All I Wanted

Album: Power (1986)
Charted: 19

Songfacts®:

  • What we have here is a power ballad by Kansas. The '80s was filled with rockers from the '70s who got on MTV and added keyboards to their mix (Yes, Chicago and Heart come to mind), but Kansas missed this train, scoring just minor hits in the video era with "Play The Game Tonight" (#17, 1982) and "All I Wanted."

    This song is a classic heartbreak ballad, with lead singer Steve Walsh whinging over a breakup, telling the girl that all he wanted was to hold her, touch her, and love her. It was a giant leap from the classic Kansas sound of the previous decade, where they were known for intricate songs like "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Point Of Know Return." In the '00s, Kansas embraced their prog side by touring with Yes, but in 1989, their tourmates were Night Ranger.
  • This song was written by lead singer Steve Walsh and guitarist Steve Morse. Kansas broke up in 1983 after a poorly attended tour. Kerry Livgren, who was their original guitarist and composer of many of their most popular songs, formed his own band called AD, which recorded Christian rock. When the band got back together in 1986, Morse replaced Livgren, both as guitarist and songwriter.

    Morse was a founding member of an eclectic group called The Dixie Dregs, and would later join Deep Purple. In our interview with Morse, he explained how this song came together. "It was mostly a Steve Walsh song that he had been trying to get to fit with Kansas for a couple of albums," he said. "I came in after that was mostly written, and thought, 'You know what? If we change this and this and put in this instrumental and then have this at the end of your phrase, we have that payoff with this guitar line, or do it as a string line, that that would be really cool.'

    You know how when somebody walks in and you've been working on something, and they say, 'Hey, you moved this and this around. It'll work, definitely.' That's all I did."
  • The music video was a bricolage of black-and-white footage, close-ups of Steve Walsh, and some of the rotoscoping effects seen in the a-ha video for "Take On Me." Oddly, Walsh and Morse are the only band members who appear in the clip.

Comments: 1

  • Brooks from Tallahassee, Fl, UsaLyrics aren't everything, and computerization is not all bad. This is a great 3-minute song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Adele

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

Little Richard

Little RichardFact or Fiction

Was Long Tall Sally a cross-dresser? Did he really set his piano on fire? See if you know the real stories about one of rock's greatest innovators.