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Asia - Fantasia - Live in Tokyo CD (album) cover




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3.63 | 52 ratings

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3 stars Fantasia - Live in Tokyo is a concert which documents the reunion tour of the original lineup of Asia celebrating the 25 year anniversary of their debut album Asia. The band performed 18 songs including all 9 songs from the Asia album, 3 songs from their second album, Alpha; the song Ride Easy, which was a track which was first released on a compilation album; Intersection Blues, a Steve Howe solo guitar performance, and four songs from the historical bands that the members of Asia earned their fame from. The renditions of these four songs is quite excellent, but the choices were somewhat unusual. They chose to play The Court of the Crimson King due to John Wetton's time in King Crimson. This is probably King Crimson's best known song, but not one that John Wetton was an original artist on. Instead of playing tracks from Yes' Drama, the album in which Steve Howe and Geoff Downes appeared together, they decided to play Roundabout, which is a very good song, but a song that most prog fans tend to dislike because of its saturation on the radio. In addition, they played Geoff Downe's Buggle's staple Video Killed The Radio Star, which is best known for being the first video ever played on MTV. For their Emerson Lake and Palmer song, they chose to play Fanfare for the Common Man, which wasn't an ELP original, but an arrangement of an Aaron Copland song. They do a very nice version of this song as well, but it would have been nicer if they had played an ELP original.

I wish I had been able to attend this reunion concert when they came to town, but I was unable to go because of a prior commitment. Therefore, I am greatful to get a chance to at least hear the show, and possibly see it if and when it is released on DVD.

I am a rare breed on the Prog Archives, because not only am I an Asia fan, but I am a fan of all eras of Asia. As great as it is that the original members were able to clear their schedules in order to have a reunion tour, it is a shame that they had to break up the Downes/Payne line up from Silent Nation. Their two most recent albums Aura and Silent Nation were both very enjoyable albums. The three other members went on to release an album under the name GPS with Ryo Okumoto as their keyboardist. This was a very good release but not quite as good as the recent Asia albums.

I really think that this album deserves a 4 star as an excellent addition to any prog music collection, but since the experts say this isn't prog, I will only give it 3 stars, because it is definitely good, but it is not essential for a prog fan. At the very least, it is definitely deserving of the 2 stars because if you are a fan of the original supergroup then this is a live album that you must have for your collection.

rushfan4 | 3/5 |


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