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Asia - Then & Now  CD (album) cover

THEN & NOW

Asia

 

Prog Related

2.59 | 38 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Unable to cash in on their association with ASIA individually, the trio of Geoff DOWNES, Carl PALMER and John WETTON elected to resurrect the band in 1990 for a tour. Of course, mounting a tour without any product in the market seemed foolish, so a collection of old standards and unreleased songs recorded in the interim was packaged together as "Then & Now".

The first side features the US singles from "Asia" and "Alpha"; that's the "then" side. The "now" side (which is what fans were most interested in hearing) includes various permutations of the band, including once-and-future members Mandy Meyer and Michael Sturgis (Pat Thrall, who played guitar on the tour, isn't featured on any of these tracks). Since ASIA had about four years to come up with four new songs ("Voice of America" originally appeared on Astra), the new material is a vast improvement over "Astra". "Days Like These" (actually written by Steve Jones) was released as the single and snuck into the Top 100, despite lyrics more suited to a self-help seminar than a stadium. "Prayin 4 A Miracle" and "Am I In Love?" are typical of WETTON's downbeat, moody ballads, which isn't a bad thing at all. "Summer (Can't Last Too Long)" does.

Frankly, the band needed to be propped up on their past accomplishments to generate interest; even if the new songs are pretty good, they're a patch job designed to give the illusion that ASIA had re-formed. And eventually they did, with WETTON out of the picture, for 1992's "Aqua". Truthfully, that's the album to own if you want to see the future of ASIA. "Then & Now" is better suited to anyone who bought their first album and has yet to be stung by "Alpha" or "Astra".

daveconn | 4/5 |

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