get on that chart (the other was 1978's "Dust in the Wind," which got to #6). The album sold okay getting to #35. It was a good comeback, but like many it was short-lived. This song would be their last to reach the Pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  This is a tune I'd forgotten about. Probably because it wasn't that memorable to begin with, but at least I did recognize it once it started to play. This certainly isn't the Kansas of "Carry on My Wayward Son" or even "Play the Game Tonight." It was a definite stab at getting a Pop chart hit a la Survivor. They accomplished the task since it made the Top 20, but in doing so they lost some of their core audience who loved the band's prog rock Leftoverture days. I was never really a big fan of the band to begin with but their earlier work was certainly more interesting than this slick radio pandering track.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  While Steve Walsh was away from Kansas, he didn't remain idle. He formed a new band called Streets. While they didn't catch on in a big way like Kansas, they did get some attention. Their debut album, appropriately title 1st, spawned the single "If Love Should Go" (#7 Rock/#87 Pop). The band recorded a second album, but then broke up after its lackluster performance. Kansas had split a year or so earlier, so with Walsh looking for a new project, that is when he thought a Kansas revival would be a good idea.


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