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Asia - Asia CD (album) cover

ASIA

Asia

 

Prog Related

3.16 | 471 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Here comes my feeling

Asia seems to be a much hated band among many Prog fans. However, some people seem instead to love them! I fall somewhere in between I guess. This is by no means awful, but it has some evident flaws.

I am a major fan of Steve Howe and follow his extensive discography very closesly. The other three members are also people I respect and like with connections to some really great bands like Yes, ELP, King Crimson, UK, Uriah Heep and others. You all know the story behind it!

Asia's self-titled debut consists of nine songs. Out of these, only Heat Of The Moment is such that I don't like it. (However, John Wetton did an acoustic version of this song featured on the excellent Steve Hackett live DVD Tokyo Tapes that I think is much better than this original version). As usual though, it is almost always a good band's worst songs that will be most appreciated and remembered by the mainstream audience. Some other horrible examples are Yes' Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Queen's Radio Ga Ga and Genesis' Invisible Touch (whenever I introduce myself as a Yes fan, or a Queen fan or a Genesis fan, I'm always reminded of this fact 'Oh, I remember them, they did that song Owner Of A Lonely Heart, right? Great song!' And I will always have to explain, 'Well, actually I hate that song, but I love the band, particularly their 70's output'. My audience is often puzzled).

The rest of this album is musically actually very good in my opinion. Some of the lyrics, on the other hand, are quite awful! The lyrical aspect would get even worse on subsequent albums.

My only real problem with this album (apart from the commercial Heat Of The Moment and some of the cringe worthy lyrics) is that its nine songs are too similar to each other having the result that there is very little variation on the album. This would be bettered with their next album, Alpha, which is possibly my favourite Asia studio album.

Asia is not at all as bad as some people say, but also not really excellent.

As an aside I can mention that this entire album was recently performed live by a reunited Asia featuring all four original members. In this live performance this material really came to life and was in my opinion bettered in comparison with this studio album that now sounds slightly sterile. One such performance was later filmed and released on DVD as Fantasia - Live In Tokyo. A great live DVD!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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