By 1977, the year of Kansas City Slickers’ release, most bands had happily ensconced themselves in one niche or another--one was either Punk or Power Pop or New Wave or ---- (fill in the trend of your choice), but The Leopards fell into no such handy category. Kansas City Slickers was unique for its time--certainly no other record of its day sounds remotely like it--and remains so today.
Back then its uniqueness baffled critics who, in the few places where the album was actually reviewed, did little more than point to the album’s Kinks influence. While the influence of The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Easybeats and other Sixties groups is indeed evident on the album, such a superficial assessment does not begin to do justice to the cornucopia of sound on Kansas City Slickers. Herein rock n’ roll meets ragtime, old Hollywood musicals and other forms of early 20th Century American music, a delightfully original melange you will not taste elsewhere.
Recorded and mixed at Moon Studios--ie, the basement of Dennis Pash’s parents’ house on Maggie Lane in Kansas City, Kansas--the production and muscianship reaches a level of sophistication not often associated with basement recordings. Even so, protected by lack of technology from slick by-the-rote machinations of the professional studio, Kansas City Slickers retains its basement charm.
When Dennis Pash and Kevin Sanders first decided to release privately pressed records as The Leopards in 1975 it was quite a revolutionary strategy, the DIY ethos of punk still a few years in the future. The world would simply have to catch up at some point in time. Judging by the appreciative audience Kansas City Slickers has grown over the years--this despite its exceeding rarity (only 1,000 copies of the album were pressed)--that time may very well be now.
Release Country: USA Release Year: 1977 / Reissue Date: 07.11 Original Label: Moon
Track Listing ::
1. Road To Jamaica
2. Mind Of My Own
3. Dancing In The Snow
4. 57 Chevy
5. Bugle Boy
6. I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again
8. It Must Be Love
9. I'm On My Way
10. Raggedy Andy Raggedy Ann
11. Summer's Gone