By the time of their eighth album, Audio-Visions, Kansas had entered the post-platinum solo-album phase of the typical successful rock group's career. Leaders Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh were devoting time to making their own records, and Kansas was becoming a part-time occupation. The two divided up the songwriting chores on Audio-Visions, alternating Livgren's always spiritual and by now explicitly religious lyrical sentiments and ornate musical structures with Walsh's earthier and harder-rocking concerns. Livgren's Christian-themed "Hold On" ("Outside the door He is waiting") made the Top 40, and Walsh's "Got to Rock" was a singles-chart entry, but nothing here matched the music from the group's late-'70s heyday. Audio-Visions was the last of seven straight Kansas albums to go gold or platinum and the last album made by the group's most successful lineup. In 1981, Walsh quit. ~ William Ruhlmann
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