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"Dust in the Wind" is a song recorded by American progressive rock band Kansas and written by band member Kerry Livgren, first released on their 1977 album Point of Know Return.

"Dust in the Wind"
Kansas-dust-in-the-wind.jpg
Single by Kansas
from the album Point of Know Return
B-side"Paradox"
ReleasedJanuary 16, 1978
RecordedJune–July 1977
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length3:27
LabelKirshner
Songwriter(s)Kerry Livgren
Producer(s)Jeff Glixman, Kansas
Kansas singles chronology
"Point of Know Return"
(1977)
"Dust in the Wind"
(1978)
"Portrait (He Knew)"
(1978)
Point of Know Return track listing
10 tracks
  1. "Point of Know Return"
  2. "Paradox"
  3. "The Spider"
  4. "Portrait (He Knew)"
  5. "Closet Chronicles"
  6. "Lightning's Hand"
  7. "Dust in the Wind"
  8. "Sparks of the Tempest"
  9. "Nobody's Home"
  10. "Hopelessly Human"

The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 22, 1978, making it Kansas's only top ten Billboard Hot 100 charting single. The 45-rpm single was certified Gold for sales of one million units by the RIAA shortly after the height of its popularity as a hit single. More than 25 years later, the RIAA certified Gold the digital download format of the song, Kansas' only single to do so certified as of September 17, 2008.[2]

Contents

Background and writingEdit

The guitar line for this song was written by Kerry Livgren as a finger exercise for learning fingerpicking. His wife, Vicci, heard what he was doing, remarked that the melody was nice, and encouraged him to write lyrics for it.[3] Livgren was unsure whether his fellow band members would like it, since it was a departure from their signature style. After he played the demo for the band, there was a "stunned silence" and the band asked him, "Kerry, where has this been?"[4][3]

The title of the song is a Bible reference, paraphrasing Ecclesiastes:[5]

A meditation on mortality and the inevitability of death, the lyrical theme bears a striking resemblance to the well-known biblical passages Genesis 3:19 ("...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.") and Ecclesiastes 3:20 (All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.) as well as to the famous opening lines of the Japanese war epic The Tale of the Heike ("...the mighty fall at last, and they are as dust before the wind.") and from a book of Native American poetry, which includes the line "for all we are is dust in the wind."[3]

Kansas also released a live version of the song on their album Two for the Show and a symphonic version on Always Never the Same.

PersonnelEdit

Chart performanceEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - November 10, 2015". Riaa.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b c "In the Studio with Point of Know Return, featuring Kansas". In The Studio. September 7, 1992. Archived from the original on December 28, 2004. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  4. ^ Kansas - We Knew It Was Going to Be a Hit, interview (posted to YouTube on January 28, 2015)
    Kerry Livgren tells the story of how Dust In The Wind was written, and how the band reacted to hearing it for the first time.
  5. ^ "A Once Wayward Son Carries On". Christianity Today. March 6, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind". Biblehub.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 7 november 2015". Radio2.be. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Dust in the Wind in Canadian Charts". Collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ "Dust in the Wind in Canadian Adult Contemporary Charts". Collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "Discografie Kansas". Dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Infodisc : Tous les Titres de chaque Artiste". Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Discography Kansas". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - November 10, 2015". Riaa.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.