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2 stars Would it have killed Universal to simply RE-RELEASE all of the CDs individually????

No, instead, they ruin this by changing the fade-outs and silence between tracks. All to cram it all onto 2 CDs.

In addition, the re-mastered FIRST album they released with MAJOR tape drop-outs on a couple of songs. Most notable "Here Comes The Feeling"

Sometimes "Something" isn't always "Better Than Nothing"

They could have done a much better job with this.

Report this review (#26892)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Asia", "Alpha", "Astra" and "Then and now" in one collection

This double CD collection contains all the tracks from Asia's first three official Asia releases ("Asia" ,"Alpha", "Astra") plus the "Then and Now" compilation. It also contains three additional tracks, from the period, "Ride Easy", "Daylight" (which appears unlisted on some CD versions of Alpha), and "Lyin' To Yourself".

The tracks appear in the same order as on the original albums, with the exception of the ones from "Then and now" where they duplicate tracks on the other albums.

There's little point in reviewing the individual albums again here, but the collection as whole offers a convenient way of obtaining all the material on these early albums. The band of course recorded them when they were a "supergroup", of prog rock masters, who for the Asia venture, decided to record straightforward melodic rock.

I've always found the sound quality of the "Astra" album, both on cassette and CD, to be poor, and while there is no evidence of remastering here, the tracks from that album do sound somewhat better, if still a bit "tinny".

Given that the collection tends to sell for around the price of a single full priced CD, it offers excellent value for those who are interested in the early work of this band.

Report this review (#26893)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars ASIA had one of the biggest selling debut albums in the 80s with their self-titled art- prog rock masterpiece. Their ascent up the charts was a phenomenon that many groups never experience during a career. They never attained that kind of success again. While ensuing releases had some solid work, their stunning debut proved too difficult to match. The magical formula and achievements of their first recorded works began to dissipate with each successive release. Some of their songs were utter syrupy pop and nothing but a shadow of the powerful artsy progressive rock-pop that they had crafted so perfectly on their first outing.

"This 20th Anniversary" set fills two discs with every song from "Asia", "Alpha", and "Astra" including B sides and some rarities. John Wetton's vocals always reminded of Greg Lake of ELP. He has one of the great rock voices with an immense history behind him. For me, that is why I was originally attracted to this group because I was really into ELP. Besides the fact that is all you heard on the radio and nearly everyone had the album or cassette, it was and is great music.

This was good for me to go beyond the first album and really listen closely. I heard some tracks that I truly enjoyed, like "Countdown To Zero" and "After The War." Although the keyboards remained predominant, the energy was entirely different as you go from album to album, because of shifting personnel.

As sweet as success can be, it's even harder to maintain, and it doesn't matter what field you are in, it isn't specific to music alone. A modicum of success was maintained for several years then eventually the group faded to become another classic prog-rock historical metaphor. They are once again active with a recent release titled "Aura", which is a very good album in my opinion; just don't be too over anxious about what you will hear.

If you are looking for an all encompassing "Asia" set this is this one to pick up.

Rating: 3.5/5

Report this review (#26894)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Anthologia is my kind of Asia compilation. Since it includes all three of the band's Geffen albums (Asia (1982), Alpha (1983), and Astra (1985)), plus seven other Asia songs released on singles and compilations between 1982 and 1990, it includes nearly every Asia song I like (and plenty that I don't). At the same time, Anthologia does not contain any alternate takes or mixes, or any demos, early versions, or studio run-throughs - - it's made up entirely of previously released material.

Not all of that previously-released material is great, of course; Astra was weak, and none of the four songs released on the 1990 compilation Then & Now were even as good as anything on Astra. But Asia and Alpha, plus the non-album tunes "Ride Easy" and "Daylight," are worth the price of admission.

I'd recommend Anthologia: The 20th Anniversary / Geffen Years Collection (1982-90) to anyone interested in accessible prog-rock.


P.S.: As far as I know, the only Asia song released before 1991 that's not included on Anthologia is "Gypsy Soul," released in 1987 on the soundtrack to the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Over the Top. However, that song wasn't released on Geffen, and to plenty of the band's fans, it wasn't a real Asia song anyway (it was written and produced by Giorgio Moroder; John Wetton's vocals were the only thing connecting "Gypsy Soul" to Asia).

Report this review (#2217265)
Posted Saturday, June 1, 2019 | Review Permalink

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