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ASIA

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Asia biography
ASIA were formed in 1981 by: Steve HOWE (YES) John WETTON (KING CRIMSON, URIAH HEEP, UK ETC.) Geoff DOWNES (YES, BUGGLES, and Carl PALMER (ELP). They were of course immediately dubbed a "supergroup" (in the way as CREAM, EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER etc. were). Over the years the line up has gone through constant changes, with DOWNES being the only founding member still present (although even he has not been ever present). Greg LAKE passed though the ranks briefly in 1983 replacing WETTON, but his voice did not suite the material, and he left before recording any studio albums with the band.

WETTON's return in 1984 resurrected previous conflicts with HOWE, who left to be replaced by Mandy METER (KROKUS). ASIA effectively ceased to exist between 1985 and 1987, when DOWNES and WETTON attempted to rekindle the flame. They recorded a few tracks together, but WETTON soon moved on again, and DOWNES started working with John PAYNE on alternative projects. In 1989, WETTON and PALMER got back together forming yet another line up with John YOUNG and Alan DARBY. The line up changes continued into the 1990's, with DOWNES soon rejoining and bringing in the since long serving John PAYNE. By 1991, the band still only released three studio albums. With the release of "Aqua" in 1992, there started a relatively settled period for ASIA in as much as the band became very much a DOWNES/PAYNE project, with other musicians being brought in for recording or touring as required. A reunion of the original line up appears to have almost happened in the late 1990's, but the momentum was lost, and it never materialised.

With such well known names in the original ASIA , expectations were high that the new band would produce high quality prog rock in it's truest form. ASIA however had different ideas, and went for a far more direct and commercial sound. The quality of the musicianship was undoubted, but many fans of the source bands were left disappointed by the self titled debut album. Commercially, the venture was enormously successful, with the band enjoying both singles and album chart success. "Asia" alone has sold over nine million copies world-wide.

The output from the band has been surprisingly consistent considering all the turmoil they have experienced. They have moved through AOR/melodic rock ("Asia", "Alpha") through a more symphonic sound "Astra", towards power metal ("Aria"), verging on prog ("Arena") before arriving at "Aura", while leaning towards thei...
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Buy ASIA Music


