Released: October 1976
Chart Peak: #5
Weeks Charted: 42
Certified 3x Platinum: 11/24/86
Undoubtedly their finest album, Leftoverture warrants Kansas a spot right alongside Boston and Styx as one of the fresh new American bands who combine hard-driving group instrumentation (with a dearth of flashy solos) with short, tight melody lines and pleasant singing. Each song on side one of Leftoverture is strong, especially the opener, "Carry On Wayward Son," which is blessed with a tough melody line and strong vocals by Steve Walsh. Most of side two is taken up by "Magnum Opus," an extended, primarily instrumental passage (in six movements, the first of which is "Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat") that has a lot more to do with the Flock than the recent works of Rick Wakeman.
- Alan Niester, Rolling Stone, 1-27-77.
Avant-garde synthesizer rock is a chancy field but there is clearly a substantial audience for this kind of music despite general lack of AM airplay.
- Billboard, 1977.
The title of the new Kansas album, Leftoverture, may imply that it's made up of outtakes from previous sessions. That, however, would be very surprising. It is an extremely strong album throughout and contains the excellent hit "Carry On Wayward Son." This is the sort of band one would like to hear boogie long instrumental jams at concerts; it combines the tough, hard-rock feeling of the metal bands with asshole-tight ensemble playing. Kansas can also tone things down and be appealingly sensitive, particularly on "Cheyenne Anthem," a noble song about the Indians' "trail of tears." The material (mostly by Kerry Livgren) features bright melodies and intelligent words. In these decadent disco days, with rock over-arranged to sound like the 1001 Singing Strings of the Starlight Symphony, Kansas represents the solid, Midwestern values of our vast musical heartland.
- Playboy, 7-77.
The rock hit "Carry on Wayward Son" catapulted Kansas (and this album) into the big arena rock circuit. * * * *
- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Led by the hit "Carry on Wayward Son," Leftoverture was Kansas' breakthrough album and a thorough representation of its assorted musical sensibilities, from the power ballad "The Wall" to the punchy rock of "What's on My Mind" to the long-winded pomp of "Magnum Opus." * * * *
- Gary Graff, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
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