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Asia Fantasia - Live in Tokyo album cover
3.64 | 59 ratings | 8 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 - 50:54
1. Time Again (5:14)
2. Wildest Dreams (5:36)
3. One Step Closer (4:20)
4. Roundabout (8:41)
5. Without You (5:44)
6. Cutting It Fine (6:24)
7. Intersection Blues (3:39)
8. Fanfare For The Common Man (7:34)
9. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (3:39)

CD 2 - 54:50
1. Don't Cry (4:29)
2. In The Court Of The Crimson King (5:01)
3. Here Comes The Feeling (5:39)
4. Video Killed The Radio Star (4:39)
5. The Heat Goes On (9:15)
6. Only Time Will Tell (5:00)
7. Sole Survivor (6:52)
8. Ride Easy (5:27)
9. Heat Of The Moment (8:25)

Total Time: 105:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoffrey Downes / keyboards, backing vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars, backing vocals
- Carl Palmer / drums
- John Wetton / bass, lead vocals

Releases information

Eagle Records EDGCD359 . GAS 0000359 EDG; 2007 Eagle Rock Entertainment

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and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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ASIA Fantasia - Live in Tokyo ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ASIA Fantasia - Live in Tokyo reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 25 years after the original members of Asia splintered off, leaving Geoff Downes to reassemble the band in a variety of lineups, Wetton, Howe, Palmer and Downes are back together for a tour, live album, and a possible studio album (a quick recovery to Mr. Wetton. Prayers are with you). For those who griped that 4 guys who came from such keystones in progressive music went completely pop should give this a listen. Sure, you have the usual hits and what not; however, Asia dives back into the vault and perform prog classics flawlessly.

The debut Asia album is represented quite nicely with this live album. The usual staples are given to the listener ("Heat Of The Moment", "Only Time Will Tell", "Sole Survivor"), and a nice surprise in the inclusion of "Ride Easy" in an acoustic format. I do wish, however, that more songs from Alpha were included. It would be nice to hear "My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want), "Never In A Million Years" or even the touching "The Last To Know". That's still my favorite Asia disc.

Now, on to what really blew me away: the classics. First and foremost, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is probably the benchmark of this album. To be quite honest, I would've hoped that they did a King Crimson song that Wetton originally performed (i.e. something from Red), but they really nailed it on this song. Absolutely sublime.

When I heard that "Roundabout" was going to be on here, my first thought was how Wetton would handle those funky bass lines by Squire. Albeit, it would be difficult to match the original; but, Wetton displays the skill on bass that doesn't seem to be the topic of conversation when talking about his body of work. The man is a fine bassist, and the song is successfully pulled off by the band as a whole. Even Downes handles the keyboards quite nicely. The songs pace isn't quite like the original, but still holds one's interest.

The ELP inclusion is "Fanfare For The Common Man"....and it could be my second favorite moment of the album. The band just really grinds it out like the professionals they are, and it's fun to listen to them just completely rock out. Palmer hasn't lost anything and still displays that impeccable timing and finesse.

The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star" is quite fun...but that's about it. Sort of seems out of place amongst the rest of the songs, but adds a bit of levity to the set. Even Wetton breaks out the police megaphone to add a bit of distortion to the verses.

I know the majority of those who came down hard on Asia back in the 80's for not being prog enough won't buy this...which is a shame. Asia did target the pop market, but the songs are still fun to listen to even though I'm much older than when they first came out. I bought this the day it came out and the songs still take me back. Maybe I'm swept up by nostalgia, but it sure is good to see the original Asia back together and playing beautifully.

Godspeed, John. Get well soon.

Review by lor68
3 stars Well, add another half star at least (or don't add anything else, by regarding of the uneven recording), despite of listening to a few "oldies" from the classic prog/romantic scene ("Roundabout", "In the Court of the K.C." and "Fanfare for the common man") being a bit strident in comparison to some more commercial/pop hit singles such as "Heat of the moment" or "A Ride easy", which could make me change idea about the present reunion...but it's a minor question, because except on a strange execution of the above hits (e.g. "Heat of the moment", where S. Howe is not completely into the riff and the aggressive guitar sound of his original take dated 1981) as well as within their difficult intro of "Time again" (belonging to a few progressive songs of their debut album here just a bit uneven), the other songs are performed with a good impact, especially by John Wetton, whose voice is almost aligned to his glory days!! I think of a band with such a great experience, even though the set of keyboards used by Downes is not always suitable for their oldies and Steve Howe sometimes seems to be - just a little bit - a fish out of water (except on his fine Blues Intersection - even though this latter in their recent concert in Italy at the gig of Asti Festival wasn't so impressive - and of course in the harmonization inside "Fanfare for the common man" or once again regarding of the best guitar parts within "Roundabout").Instead Palmer is always a precise drummer (forget a few breaks through only where the whole band is not completely confident) and as usual excellent in his drum solo or once again within the classic instrumental track from "Works" by ELP.

