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Asia Archiva 1 album cover
2.18 | 40 ratings | 8 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heart Of Gold (4:46)
2. Tears (4:58)
3. Fight Against The Tide (5:30)
4. We Fall Apart (4:57)
5. The Mariner's Dream (1:27)
6. Boys From Diamond City (5:43)
7. A.L.O. (3:40)
8. Reality (4:29)
9. I Can't Wait A Lifetime (3:34)
10. Dusty Road (4:30)
11. I Believe (3:42)
12. Ginger (2:03)

Total Time: 49:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Downes / keyboards, drum Programming
- John Payne / vocals, bass, guitar

Additional Musicians:
- Andrian Dessent / guitar (Track 10)
- Nigel Glockner / drums (Tracks 1, 2 & 10)
- Anthony Glynne / guitar (Track 1)
- Scott Gorham / guitar (Track 6)
- Steve Howe / guitar (Track 12)
- Andy Nye / keyboards, drum Programming (Tracks 3, 7, 9 & 11)
- Al Pitrelli / guitar (Tracks 1 & 8)
- Michael Sturgis / drums (Tracks 6 & 8)
- Hotei Tomayasu / guitar (Track 1)

Releases information

CD Resurgent 104 (Compilation album 1996)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to frenchie for the last updates
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ASIA Archiva 1 ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(5%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (42%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

ASIA Archiva 1 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars An abundance of material

The first of two collections of outtakes and advanced demos which did not make it onto the bands official releases. As such, this album is very much "for fans/collectors only". The period covered by both this collection and "Archiva 2" is the late 80's and early 90's when Asia recorded the first three albums ("Aqua", "Aria" and "Arena") of the Payne era. Payne replaced John Wetton in Asia, so while Wetton's influence is occasionally present here, the Wetton era is not represented at all.

The quality of the music is understandably variable. While some of the tracks are as good, if not better than those which appeared on the three albums, it can be pretty clear at times why others were omitted. The opening track "Heart of gold" for example is a decent, typical mid-paced Asia song, which would have fitted in well on their later "Aura" album. This was the second track written by Geoff Downes and John Payne together, and was only left off the "Aqua" album due to an "abundance of material".

"Fight against the tide" is right up there with the best Asia have recorded. Why it remained hidden until it was swept up by this release, is a mystery. This was another track left off of "Aqua", an album which would have benefited greatly from its inclusion. Written by Downes with Andy Nye, as the band themselves say in the sleeve notes it has strong influences of ELO and Queen. It is notably more progressive in structure than much of their work.

"A.L.O." (which stands for Asia Light Orchestra) is interesting, as it was originally written by Payne and Nye as a demo track for ELO part 2. This was the post Jeff Lynne ELO project with which the two were involved, as was the legendary Jim Steinman. Originally titled "Quest for the key", it has a real ELO feel to it, closely resembling their "Rock'n'roll is king".

Echoes of the Buggles (one of Downes earlier incarnations) sound can be heard on "Reality" and "I believe". The latter is a tribute to Roger Daltrey of The Who, Payne having worked with Daltrey on his excellent solo album "Under a raging moon". While the song has the distinctive staccato organ sound of the Who's "Won't get fool again", the vocals are but a pale imitation of the great singer.

"Ginger" is a soft acoustic guitar instrumental featuring Steve Howe. This brief track was recorded around the time of the "Arena" album. Other tracks such as "We fall apart" (which almost made it onto the "Arena" album), "I can't wait a lifetime" (which was considered for "Aqua" and "Aria") and "Dusty Road", are prosaic and run of the mill. While such tracks justify inclusion here, the reasons for their original omission are more apparent.

The album is well presented with interesting sleeve notes detailing such information as how each track came about, why it was not included in an official release, and when and where it was recorded.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic Teams
2 stars In addition to Asia's Arena album, during the 1996-1997 period Asia released three compilations, four live albums, and one single. That's nine different titles. If you were an Asia fan, these were big times indeed. Unfortunately the sheer volume of releases overwhelmed whatever concept of quality the band (or maybe record execs) had.

