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Asia Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa album cover
2.79 | 60 ratings | 12 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Time Again (5:36)
2. Sole Survivor (6:25)
3. Don't Cry (5:06)
4. Geoff Downes - Keyboards (5:27)
5. Only Time Will Tell (4:58)
6. Rock And Roll Dream (5:51)
7. Starless* (3:45)
8. Book Of Saturday** (2:48)
9. The Smile Hast Left Your Eyes (Parts I & II) (4:59)
10. The Heat Goes On (7:23)
11. Go (4:49)
12. Heat Of The Moment (5:19)
13. Open Your Eyes (7:32)
14. Kari-Anne (Studio Recording) (5:18)

Total Time: 75:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Downes / keyboards, vocals
- Carl Palmer / drums
- Pat Thrall / guitars, vocals
- John Wetton / vocals, bass, piano*, acousic guitar**

Releases information

CD Rhino R2-70377 (1990)

Almost all the tracks on this album, with the exceptions of John Wetton's rendition of "Starless" and the bonus studio track, are included on "Gold, the Asia Story featuring John Wetton". Dejavu Retro Gold Collection R2CD 42-61.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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ASIA Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (57%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ASIA Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
4 stars An ASIA recently risen from the ashes crept behind the red curtain (in the hallowed footsteps of URIAH HEEP perhaps?) and for two sellout dates in chilly November held the Muscovites enThralled. John WETTON, his voice still limber with the last fleeting traces of youth, conjures the old ghosts again with moving clarity: "Time Again," "Sole Survivor," etc. Geoff DOWNES and Carl PALMER are serviceable but sound a little thin in the final mix, standing perhaps a step back from the reconstituted WETTON as he carves his way through the hearts of the freezing faithful. New guitarist Pat Thrall is prone to occasional histrionics, a beserker from the age of thin metal when agility was often disguised in a Poison'd blade, but he stays faithful to the groundwork laid down by Mr. Howe.

Sadly, my American-made disc (we put the "y" in "quality") contains a glitch that renders tracks four, five and six unplayable (as well as the tail end of "Don't Cry", though you won't hear me complain about that). So when the show resumes on my player, I'm suddenly transported to the ancient lands of KING CRIMSON for fine (but wholly inappropriate) renditions of "Starless" and "Book of Saturday". I'm more willing to indulge WETTON the history lesson on his lonesome, but dragging ASIA into the exercise sells their catalog short (surely "Wildest Dreams" or "One Step Closer" would have been more warmly received). However, I've underestimated CRIMSON's international (and generational) seepage in the past, so perhaps the Muscovites crave some scrap from this dusty feast as much as the Japanese do. DOWNES brings the program back to the land of Asia with "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes," treating fans to both part I and part II! I had no idea there was a part I, let alone a part II, but here you get the sleepy first treatment and a second treatment that'll rouse you like an alarm clock. It's an inkling of things to come as ASIA turns up the heat with "The Heat Goes On" and "Heat of the Moment" (not to mention the blazing drum solo from PALMER in its midst). The band lingers over "Open Your Eyes" with the touch of a departing lover and treats us to a new track, "Kari-Anne", as a parting gift.

As these shows attest, for two nights in November anyway, Moscow was the hottest place on earth. There's no denying that, to American ears, hearing music bridge the gap between wide ideological differences (noting that I'm more of an anarchist than anything) is a potent reminder that music knows no boundaries and pledges no fealty to the philosophies of history's bored intellectuals.

Review by Guillermo
2 stars This live album (the same as with the "Astra" album) shows (in my opinion) that Asia without Steve Howe wasn`t the same anymore. When I bought it I expected to hear a better guitarist that Mandy Meyer (who played on the "Astra" album). Pat Thrall is a good guitarist, but he is more in the style of Mandy Meyer: heavy rock. Thrall didnīt play the same guitar arrangements (originally played by Howe) that were, again in my opinion, essential to the sound of the songs. Some examples are the guitar parts of "Sole Survivor" and "Only time Will Tell". Thrall sounds better in the songs from the "Astra" album ("Rock and Roll Dream" and "Go"). Wetton, Palmer and Downes play very good, but the recording and the mixing of the album are not very good. The keyboards lack power due to the mix. Being recorded in a Stadium (like ELP`s "Works Live") is one of the problems, because the acoustics of the place are not as good as in other venues. I think that the best Asia line-up is the original line-up. I hope that some day will appear a very good official live recording of the original line-up, from the 1982-83 tours.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the best album by this band that I yet have heard. The time and place possibly sets the crowd to quite enthusiastic mood, certainly affecting the band's feeling to perform also. There's good selection of songs from the two first Asia albums. Sadly Steve Howe is not anymore on the guitar, I guess the Yes reunion and his solo recordings felt more interesting. From the classic line-up John, Carl and Geoff are present, and there are also few covers of King Crimson ballads on the set list. I don't think they were essential for listening at home, but can imagine how important it was for the listeners at Moscow in 1990. If one would like to have one album by ASIA, I would recommend getting this. There is also a video been shot from this concert, if seeing the musicians and the event would intrigue in addition of hearing.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars History is made