Long Live Asia!!

Review by Guillermo
4 stars I bought this album this afternoon, and now I am listening to it for the second time. I bought it at a very good price in one of "the richest man of the world`s" record shops at a good price of approximately $17 U.S. Dollars.Yes, he is now the richest man of the world (above Bill Gates!), and I say that it is a good price because his record shops (which now includes his former competition record shops which he also bought recently!) have the tendency to sell most CDs and DVDs at a very expensive price (in some cases a two CD set at $30 U.S. Dollars or more!). I have to recognize that these record shops still have the best CDs and DVDs of Prog Rock here.

But enough of free publicity for this man.

This album is a "Nostalgical Trip" for me to 1982-1983. For me, the very criticized and underrated ASIA was and is a very good band. I`m talking about the original line-up, of course: Downes, Howe, Palmer, Wetton. I have their "Live in Moscow" album, and of course, without Howe this band was very different and with guitarists who never could replace Howe. Howe`s guitar arrangements and playing are very "Entangled" with the music of the original ASIA. So, I think that all the previous live albums which were recorded without him or even without Wetton and Palmer are now easily forgotten with this very good live album recorded in Tokyo this year. Two years ago I was glad to see in those same record shops some live CDs recorded by the band and released by Voiceprint, sold here at the spectacular pirce of $33 U.S. Dollars! I was so glad that I added them to the Prog Archives database, only reading later some reviews in this website and in others saying that the quality of the recordings were not good, and I also listened to some samples in a very known record shop website, and yes, it seemed that the recordings were not good, so I never bought them (and for that price, less!). But now, at last, here it is, a good quality live album from ASIA with their original and best line- up, sold at a very good price: a two CD set at the price of one CD!

I couldn`t attend their concert here which they played in March or April of this year, but this album is a good concert from the tour, showing the band in good shape:

Geoffrey Downes:his keyboards are good, the same as his backing vocals. Steve Howe sounds very good, and his playing is almost as good as in their first album. Carl Palmer still plays with a lot of energy and technique. His drums sometimes sound like "thunder", particularly his bass drum, maybe because of the mixing. John Wetton still has a very good voice, but sometimes he forces it a bit, but he still is a very good lead singer and bassist. The only thing that is sometimes weak are the backing vocals, which maybe were mixed lower.Also, sometimes Howe`s guitar is very low in the mixing.

The songs:

Most of the songs are played very well, particularly "Sole Survivor", "Time Again" and "Here Comes the Feeling" . Unfortunately, some of the songs from their "Alpha" album were played in acoustic guitar versions, which are very good new arrangements, but I could prefer "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and "Don`t Cry" played as they did in the album. "Ride Easy" is a new song for me, because I never have listened to the studio version, and it also a very good song, but again played ith a new acoustic arrangment.

Now, about the covers:

-"Roundabout"(YES): it sounds good, but Wetton sounds a bit forced in his vocals. Palmer plays the song mostly in Bruford`s style, and Downes plays a very good organ solo. Why they didn`t choose to play "Machine Messiah", for example, having in the band two former members of the YES`"Drama" album line-up?

-"Fanfare of the Common Man"(ELP): a very good arrangement, with Palmer shining in his playing, and good solos by Howe and Downes.

-"In the Court of the Crimson King"(King Crimson): a very good short version, with all the members playing very well, particularly Howe and Downes.

-"Video Killed the Radio Star"(The Buggles): obviously the most commecial song in this album, played very well and in a funny way. A very Pop song from 1979-80.

All the members of the band have their "spotlight moments" in some songs. Howe`s solo acoustic guitar piece (thanks for not playing again "Mood for a Day" or "Clap"!) called "Intersection Blues" is very good. Downes plays his solo part in "Cutting It Fine" in a very similar way as he did in their first album. Palmer`s drums solo in "The Heat Goes On" is amazing, and Wetton`s vocals and acoustic guitar in "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" are very good too.

In conclusion: if you like the first two studio albums of the band this is a very good and enjoyable live album from ASIA. I`m waiting for the release date of their concert DVD, which it seems it is going to be released at the end of this year.

I know that John Wetton has some health problems. Best wishes and a quick recovery for him.

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great live album for those who love Asia's debut album .

Sometimes, past days are really nice if we bring it back especially after 25 years. The original members of ASIA gathered and played a concert in Tokyo and this is the audio record of the show. I believe a DVD is going to be released as well.

Asia was never intended as a progressive band at its first inception. It was actually created as a project outside the legendary bands players: Steve Howe (guitar) of Yes, John Wetton (bass, vocals) of King Crimson, Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Geofrey Downs of Yes. The result was a debut self-titled album in hard rock vein that I personally like it. This live album starts the appearance of the band at the concert with the nice song from debut album "Time Again". The opening (intro) part of this track is very memorable for me. It was quite surprise for me when I heard this song at the first time because I could not imagine that Steve Howe had ever played such guitar riffs in this intro. Carl Palmer drum works have been tailored in such a way that suits this song. It's quite uplifting that this song is putas opening for the show.