AXIS XXX - Live In San Francisco [2 CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]AXIS XXX - Live In San Francisco [2 CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Frontiers Records 2015
Audio CD$16.99
AsiaAsia
Geffen 1982
Audio CD$1.79
$0.24 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Goldline 1983
Audio CD$1.69
$0.24 (used)
The Definitive CollectionThe Definitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen 2006
Audio CD$2.77
$2.76 (used)
Silent NationSilent Nation
Special Edition · CD+DVD · Import
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$21.89
$9.93 (used)
Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Frontiers Records 2014
Audio CD$13.85
$10.88 (used)
The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-90The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-90
Remastered
Geffen Records 2000
Audio CD$4.28
$1.13 (used)
AstraAstra
Remastered
Universal Special Products 1995
Audio CD$1.57
$1.50 (used)
OmegaOmega
Import
King Japan 2010
Audio CD$24.71
$17.49 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ANGGUN - BEST OF, DESIGN OF A DECADE 2003-2013 CD+DVD ONLY IN ASIA!! USD $18.99 Buy It Now 40m 39s
ASIA 1982 1st LP prog supergroup w/"Heat Of The Moment" VG/M Wetton,Palmer,Howe USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 30m
Jay (Park Jae Beom) Park - New Breed (Special Asia Edition) [CD New] USD $20.12 Buy It Now 2h 26m
Asia - Asia Collection [CD New] USD $19.86 Buy It Now 2h 26m
ASIA MEI - SHARDS NEW CD USD $18.02 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Asia 2001 - Dreamland [CD New] USD $18.89 Buy It Now 2h 47m
, Path to the Heart of Asia Audio CD USD $4.61 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Asia - Fantasia Live In Tokyo [CD New] USD $15.74 Buy It Now 2h 51m
Exile - Asia [CD New] USD $28.75 Buy It Now 3h 10m
Super Junior - 3rd Asia Tour Concert Album: Super Show 3 [CD New] USD $21.97 Buy It Now 3h 10m
Asia - Xxx [CD New] USD $50.18 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Asia - Resonance: Live In Basel Switzerland [CD New] USD $32.98 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Sting - Songs From The Labyrinth (Asia/Australia 2008 Tour [CD New] USD $12.98 Buy It Now 3h 14m
David Lyndon Huff - Worldbeat Asia [CD New] USD $10.89 Buy It Now 3h 23m
Asia - Bedrock In Concert [CD New] USD $13.54 Buy It Now 3h 26m
Asia Minor - Between Flesh & Divine [CD New] USD $20.54 Buy It Now 3h 27m
FTISLAND - BEAUTIFUL HITS FOR ASIA 3 (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $50.86 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Asia Chill Out Lounge [CD New] USD $7.97 Buy It Now 3h 56m
Tvxq (Dong Bang Shin Ki) - 2nd Asia Tour Concert O [CD New] USD $17.46 Buy It Now 3h 56m
Tvxq (Dong Bang Shin Ki) - 3rd Asia Tour Concert [Mirotic] [CD New] USD $21.56 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Borodin,Alexander - In The Steppes Of Central Asia; Symphonies Nos.1 USD $17.46 Buy It Now 3h 58m
ASIA-S/T-JAPAN SHM-CD D50 USD $18.50 Buy It Now 4h 5m
Othmar Maga: Borodin Symphony No. 2 Steppes Of Central Asia Cassette NM USA USD $7.49 Buy It Now 4h 7m
Asia Lounge - Vol. 4-Asia Lounge [CD New] USD $17.82 Buy It Now 4h 20m
Asia Lounge Box [CD New] USD $17.69 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Asia - At High Voltage 2010 [CD New] USD $9.45 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Jang Na Ra - 6th-Dream Of Asia [CD New] USD $29.88 Buy It Now 4h 40m
Asia - Definitive Collection [CD New] USD $6.92 Buy It Now 4h 43m
Asia: "Asia" 1982 Geffen Records. Debut record by Asia. VG+ condition, USD $8.99 Buy It Now 4h 50m
Asia [us Import] 0720642200827, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $13.18 Buy It Now 5h 5m
ASIA RECORD - HEAT OF THE MOMENT AND OTHERS USD $5.00 [0 bids]
USD $10.00 Buy It Now
5h 20m
SNSD Girls' Generation The 1st Asia Tour 2CD Mini Album CD K-POP Sealed USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h 31m
SUPER JUNIOR 2nd ASIA TOUR SUPERSHOW 2 SUJU Concert Live DVD K-POP Sealed USD $42.99 Buy It Now 5h 32m
SUPER JUNIOR 3rd ASIA TOUR SUPERSHOW 3 SUJU Concert Live DVD+Photobook K-POP USD $52.99 Buy It Now 5h 32m
YES Drama + 10 JAPAN Mini LP SHM CD 1980 40th Anniversary Asia The Buggles USD $34.50 Buy It Now 5h 44m
Asia - Alpha (1999) CD USD $5.91 Buy It Now 6h 34m
Adam Lambert / Trespassing (ASIA TOUR EDITION CD + DVD) NEW SEALED USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 37m
ASIA-S/T-JAPAN SHM-SACD Ltd/Ed I19 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
NEW 100% Pure LP "ASIA" Asia "Direct Transfer Cutting" from DSD Analog USD $149.95 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Sporto Kantes Asia CD Single Pop Dance Music USD $19.89 Buy It Now 6h 55m
Jones Howard - Peaceful Tour Asia CD USD $18.69 Buy It Now 6h 55m
ASIA-THE ANTHOLOGY-14 TRACK DVD-NEW-RARE FOOTAGE-EU-NTSC USD $9.13 Buy It Now 7h 16m
ASIA 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes' 1983 Dutch 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $6.06 Buy It Now 7h 16m
The Steve Howe Album Japan Promo White Label Vinyl LP with OBI Yes Asia GTR USD $89.99 Buy It Now 7h 19m
ASIA 'Don't Cry' 1983 Italian PROMOTIONAL 7"/45 vinyl single USD $7.58 Buy It Now 7h 22m
LP ASIA ASIA **NM VINYL** 99 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 8h 4m
