Kansas: “Point of Know Return” (1977)

One of the greatest seafaring songs this side of a salty dog.

Kronomyth 5.1: A message floating in the sea.

This song still gives me chills. Steve Walsh was really a remarkable singer; the way he launches into the bridge of “Your father…” is the stuff of legend. I remember this song and, of course, “Dust in the Wind” being in regular rotation on my local rock radio station, i95. Despite clocking in at three minutes, there’s an ocean of emotion behind Point of Know Return that can hold its own with such classic seafaring anthems as “Come Sail Away” and, dare I say it?, “A Salty Dog.”

The original B side is Closet Chronicles, one of my favorite tracks from KansasPoint of Know Return. There are some days when I can spot the flaws in its arrangement, though on most days I’m too busy savoring its mind-candy moments to notice the imperfections. Both tracks, incidentally, are identical to the elpee versions. A slightly edited version of the A side was given a trippy video treatment that could trigger an epileptic seizure (consider yourself warned), linked below. A later 7-inch single reissue put “Point of Know Return” and “Dust in the Wind” back to back for a higher point of know return on your investment (or POKROI).

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Point of Know Return (Steve Walsh/Phil Ehart/Robbie Steinhardt) (3:11)
B1. Closet Chronicles (Steve Walsh/Kerry Livgren) (6:30)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single version
A1. Point of Know Return (Steve Walsh/Phil Ehart/Robbie Steinhardt) (3:11)
B1. Dust in the Wind (Kerry Livgren) (3:26)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in October 1977 in the US (Kirshner, ZS8 4273), the UK (Kirshner, SKIR-5820), Italy and Yugoslavia (Epic, EPC-5820) and Spain (Epic, KIR 5820) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #28 on the US charts (charted on November 12, 1977 for 14 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1977 in the US (Kirshner, ZS8 4273) with A mono on flip side.

  1. Re-issued with “Dust in the Wind” as back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Epic, ZS8 2101).

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