"Wlidest Dreams" is also taken from the debut album with some sort of symphonic touch through the work of Geoffrey Downes keyboard. Carl Palmer drums make the song sound like a prog one. The intro part is really wonderful. This is one of the songs that I like from Asia. "One Step Closer" is a straight pop rock song and it is performed excellently by the band. During the communication with the crowd, Wetton mention that this is the first show from the original members of the band for "the first time". As far as band concern they already played in Budokan with "Asia in Asia" - but Wetton was replaced temporarily by Greg Lake for bass and vocal. I owned the laser disc of this show.

The band also performs Yes' "Roundabout" with the intro using acoustic guitar work like the original version in Yes "Fragile". But when the vocal enters the music, it' quite clear that Wetton does not suit the requirements for this song in terms of vocal. So, overall, I don't think that this is a good cover of Yes, and in fact it's disappointing. The only good thing is the acoustic guitar intro by Howe but the rest is really a mess - not a good cover at all. I'd better skip this track. "Without You" from Asia debut album is a good one performed here. It is followed by "Cutting It Fine". "Guitar solo" is a good one as well. Steve Howe rules!

"Fanfare For The Common Man" from ELP is performed nicely, especially the keyboard part by Geoff and powerful drum works by Carl Palmer. Keith Emerson in opening act of Led Zeppelin Reunion concert also played this tune with Chris Squire, Alan White. This "Fantasia" version augmented by guitar fills by Howe nicely. The addition of guitar makes this song much more interesting. In fact the guitar sounds amaze me because I have never heard Howe guitar work like this one. So, this cover of ELP is much better than the original version. "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" is also a nice track played excellently with good piano work and acoustic guitar work accompanying vocal.

"Don't Cry" demonstrates wonderful combination of guitar by Howe and keyboard by Geoff. It's symphonic at the intro part and it moves as straight rock music in unplugged version. Acoustic guitar and piano serve as main rhythm section. It's cool. The band also plays King Crimson's debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King" with good vocal line of Wetton and wonderful guitar work by Howe as well as mellotron drenched background. The band then returns to their own creation "Here Comes The Feeling" energetically. The piano work is really good during the passage of this song.

"The Heat Goes On" has a great opening part in which the music is symphonic followed by Howe guitar solo just before Wetton enters his first lyrical verse. The structure of the song is good and interesting and it moves the music smoothly in good upbeat mode. I can see that the band performs this song as good as when they still united at the first time the debut was released. The keyboard solo demonstrated in this song is really stunning with its melodic and catchy notes, soaring from start to end with organ style. Howe's guitar solo during vocal line is also nice. At minute 4:37 Carl Palmer enters with his jaw dropping drum work. It's so powerful. Carl still rock! In fact, this is probably the best track from this live album because it has a very energetic nuance from start to end.

"Only Time Will Tell" starts eloquently with its soaring keyboard sounds that remind us to the symphonic music followed with a break that lets vocal to enter the music. It's really cool opening. In fact, the beats and melody of this song are very good that make this song is enjoyable. The music is heating up with the next track "Sole Survivor" which has great opening nuance in uplifting mode. "Ride Easy" is a mellow track with catchy piano and wonderful acoustic guitar accompanying transparent voices of John Wetton. It's so catchy and making this song a pleasant experience to listen to. The vocal characteristics of John Wetton fit with this song. It's really excellent. The live album concludes with "Heat of The Moment" which was the band's one of major hits from their debut album.

Overall, I can only summarize from a subjective point of view that this live album has really pleased me. I do enjoy spinning this album from start to end. I enjoy it very much because Asia debut album means a lot to me in terms of my quest of rock music when I was in undergraduate study in Bandung, west Java, by the time the debut album was released. The band's appearance at Budokan under "Asia in Asia" title was remarkably good and provided me with good satisfaction enjoying the CD as well as laser disc. I cannot comment about this album for those of you who have not been familiar with songs in this album - so sorry for that. So, my rating is very personal and subjective. It's four stars ratting, for sure. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Modrigue
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!

Latest members reviews

4 stars After 23 years since last playing together, all four of the original members of Asia (John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes) reunite for 25th aniversary tour for their debut album. The album is a phenominal piece of musicianship and even holds a record by holding the #1 album spo ... (read more)

Report this review (#139215) | Posted by Tarkus31 | Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is FantasiaIt seems that these recent years the reunion of favourite bands of old is very much on vogue and we have witnessed the rebirth of Police and Genesis (on 10.7.07 at the Olympiastadion Munich by the way) and who knows who else. But this one is the one I've been very much looking forw ... (read more)

Report this review (#132462) | Posted by Bungalow Bill | Thursday, August 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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