Music Of The South Wind

I have a feeling we're not in Oz anymore.

I have a feeling we’re not in Oz anymore.

Happy Monday to you all!  I hope you’ve found all of those rotten eggs, nasty Peeps and chocolate Easter bilbies.  It’s time to forget about holidays for a few months and get back into the kickass lost music you can only find in The Nest’s Dusty Vinyl Archive!  Our curator DJ Scratchy and her adorable Sponkies have harvested some down home goodness straight from the bread basket of America for your ears only.  So relax, and prepare to enter the point of know return…

dusty vinyl

Kansas has one of the most convoluted and confusing early years of any band that ever made it to the bright lights of an arena near you.  But once they sorted out the membership and the names, they carried on to become one of the biggest American rock acts of the 70’s… churning out albums that were awarded with more precious metals than you’ll find in Kanye West’s teeth.  One of the more unique aspects of Kansas was the fact that they had a violin player, Robbie Steinhardt.  Had the devil gone down to Kansas, he’d have no doubt got his fiddle playing ass handed to him by Steinhardt as well…

There's nothing quite like long-haired violin rock music...

There’s nothing quite like long-haired violin rock music…

As more and more members of the band found God in the late 70’s and worked Him into their music, mainstream audiences began to quit listening to them.  By the early 80’s, the creative tensions caused familiar lead singer Steve Walsh to leave the band.  That ushered in the short-lived John Elefante era… and produced the song whose video got a lot of MTV airplay and introduced me to Kansas when I was only 8 years old, 1983’s “Fight Fire With Fire”…

“Fire” has the odd distinction of being the highest “charting” song Kansas ever did, peaking at #3 on the Mainstream Rock charts… though it only reached #58 on the countdown Casey Kasum brought to us every Sunday morning.  Despite all of their album success, they never had even a Top 5 pop hit, with their ubiquitous “Dust in the Wind” getting the most Hot 100 love at #6.

All we are is dust mites in the ductwork.

All we are is dust mites in the ductwork.

That video for “Fight Fire With Fire” is visually awesome for 1983, but still an utter mess that doesn’t make much sense… at least until the Wizard of Oz tribute at the end.  That’s OK, most 80’s videos made no sense at all, and we loved them anyway because they were fucking awesome!

Damn, I want my MTV...

Damn, I want my MTV

We’ll follow the yellow brick road to more lost earworm greatness next Monday…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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22 Responses to Music Of The South Wind

  1. OMG – the artists / bands you showcase take me back to my youth with a vengeance. lol Most of the songs I remember but would have had no idea who was singing if it weren’t for your posts.

    • I’m glad people other than me remember this stuff! There’s a lot of great songs from back in the day that just don’t get played anymore, and I know how fun it is to hear something I haven’t heard in a looooong time again!

  2. I like Kansas, my favorite was Carry On (for the guitar riff). They even were on my alltime playlist as the whole world worshipped Milli Vanilly and “real” music became unpopular :o)

    • One of my sisters was a Milli Vanilly worshipper. We gave her lots of grief when their scam was exposed and they wound up being nothing other than really bad dancers!

      • I have to admit that we actually wore such lycra shorts and tried to dance like Rob&Fab…. I’m glad my parents never bought me a video cam I would die with shame today watching that sins of the past :o)

  3. I think I was hiding in the ducts with the mites for the entire 1990s and in Israel for the 1980s. I think I have missed a lot of American culture, including the entire presidency of Ronald Raygun. On the other hand, maybe I didn’t really miss that much. Except peeps. No peeps this holiday. Not a single peep or chocolate egg, a sure sign that the kids and grandkid are all growed up.

    • No Peeps is good Peeps! Those things are nasty, disgusting, and probably bad for the environment… and they should be banned! If there was a candidate on the anti-Peep platform, I’d vote for them regardless of the rest of their record…

  4. Trisha says:

    There’s no mistaking what decade this song is from – it sounds so very 80’s! Kansas is another one of those bands that I liked when I heard them but didn’t remember the rest of the time. In 1983, my friends and I were too busy making prank phone calls and plotting new ways to torture our math teacher to pay much attention to music.

    • ’83’s probably my favorite music year! And probably also the year me and my sisters would pick up the phone upstairs and randomly dial numbers for fun… which only sometimes resulted in odd charges on the phone bill.

  5. Amazing the violin player’s hair didn’t get ripped out with his bow flying around like that. I had a shot of ear worm when I was out running errands this morning – played my “CARS Favorite Hits” – now there’s some ear worm material.


  6. de food servizz gurl saw theeze doodz in concert……a looooooooooooooooooong… time…. ago !!! 🙂

  7. I loved this song but didn’t see the video until now. I thought it was really good particularly as you said for it’s time. Also thanks for the shout out, you are the BEST! 😀

  8. draliman says:

    I love how there’s this 80’s rock “sound” – not knowing this song, if I heard it in the background it could be by any one of a dozen rock bands of the era, like Whitesnake for example.

  9. The Cutter says:

    There are a few times in that video when I thought the band members were gonna start making out.

  10. Good song for playing really loud in the car with the T-top off while my waist long bleached blonde & permed hair blew in the wind (so very 80’s) but the song was so Un-Kansas. They should have changed their name to Arizona or maybe Chicago (wait that was already taken) or Ohio. The older Kansas stuff was so smart. But on a slightly different note I love bands with Violins. I’ve been seeing a lot more with the pop punk and metal bands my kid listens to. Violins rock. Fun post. Thanks ES.

    • That was a transition a lot of 70’s bands seemed to make in the 80’s. Not sure how prog would have played on MTV. I didn’t know violins were popular with punk and metal bands! Now to get some violas in rock and roll…

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