"Mockba" was the first of many live recordings of Asia to be released commercially. While the majority of these are sub-standard, being little better than bootlegs, this album is a reasonably creditable record of the band's visit to Russia. By 1990, Steve Howe was no longer in the line up, the band having already been through a number of changes. Downes, Wetton, and Palmer are present here though, joined by guitarist and vocalist Pat Thrall.

The band play a good selection of songs from their early albums, but whether these sound any better in a live context is open to debate. One of Asia's strengths is the quality of production on their studio albums, much of which is lost here. The notable exception is John Wetton's "The smile has left your eyes". The rendition here starts as a soft melodic acoustic ballad, only towards the end does it revert to the familiar style of the album version. The overall effect of this is actually quite moving, as it draws out the true quality of the composition.

Elsewhere, Geoff Downes manages to slip in a quick instrumental rendition of his Buggles hit (with Trevor Horn) "Video killed the radio star". Also included is a "bonus" unreleased studio track, "Kari-Anne".

A reasonable live album which serves more as a historical document, but not by any means essential.

Footnote - Almost all the tracks on this album, with the exceptions of John Wetton's rendition of "Starless" and the bonus studio track, have recently been included on "Gold, the Asia Story featuring John Wetton". This is a budget label double CD collection which also features most of the tracks from Wetton's "Archangel" studio album.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars You know the history of this band, of this "Super Group", well, in this case Steve Howe is not here, a man called Pat Thrall played in this concert, so im going to talk about the concert, not about Asia.

I wont review track by track, there are 14, and if you know this live album, of course you know all the songs in their respective studio albums ( well the most of them maybe), so I think this concert pleased the most of the audience, because it has some of the most commercial and well- known songs of them, so if you go to a concert of a band pop rock oriented, you will expect that kind of songs, and you will be happy with them. But, the point of view from a progressive rock fan, this album is boring, simple and repetitive, I say this because I find the songs here quite similar , the same style during the concert, but as I said above, you know the history of Asia, you know that they aren't a prog band, and you can enjoy their albums if you want.

John Wetton is here, so he can do anything he want , and in this case he and Asia of course, performed "Book of Saturday" and excerpts of "Starless", both songs of King Crimson with Wetton, it is a nice part of the concert, but we can think, Asia doesn't have more songs? Why a couple of Crimson`s songs?.

Anyway, pop rock, a complete 80`s sound, nice drums ( of course!, is Carl Palmer!) and guitars, keyboards not the best, "Sole Survivor", "Don't Cry", "Only Time will Tell", "Heat of the Moment" and "Go" are the main tracks here. This album is good, so for that reasons im going to give it 3 stars, good but non essential. (Not Progressive Rock)

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The best Asia line-up for me personally is: Carl Palmer (drums), Geoff Downes (keys), John Wetton (bass, vocal) and Steve Howe (guitar). Or, the other good line-up is when Greg Lake replaced John Wetton in "Asia in Asia" VHS. The performance under "Mockba: Live in Russia" is not the best but it's okay. I remember the first time I owned this album was in cassette format and then I upgraded into CD when it was available. What I like most about this live album is the coverage of classic tracks from first album. I also like the fact that John Wetton plays bass and does vocal job. It's because of Wetton was here therefore the setlist includes tracks from King Crimson: "Starless" and "Book of Saturday" (Oh man .. I love Book of Saturday very much! It's so cool ..!!!).

Because this is live record I can then hear "Time Again" (5:36) is performed dynamically with Pat Thrall playing guitar riffs and solo. He is a good guitar player. After three tracks are performed Geoff plays his keyboard solo and followed with another classic track "Only Time Will Tell" (4:58). The more I spin the CD I don't mind having Pat Thrall replacing Steve Howe at this track, he is rocking indeed. My favorite King Crimson track "Starless" is performed beautifully with Wetton playing piano in addition to singing. It's really great! I enjoy it very much. "Book of Saturday" is also played wonderfully by Wetton while he is also playing an acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, during "Open Your Eyes" there is no keyboard solo as Geoff played in "Asia in Asia", but it's still okay. This CD has a new good track "Karri-Anne".

