Play The Game Tonight

Album: Vinyl Confessions (1982)
Charted: 17

Songfacts®:

  • This was Kansas' biggest hit of the '80s, and it's similar to the power ballads that were popular at the time, yet still contains the group's unmistakable sound. The lyrics are intense, about someone who is playing to win at something that involves great celebrity and power, but facing the risk of grave consequences. It sounds like someone who is selling his soul for success in the entertainment industry, but it could also apply to corrupt politicians or even wealthy businessmen making profitable but destructive choices. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • This started out as a song called "Stay With Me Tonight" that was written by Danny Flower and Rob Frazier. It marked the first time Kansas used outside writers. According to Kansas founder Kerry Livgren's biography Seeds Of Change, they changed the title to "Play The Game Tonight" and re-wrote the lyrics.
  • This marks the first appearance of new Kansas lead singer John Elefante, who replaced Steve Walsh. Vinyl Confessions was also the last album that violinist Robby Steinhardt played on until 1997. The album marked guitarist/Keyboardist Kerry Livgren and Bassist Dave Hope's new found Christianity, and the result was more of a Contemporary Christian sound. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - San Diego, CA, for above 2

Comments: 3

  • Larry from TennesseeAll the background vocals on this song were done by Elefante and Roger Taylor of Queen
  • Ryan from Eaton, InThis song was on the first album following Steve Walsh's departure from the band, and John Elefante had come in as a replacement. The original version of this song, I believe, was "Let's Fall In Love Tonight" (or some similar title), and was re-written as Livgren, Elefante, and Dave Hope were all committed Christians at this point, and thought a song with such sexual references (seemingly promoting promiscuous sex) would be contrary to their world view. [Following a brief google search, I was unable to find the original version of the song, or even artist...but the information is found in Livgren's biography "Seeds of Change"]
  • Craig from Henderson, NvThus, another Fantastic song by Kansas. They always did have a great sound. Nice vocals too.
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