||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Studio album by Kansas|
|Recorded||Late 1981/Early 1982|
|Genre||Progressive rock, Christian rock|
|Producer||Kansas, Ken Scott|
|Singles from Vinyl Confessions|
Vinyl Confessions is the eighth studio album by American rock band Kansas, released in 1982 (see 1982 in music). It includes "Play the Game Tonight", which broke the Top 20 and is Kansas's third highest-charting single, surpassed only by "Carry on Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". The album was reissued in remastered format on CD in 2011.
Vinyl Confessions was a major turning point for the band. After the conversion of both guitarist/keyboard player Kerry Livgren and bass player Dave Hope to Christianity, and the focus that Livgren placed on his religion in the band's lyrics, lead singer Steve Walsh did not agree with the new direction of the band and left to form his own band, Streets. Walsh had also contributed much as a songwriter, so the band was forced to find a new lead singer who not only had a vocal style that fit the band's music, but also could contribute material for the upcoming album. After a long audition process, the choice came down to three strong candidates: Warren Ham, Michael Gleason and John Elefante. The band eventually settled on Elefante.
"Fair Exchange" described the world under the rule of the Anti-Christ, while "Chasing Shadows" pointed out the frustration in seeking anything outside Biblical truth. "Diamonds and Pearls" emphasized the value of spiritual wealth over financial wealth, while "Face It", "Windows" and "Borderline" all had strong evangelistic appeals to the listener. The album's closer, "Crossfire," made the album's position abundantly clear in its indirect reference to Jesus Christ ("the one who rose").
Vinyl Confessions did not go unnoticed by the nascent CCM industry, which was just coming into its own at that time. Numerous Christian magazines trumpeted Kansas' new musical direction, and CCM Magazine even chose Vinyl Confessions as the No. 1 CCM album of 1982. All this attention created an entirely new audience of listeners for Kansas, but it also created further tensions within the band. Those tensions came to a head during the recording of their next album, Drastic Measures.
Vinyl Confessions was also the last album with violinist/vocalist Robby Steinhardt, who left the band after the supporting tour and did not return until 1997.
While acknowledging the comeback success of the single "Play the Game Tonight", Allmusic's retrospective review was largely negative. They criticized the Christian lyrics as being "often of a judgmental, us-versus-you nature", and insinuated that the album fell more into a generic pop rock vein than Kansas's earlier albums ("it was getting hard to distinguish Kansas from Foreigner and Journey").
Track listing 
|1.||"Play the Game Tonight"||Phil Ehart, Danny Flower, Rob Frazier, Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams||3:26|
|2.||"Right Away"||Dino Elefante, John Elefante||4:06|
|4.||"Chasing Shadows"||D. Elefante, J. Elefante||3:20|
|5.||"Diamonds and Pearls"||Livgren||4:50|
|6.||"Face It"||D. Elefante, J. Elefante||4:17|
|9.||"Play On"||J. Elefante, Livgren||3:32|
- Phil Ehart - drums
- John Elefante - keyboards, vocals
- Dave Hope - bass
- Kerry Livgren - guitar, keyboards, Synclavier Programming
- Robby Steinhardt - violin, vocals
- Rich Williams - guitar
- Bill Bergman - alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
- John Berry, Jr. - trumpet
- Jim Coile - tenor saxophone
- Ben Dahlke - bassoon
- Beverly Dahlke-Smith - saxophone
- Warren Ham - harmonica
- David Pack - vocals, background vocals
- Greg Smith - baritone saxophone
- Anne Steinhardt - violin, vocals
- Roger Taylor - background vocals on "Right Away", "Diamonds and Pearls", "Play the Game Tonight"
- Lee Thornburg - trumpet, saxophone
- Donna Williams - vocals, background vocals
- Producers: Kansas, Ken Scott
- Engineer: Ken Scott
Album - Billboard (North America)
Singles - Billboard (North America)
|1982||"Play the Game Tonight"||Mainstream Rock||4|
|"Right Away"||Mainstream Rock||33|
|"Chasing Shadows"||Mainstream Rock||54|