Kansas - Dust in the Wind

Kansas - Dust in the Wind

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. The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 22, 1978, making it Kansas's only single to reach the top ten in the US. 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. The song was certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA on November 26, 2019, which makes it the second song by the band to reach platinum after ‘Carry on Wayward Son.’

Kansas guitarist Kerry Livgren wrote this after reading a book of Native American poetry. The line that caught his attention was, "For all we are is dust in the wind." This got him thinking about the true value of material things and the meaning of success. The band was doing well and making money, but Kerry realized that in the end, he would eventually die just like everyone else. No matter our possessions or accomplishments, we all end up back in the ground. Livgren wrote this song when he was under pressure to write a follow-up to the group's hit, ‘Carry On Wayward Son.’ While playing his acoustic guitar exercises, his wife suggested that putting lyrics to the patterns would yield his hit song. "I didn't think it was a Kansas-type song," he told Bruce Pollock. "She said, 'Give it a try anyway.' Several million records later, I guess she was right."

Kansas Band

Kansas was almost done writing and rehearsing the Point of Know Return album when their producer, Jeff Glixman, asked if they had any more songs. Livgren reluctantly played this song for his bandmates on acoustic guitar, insisting they wouldn't like it because it was not Kansas. To his surprise, they loved the song and insisted they record it. Livgren then fought against his own song, but was overruled. ‘Dust In The Wind’ became their biggest hit, but Livgren never did think very highly of it. "I tend to like the more bombastic things, like 'The Wall,' he said in his interview with Pollock.

Billboard praised the song's "evocative lyrics", "catchy melody" as well as the lead vocal performance and how the string instruments evoke the mood. Cash Box said that it has "solid melody, excellent vocals and harmonies, and an impactful lyric." Record World said that it "shows a new and pleasantly surprising side of [Kansas]," saying that "it's a subdued vocal duet accompanied only by acoustic guitars and an imaginative violin break." Ultimate Classic Rock critic Eduardo Rivadavia rated ‘Dust in the Wind’ as Kansas' 3rd greatest song, calling it "a stark and gentle lament that bridges the group's transition from intimidating prog rockers to accessible hitmakers." Classic Rock critic Dave Ling ranked it as Kansas' 2nd greatest song.

In the movie Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted go back in time and share philosophy with Socrates, who is impressed when Ted, played by Keanu Reeves philosophizes "All we are is dust in the wind."

Mug Sale

Label – Kirshner
Songwriter – Kerry Livgren
Producers – Jeff Glixman, Kansas


[Verse 1]
I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind
[Verse 2]
Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
[Instrumental Break]
[Verse 3]
Now, don't hang on
Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind (All we are is dust in the wind)
Dust in the wind (Everything is dust in the wind)
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind
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