Aiello Danny - I Just Wanted To Hear The Words Asia CD USD $19.89 Buy It Now 8h 18m
Park John - Inner Child Asia CD USD $26.79 Buy It Now 8h 21m
Asia by Asia (Rock) (CD, Oct-1982, Geffen)Brand New USD $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 56m
San Woong - I Love You Asia CD 8805636050847 USD $29.19 Buy It Now 9h 13m
1961 KOKOMO~Asia Minor~LP USD $5.49 [0 bids]
9h 28m
Sosa Mercedes - Interpreta Atahualpa Yupanqui Asia CD USD $23.89 Buy It Now 9h 48m
ASIA Alpha LP MINT Holland Press 1983 Geffen GEF-25508 Original inner sleeve USD $5.00 Buy It Now 10h 43m
Asia - Alpha - GED4008 USD $8.45 Buy It Now 10h 46m
ASIA MINOR DIZZY REECE JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED A3685 USD $3.99 [0 bids]
10h 47m
Jpop JAPAN VCD x2 SMAP " Live Asia Version " USD $21.00 Buy It Now 11h 20m
Asia - Astra - LP Record VG+ VG+ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11h 23m
ASIA astra 924 072-1 german geffen 1985 LP PS EX/EX USD $13.97 Buy It Now 11h 34m
ANI DIFRANCO WISTFULLY RARE ORIGINAL ASIA KEPKA PHOTO CD / LP COVER ART POSTER USD $29.95 Buy It Now 11h 37m
JOHN WETTON- Arkangel CD (1998 +2 Bonus Tracks) KING CRIMSON, ASIA, PROG USD $6.47 Buy It Now 11h 47m
Symphony 2 / Steppes of Central Asia by USD $4.80 Buy It Now 12h 2m
ASIA ASTRA LP 758 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 12h 26m
Asia - Very Best of (Heat of the Moment (1982-1990), 2001) USD $6.82 Buy It Now 12h 39m
Connie Talbot: Over the Rainbow - Asia Platinum Edition (2008) CD USD $28.58 Buy It Now 12h 50m
Asia - At High Voltage 2010 NEW 2 x CD USD $6.80 Buy It Now 13h 6m
Aria by Asia (Rock) (CD, Jul-1995, Mayhem) USD $5.99 [0 bids]
13h 17m
WETTON - DOWNES: Icon - Live - Never In A Million Years JOHN GEOFFREY ASIA NEW! USD $11.11 Buy It Now 13h 43m
Asia ?- Asia USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 43m
ELTON JOHN "THE DIVING BOARD" ORG CD SOUTH EAST ASIA EDITION + 4 BONUS RARE USD $9.99 [0 bids]
13h 48m
ASIA Self Titled 24 KT GOLD CD Audio Fidelity (2010) OUT OF PRINT USD $42.99 Buy It Now 13h 55m
Lenka Two (2 II) 2011 Taiwan CD+DVD Asia Tour Edition w/OBI USD $25.68 Buy It Now 14h
PAUL McCARTNEY Pipes Of Peace LP feat MICHAEL JACKSON South East Asia pressing USD $17.50 [0 bids]
14h 7m
ASIA-ALPHA +2-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD BONUS TRACK Ltd/Ed I50 USD $35.99 Buy It Now 14h 14m
Vijaya Anand - Dance Raja Dance (Asia Classics, Vol. 1, 2000 CD Album Bollywood USD $6.06 Buy It Now 14h 14m
ASIA - RESONANCE - LIVE IN BASEL SWITZERLAND VOL 1 (RARE VINYL TEST PRESSING) USD $37.97 [0 bids]
14h 22m
MEGADETH "SUPER COLLIDER" S.E. ASIA ORG CD FOR THAI RARE USD $9.99 [0 bids]
14h 26m
ASIA SELF TITLED INCL. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS & MIDNIGHT SUN VINYL LP USD $6.36 Buy It Now 14h 31m
JAZZ & ASIA HUSSAIN BLEY MARIANO SHANKAR GIGER MUSICA JAZZ PROMO ITALY CD RARE USD $24.99 Buy It Now 14h 53m
Asia Geffen 45 Record #28872 NM After The War / Go USD $4.00 Buy It Now 14h 54m
TURNABOUT VOX Borodin MAGA Symphony #2/Steppes of Central Asia TV-34273 USD $6.95 Buy It Now 14h 58m
Asia, Don't Cry, 7" PS (1983 Geffen) USD $6.06 [0 bids]
15h 36m
SOUTH EAST ASIA SEALED Rebel Heart [Super Deluxe] by Madonna (2 CD, Mar-2015) USD $25.00 [0 bids]
USD $35.00 Buy It Now
15h 50m
ASIA ALPHA VINYL LP + INNER 1983 GEFFEN USD $9.10 Buy It Now 16h 4m
ASIA - FANTASIA LIVE IN TOKYO (BONUS) (DVD) NEW CD USD $18.99 Buy It Now 16h 11m
Asia Feat John Payne - Recollections: A Tribute To British Prog NEW CD USD $15.33 Buy It Now 16h 28m
Asia - Live At The London Forum NEW 2 x CD USD $6.80 Buy It Now 16h 32m
Songs & Dances In The Asia Min - Gre (2009, CD New) Semsis/Papagika/Papasidheris USD $14.80 Buy It Now 16h 36m
China Faye Wong ?? Remarkable Concert Disc 2 Karaoke 1996 Rare Asia VCD FCS3223 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
China Faye Wong ?? Remarkable Concert Karaoke Disc 1 1996 Rare Asia VCD FCS3221 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Mega Rare China Vicki Zhao Wei ??? ?? Swallow 1999 Asia CD + Promo VCD K038 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Mega Rare Hong Kong Beyond Band (1) Polygram 1996 Asia Karaoke VCD FCS4690 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Mega Rare Hong Kong Andy Lau ??? ??? 1993 Polygram Asia CD FCS4724 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Hong Kong Beyond Band 1994 Rare Rock Records Asia CD FCS4169 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Hong Kong Grasshopper Group 1990 Rare T113 Silver Ring Polygram Asia CD FCS4695 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 50m
Hong Kong Andy Lau ??? ??? 1996 Movie Shanghai Grand OST BMG Asia CD FCS4154 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Hong Kong Andy Lau ??? ???1996 Asia CD AA153 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Hong Kong Leon Lai Movie DVD 2005 East Asia Label BSDVDC129 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Hong Kong Beyond Band Video CD 2 1996 Polygram Asia Karaoke VCD FCS4168 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Hong Kong Jacky Cheung ??? ??? 1997 Mega Rare ASIA CD AA143 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 16h 56m
ASIA- Live Picturehouse Edinburgh 2010 CD X2 LIMITED EDITION Omega USD $15.17 Buy It Now 16h 57m
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ASIA shows & tickets


