Monday, January 22, 2018

Songs from '78: "Dust in the Wind"

This week, 40 years ago, "Dust in the Wind," the second single released from Kansas's fifth studio album, Point of Know Return, starting climbing up the charts. It would take months, but eventually it achieved the omnipresence which it was perhaps fated to enjoy. (Oh, don't lie: you started humming this song the moment you read the title of the post.) True, progressive rock was probably on its last legs by 1978, but its makers, like the band Kansas, still hung around, wondering what was going to come next, incorporating power pop hooks into their elongated symphonic-hard rock compositions, as well as throwing some folky art-rock into the mix. Like pretty much every other outfit grounded in rock and roll who ever turned, for whatever reason, however briefly, to poetry, the results were, as one delightful review put it, a "wan and ridiculous rehash of bargain-basement exoticism," which really sounds more like something that ought to have been said about The Moody Blues (of course, it probably was). Still, I don't care. Is this one of my favorite songs? Not nearly. Was it very much a part of the zeitgeist of 1978--and, for that matter (thanks, I suppose, significantly to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure), probably still part of today's as well? Damn straight.