Seeds Of Change Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered
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Special Deluxe Collector's Edition/ Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology / Solo album from Kansas guitarist featuring Ronnie James Dio / 12 page full colour booklet 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, unpublished photos and new interview with Kerry Livgren. Of all the greats to merge from the vibrant American scene in the 70's, few could match the grandiose vision of Kansas. Rising up from relatively inauspicious beginnings in Topeka, in less than a decade they were crafting multi-platinum albums and selling out arena tours right across the States. One of its founding members, and primary songwriter, guitarist Kerry Livgren was the chief architect behind that inexorable rise to success and songs such as Carry On Wayward Son and Dust In The Wind became indelibly etched on the musical psyche of a generation. As the decade drew to a close, however, inevitable changes were beginning to sweep through the Kansas camp. Pieced together during snatched moments of downtime away from the Audio Visions recording sessions, Livgren's first solo album Seeds Of Change is a long forgotten jewel. Featuring guest appearances from most of his Kansas colleagues, as well as cameo's from the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Jethro Tull drummer Barrie Barlow and Ambrosia frontman David Pack; it not only showcased the guitarist's versatility as a songwriter, but also allowed him to push the envelope like never before. Songs blessed with striking arrangements and a surfeit of stirring hooks, Mask Of The Great Deceiver , To Live For The King and their ilk still rank amongst Livgren's greatest contributions to the pantheon of progressive rock music! Track listing: Just One Way; Mask of the Great Deceiver; How Can You Live; Whiskey Seed; To Live For the King; Down to the Core; Ground Zero
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mr. Livgren presented his Christian faith with an integrity and honesty often missing in similar efforts. Avoiding the confrontational religious jargon frequently rewarded as "bold" in evangelical circles, he deftly built a tenable bridge to those who might be honestly searching for truth by remaining true to his own intellect and refusing to indulge in divisive, self-indulgent preachiness.
The album is not without controversy. The presence of Ronnie James Deo (at the time, the lead singer of Black Sabbath) troubled some within the Christian community, while its undeniably credible approach to spiritual matters left many unbelievers with a lingering sense of conviction. As a result, the album found itself in a nether-world between the church and the secular communities, with too much unadulterated honesty and too little partisan self-engrandizement to be widely celebrated by a majority in either camp.
None of this should stop anyone from listening to an album with some really good music on it. The subtlety of Mr. Livgren's lyrical approach leaves room for the spiritually unaffilliated to enjoy the material without fear of a forced audio-baptism. Christian listeners, on the other hand, might allow themselves to enjoy the album if they consider that having Ronnie James Deo sing Christian lyrics might be just what the Doctor ordered, and that his presence does not curse the recording or those who listen to it.
The album is not only significant as Livgren's first musical foray away from Kansas, it is also the very first album recorded by Livgren following his conversion to Christianity. Because of this, most of the lyric content professes his newly-found faith in a profound 'on-fire' manner. While "Seeds of Change" was not a successful chart hit, the album was and still is a classic in the eyes of long-time Kansas followers as well as fans in Christian Rock circles (The album was one of the pivitol and pioneering efforts of the Christian rock genre, in fact).
While each track employs different musicians with a varied sound, "Seeds of Change" is a unified conceptual effort offering some strong compositions and musicianship as well as lyrics which provide a strong witness to Christ. Amongst the musicians and singers are Kansas bandmates Steve Walsh and Phil Ehart, Barriemore Barlow from Jethro Tull, Mylon LeFevre, David Pack from Ambrosia and Ronnie James Dio. Kerry plays all the guitars, keyboards and sings lead on one track (Whiskey Seed).
"Just One Way" and "How Can You Live" are driving rock pieces that deal with bringing an end to spiritual struggle and newfound hope which follows. The blues-driven "Whiskey Seed", while not displaying an overtly Christian message, depicts the dangerous affects of alcohol abuse and has a strong moral in its lyrics. "Mask Of The Great Deceiver" and "To Live For the King" stirred up a bit of controversy because of who sang lead vocals on them - none other than the then-current Black Sabbath frontman Ronnie James Dio. Despite this, Dio delivers a strong performance in singing the absolute truth of who Satan is on "Deceiver" while offering some praise-worthy ad libs on the powerful "King". "Down To The Core" is another blues-rock piece with a soulful horn section while the epic closing piece "Ground Zero" ranks as one of Livgren's finest musically and lyrically - its subject matter dealing with the second coming of Christ.
As a special bonus, the 1996 CD reissue on Renaissance includes a 21-minute interview with Kerry Livgren in which he offers an historical insight into how "Seeds of Change" was made as well as discussing the individual tracks and the musicians and singers that contributed.
After 25 years, "Seeds of Change" still ranks as Kerry Livgren's finest album. The music as well as its lyrics carry a powerful impactful message. Kerry would continue to make music with Kansas as well as on his own as a Christian artist however, there is something special about "Seeds of Change". There really isn't anything else quite like it.
plenty of airplay in 1980 and 81 on many rock stations.
Songs that i enjoyed were, "Just One Way", "Ground Zero" with David Pack on vocals, another progressive rock classic, the 2 songs with Ronnie "Mask Of The Great Deceiver", a classic tune and "To Live For The King" another top notch track.
Kerry suffered a stroke in 2009, but is making great progress, his band Proto-Kaw have released their 4th album "Forth" in August of 2011.