It's a good live album by a legendary band. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Asia are live in Moskow following the release of three fairly pedestrian albums. But with the accomplished musicianship of Downes, Wetton, Howe and Palmer they were bound to succeed. They opted for a commercial approach, sucking the progressiveness out of the music that they had stemmed from. Instead we get a very melodic AOR brand of music that is commercially radio friendly, and therefore more accessible to a wider audience, including a female audience, Howe must have been shellshocked by this new crowd. In any case he was replaced by Meyer on their third album, 'Astra'. Then 7 years later he was back on their next studio album. In between that time the band toured everywhere to hone in on the success of the debut, a surprise success story. The prog feel did not surface until their albums 'Aria' and 'Arena' when Downes was the sole survivor of the group that became fronted by John Payne. But on this live release the guitarist was Pat Thrall so don't expect too much here in the guitar department; it is not Howe that's for sure. The classic lineup would return for reunion performances in the 2000s but the dynamic foursome were missing on this live release.

Let's go through these quickly. Time Again from the debut kicks things off and is similar to the album track. Sole Survivor from the debut is always excellent due to an infectious melody and has been overplayed live and on radio therefore is instantly recognizable. Don't Cry has one of the better guitar solos, and it is taken from 'Alpha'. Geoff Downes has a keyboard solo for 5 and a half minutes which is basically 'Video Killed The radio Star' as I guess he is from the Buggles so this justifies it. The crowd like it anyhow and thankfully you cannot hear them shouting "Ow-ah-oh, Ow-ah-oh". The rest of the track is piano soloing but nothing like Emerson or Rudess on show here, it is fairly pedestrian playing. Only Time Will Tell from the debut has a piano driven melody and strong percussion, and those keyboards that sound retro. The extreme commercial sound with 4/4 time sig is rather safe, as always in this era of Asia, but it works as clean melodic AOR designed to sing to. The vocals are always well accomplished by Wetton. Rock And Roll Dream from 'Astra' has a strong percussive beat and quite good vocals with a sing-a-long chorus. Starless is the classic King Crimson cover and it sounds fantastic along with Book Of Saturday. The familiar songs from the prog legends are a highlight for certain. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Parts I & II) from 'Alpha' is helped with some strong instrumentation. The Heat Goes On is a longer track at 7:23, from 'Alpha' with a drum solo from the brilliant Palmer, though I have heard better from him on ELP concerts. Go from 'Astra' is a nice little track with some melodic rock guitars. Heat Of The Moment is always a delight to hear from the classic debut, and easily a crowd favourite, one of my personal favourites especially the vocals of Wetton. Open Your Eyes from 'Alpha' features a catchy little chorus and some emotive singing, but very accessible and safe as always, though I liked the keyboard solo on this track and some cool guitar licks. Kari-Anne is the new one and is a studio recording, one of the last until the 1992 album emerged. It is as usual simple melodies, clean guitars and love soaked lyrics.

So in conclusion, this is Asia, the Asia that did not seem to be interested in the innovative progressive music that the members heralded from such as ELP, Yes, and King Crimson (though it was nice to hear interpretations of 2 Crimson gems). With the absence of Howe and the lack of musical innovation, and some poor production values I can wrestle out a 3 star rating, as long as you are not expecting too much. Pick this one up cheap somewhere.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I enjoy this album. Really. Somehow I have the feeling that Downes, Palmer, Wetton and Pat Thrall having a great party on stage and that sensation of good stuff is passed to the music. I enjoy some tracks of Asia. Is not my favourite band but the guys have their moments. This album particul ... (read more)

Report this review (#79148) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars All the standards from the first three albums played live. Add an instrumental version of "Video Killed The Radio Star" from The Buggles and the two usual tracks from the King Crimson era "Starless" and "Book Of Stadurday" and you get this live album. As mentioned before the production on this ... (read more)

Report this review (#71090) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, March 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I remember reading somewhere when this album was released that this was an 'Official Bootleg', as if in some way the word bootleg excused the appalling sonic quality of this release. It doesn't. Like much of Asia's output in the nineties, either with John Wetton or his watered down mini me, Jo ... (read more)

Report this review (#26811) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I've been there! Probably not the best show I would imagine. But well - ASIA in Russia! One of the first serious artists of the kind on our scene. Leo Seyer has opened first part of the concert without too much of attention from the audience. People came to see legends. I suppose for real fans ... (read more)

Report this review (#26810) | Posted by | Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars What is Pat Thrall doing in this band? He miss a lot of essential guitar arregaments in almost all the songs. His own arregaments doesnīt fit in Asia music. This is a pop record, there are only a few songs that save the album, and I think the rest of the musicians, that we all know about them ... (read more)

Report this review (#26807) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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