Throughout the 70's and into the early 80's, Kerry Livgren had been guitarist, keyboardist, and principal composer for the successful rock band, Kansas. During his tenure with the group, he had explored numerous eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. These themes often appeared in the lyrics to songs on the early Kansas records such as Kansas, Song For America, and Masque.
Livgren's eventual conversion to Christianity in 1979, followed by that of bassist Dave Hope, created something of a rift in the band. The change of lyrical direction turned out to be the last straw for original lead singer Steve Walsh, who left to form the band Streets in 1981.
After numerous auditions, John Elefante was hired as Walsh's replacement, but hopefuls Warren Ham and Michael Gleason left an impression on Livgren, who was in the process of writing material for a second solo album for CBS Records. Instead of using different musicians for each song as he had done on 1980's Seeds of Change, he put together a single group consisting of himself, Hope, Ham, Gleason, and drummer Dennis Holt.
During sessions for the album, dubbed Time Line, it became apparent that the players shared many interests, not the least of which was their Christian faith. After years of feeling isolated and artistically stifled in Kansas, Livgren found working with fellow Christians refreshing and began discussing with Hope the possibility of leaving Kansas and forming a new band.
Time Line was released in 1984 and credited under the band name Kerry Livgren A.D. It received virtually no promotion from the record label who probably saw the side project as a threat to the continued success of Kansas. Livgren and Hope found themselves legally tied to their former band and had to get special permission from CBS to record future projects with A.D. for the "religious marketplace". It had never been Livgren's intention to start a "Christian rock band" but it appeared to be the only path available.
Spring of 1985 saw the release of their second album, Art of the State, this time on Christian label Sparrow Records and the first credited to the band name A.D. The group began touring, but were quickly discouraged by a lack of professionalism in the Christian venues. After the tour, Warren Ham left the band, and the remaining four members decided to produce one more album before ending AD. Michael Gleason was left to handle the lead vocals alone on the next album, appropriately titled Reconstructions.
In 1997, Livgren rediscovered recordings of two AD performances from 1984 and 1985 that had been recorded by the soundboard engineer. Though they had not been made for release, Livgren remastered them and released them as a "thank you" to fans on a CD-R title called AD Live. The performances include mistakes and technical problems left intact and is meant as an archival release.