Archiva 1 is as its name implies, the first of two archival collections of outtakes and unreleased material from the Payne era of Asia. As one might expect with such collections, it's usually a mixed bag. After all, there were good reasons why these didn't make it onto their corresponding studio albums. With this collection it became quite apparent to me as I just found one track after another giving me the urge to press that skip button. The quality of these songs, in both composition and performance is substandard for the quality AOR recordings Asia was well known for. Forget the progressive rock. There were only slight hints on their studio albums. Here it is entirely absent. I think the fact that the only songs I think are pleasing to my ears are the two very short instrumentals (The Mariner's Dream and Ginger) says volumes about how poor this release was.

The other problem I have with Archiva 1 is that it wasn't released with Archiva 2 as a single 2-CD set. By issuing these individually, it costs the consumer more money. And for what you were getting, at best I would consider it a rip-off. Other than the two instrumentals, the only other interest it gave me was the historical liner notes.

Only for Asia fans. Not worth the bother if you aren't one. Two stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Fight against the tide!

A release like this is almost by definition for fans and collectors only. The two Archiva compilations (continuing the tradition of having titles begin and end with the letter A) gather together some leftovers from early John Payne-era Asia i.e. the 90's. If you have the studio albums Aqua, Aria and Arena you will have a pretty good idea of the type of music involved here. If you rate those albums highly and you want more of the same, Archiva 1 & 2 are worthy additions to your collection. If you don't have those three studio albums, I would certainly not start with these compilations before getting those original albums.

Most of the songs here are typical of this era of Asia and as such are moderately interesting. A.L.O sticks out, however. It was apparently written for some latter day Electric Light Orchestra- related project and it certainly sounds like it! It is quite awful, actually!

Fight Against The Tide is a good song that would not have been out of place on the albums of the era, and the short acoustic numbers The Mariner's Dream and Ginger are very nice. The latter being by Steve Howe, and like everything he ever did, it has his signature sound.

As I said, if you are interested is 90's Asia get the original studio albums first. The two Archiva sets are really only for fans and collectors.

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars This is basically the first of two albums of out-takes and all sorts of crap that either didn't fit in with their regular studio albums or were so bad that they didn't make the cut. Considering the albums Asia was making at this time were basically more or less AOR garbage that was way past its prime, this can't be a good thing, and it isn't.

You have to be a real die-hard Asia fan to want this. I'm a fan, but I wish I hadn't bothered with this one and saved my money for something better. That pretty much sums up my opinion of this (and for that matter, the next one creatively called Archiva 2).

Latest members reviews

4 stars Archiva 1 is a rather good collection of unreleased ASIA tracks - songs like "Heart of Gold", "Tears", "Boys from the diamond city" and "Dusty Road" are likely to appeal to any ASIA fan, and the two instrumentals, "The Mariner's dream" and "Ginger" are true gems. I would recommend this to anyone ... (read more)

Report this review (#87010) | Posted by VelBG | Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A bunch of unreleased material from the last three albums... part one. The rating Collectors/fans only really applies here - the songs are very unequal in quality and this album sure isn't essential. There are very few highlights on this album - the opener "Heart Of Gold" is a nice pop/rock s ... (read more)

Report this review (#71106) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, March 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bought this album cheap used expecting something along the lines of their first album. That's not what I got... This album features John Payne on vocals not John Wetton not to mention that Steve Howe and Carl Palmer also both left before this album was recorded. The only good song on this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#50600) | Posted by | Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I bought this album through a mail order music club and have since traded it off for other CD's. I was curious as to the "Demos" of the "90's" version of Asia. I don't think any of this music is that brilliant, nor is it progressive in the least bit. It is said this version (band) of Asia has ... (read more)

Report this review (#26830) | Posted by | Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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