Pig Newton & The Wizards From Kansas - Still In Kansas. 1969 USA (archival)

Still in Kansas is an interesting archival album from The Wizards From Kansas. Originally released by Rockadelic (and the version I'm listening to now) with band participation. The lion's share of the album contains essentially early versions of tracks (1969) found on their 1970 Mercury album. Though I own that album on CD, I'm not overly familiar with it, and I didn't do a back to back to hear the difference between them. Given their individual short duration, I wouldn't expect anything revelatory here. The other 3 tracks were recorded elsewhere reputedly in 1968 and 1969 with 'Clouds of Exchange' apparently being their lead-in demo song that landed them some marquee gigs. Again, more interesting than exciting.

The LP comes with 2 inserts, one a history of the band, and a second features photocopied newspaper articles and advertisements. For those that don't know: Pig Newton isn't a person, but rather it was the original name of the band. When they toured, they became known as Pig Newton & The Wizards From Kansas. Mercury dropped the Pig Newton appellation later. Even more interesting, to me at least, is that when they played live at Fillmore East in New York, they simply went by Kansas. How history could have been altered had they maintained any notoriety with that moniker!

If you're looking to hear these songs on CD, the legal reissue by Sunbeam in 2012 features them as bonus tracks, which is really what they should be (there's also a 2 LP set from the label). There are discrepancies in the dates, and the Sunbeam issue states the "early album" recordings are also from 1970, whereas the earliest date is 1969 rather than '68.

So a fine package if you already own the the primary album on LP, and would like the "bonus" tracks separate.

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