Seeds Of Change

Kerry Livgren

Kirshner Records, 1980

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk


Kerry Livgren's first solo effort after a nearly a decade with his highly successful band Kansas marked his conversion to Christianity. The powerful outpouring of newfound faith at first comes off a little bit ham-handed, but the album is solidly performed and Livgren gathered up a great group of musicians to help out, including fellow Kansans Steve Walsh and Robbie Steinhardt and metal howler Ronnie James Dio, among others.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There’s a nice mix of songs on this disc: “Just One Way” and “How Can You Live” are straightforward, up-tempo praise songs, while “Whiskey Seed” has an old time revival feel to it, complete with woeful gospel choir and a message of temperance. Livgren does a rare lead vocal on this one.

For me (please humor this old metalhead), the two tracks featuring Dio are the highlight. “To Live For The King” is a pure devotional song, as its title implies; it’s powerful vocal performance as always by Ronnie. Meanwhile, “Mask Of The great Deceiver” is a rumbling, dark track, a perfect vehicle for Dio. The beauty of this collaboration is the juxtaposing nature of Dio's image and reputation. At the time, he was the singer for Black Sabbath, and his work with Sabbath and his previous band Rainbow had strong elements of the occult and some pretty dark stuff. Kerry initially chose him for his voice alone, but has said he had fun with the idea of a guy with Ronnie’s reputation singing Christian lyrics.

Besides being a solid set of classic rock, Livgren's testimony and faith were a powerful pill for the world of Christian music back in its day. Christian rock was a small, almost non-existent niche at the time and tended as it still does towards middle-of-the-road light rock. Livgren’s compositions are largely classic rock arena-style blasters, full of big hooks and choruses. A joyful noise indeed.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


A "very" pleasant surprise. Good stuff!

© 2008 Bruce Rusk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Kirshner Records, and is used for informational purposes only.