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




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3.63 | 53 ratings

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3 stars Asia's reformation and best live album

3.5 stars

Finally, 24 years after "Alpha", the golden line-up of ASIA is reunited! This historical event was expected by the fans for a long time, although Downes, Howe, Wetton and Palmer only last 2 years by releasing only 2 studio albums within their supergroup. However, they were ASIA's best opuses. How did this reformation happened? Well, the non- historical members were insistently replaced by the original ones...

As you may expect, "Fantasia"'s set-list only focuses on the 1982-1983 era. No material from the 90's or "Astra" either. The eponymous debut is played in its entirety, whereas "Alpha" is represented by just 3 tracks: "Don't Cry", "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and of course "The Heat Goes On". The record includes a few surprises though. The first one is "Ride Easy", B-side of 1982's "Heat Of the Moment", repacked in the 1986 EP "Aurora". An average prog-symphonic AOR song. The second interesting initiative are ASIA's concert versions of one representative title of each member's original band: YES' "Roundabout", KING CRIMSON's "In The Court Of The Crimson King", E.L.P.'s "Fanfare For The Common Man" and also BUGGLES's well-known pop hit single "Video Kills The Radio Star"! Finally, the little novelty "Intersection Blues" is an enjoyable Steve Howe's acoustic guitar solo. Not bad but kind of out of place in this universe of fantasy.

The live renditions of the songs is overall pretty good. "Fanfare For The Common Man", "Video Kills The Radio Star" and "Sole Survivor" are even rockier than their studio versions! "The Heat Goes On" contains nice organ and drums soli.

Needless to say more, if you enjoyed ASIA's first records, "Fantasia" is the one and only live album you need. Nonetheless, if you're a newcomer, this double-disc may not be a pertinent choice. The set-list only concentrates on the 1982-1983 era and therefore does not give an overview of the band's career. Furthermore, the self-titled debut (their best) is over-represented.

Anyway, "Live in Tokyo" remains ASIA's best live release to date!

Modrigue | 3/5 |


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