  • Halifax Jazz Festival 2015 on 8 Jul 2015

ASIA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ASIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 411 ratings
Asia
1982
2.78 | 242 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.56 | 174 ratings
Astra
1985
2.87 | 140 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.74 | 108 ratings
Aria
1994
3.18 | 107 ratings
Arena
1996
3.19 | 118 ratings
Aura
2001
3.18 | 104 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.16 | 142 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.07 | 116 ratings
Omega
2010
2.92 | 101 ratings
XXX
2012
2.80 | 71 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.86 | 14 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Recollections: A Tribute To British Prog
2014

ASIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.77 | 42 ratings
Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa
1990
2.24 | 6 ratings
Now: Live In Nottingham
1997
2.00 | 6 ratings
Asia Live In Osaka
1997
1.09 | 7 ratings
Live In Koln
1997
2.15 | 7 ratings
Asia Live In Philadelphia
1997
3.08 | 5 ratings
Live At The Town & Country Club
1999
2.68 | 6 ratings
Live Acoustic
1999
3.08 | 5 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.00 | 3 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
2001
3.86 | 7 ratings
America - Live In The Usa
2002
2.75 | 7 ratings
Dragon Attack
2003
2.18 | 6 ratings
Live in Buffalo
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live in Hyogo
2003
1.60 | 5 ratings
Live in Massachusetts '83
2004
3.00 | 9 ratings
Live In Nottingham
2007
3.69 | 40 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
3.08 | 5 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.35 | 7 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
3.00 | 3 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in America
2015

ASIA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.17 | 20 ratings
Asia In Asia (VHS)
1984
2.21 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.15 | 13 ratings
Live In Moscow 1990 (DVD)
2003
3.13 | 11 ratings
America: Live in the USA (DVD)
2003
3.69 | 28 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
2007
3.75 | 8 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour - Live in Cambridge 2009
2010

ASIA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.56 | 45 ratings
Then & Now
1990
2.16 | 28 ratings
Archiva 1
1996
1.83 | 28 ratings
Archiva 2
1996
3.09 | 4 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
1997
3.00 | 10 ratings
Rare
1999
3.44 | 16 ratings
Anthology
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
Axioms
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2000
2.84 | 18 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
2000
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.40 | 18 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
2002
3.79 | 14 ratings
Gold
2005
2.40 | 5 ratings
Archiva 1 & 2
2005

ASIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.37 | 8 ratings
Aurora (EP)
1986
3.25 | 4 ratings
Long Way From Home
2005
2.09 | 3 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Military Man (EP)
2009

ASIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Then & Now  by ASIA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
2.56 | 45 ratings

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Then & Now
Asia Prog Related

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This is one of those controverted bands featured here in ProgArchives, because their music tends more to be under the pop-rock scene than the progressive rock one, despite it was formed by prog rock musicians. For some people, Asia was the first successful supergroup in musical history, for others, it was a project meant to earn millions of dollars, but anyway, they created themselves a career with some highs and lows, but they have prevailed in the hearts of their solid fan base.

I am not a fan of Asia, however, I do like some of their songs and have a special feeling towards their "Then & Now" compilation, because it was one of the first best-of-albums I ever bought, and sadly, one of the first I ever exchanged with a stranger. So as you can imagine, this album features some of the best known songs (a.k.a. hits) from the band, which was released in 1990, in a time when Asia themselves was changing.

So basically, what you will find here is a nice, maybe not necessary, but not bad compilation of AOR/prog-pop/rock/whatever music with 10 songs that range from 3-5 minutes. For a progressive rock fan it should be a pleasure to listen a band with Wetton, Palmer and Downes together (along with Howe, of course) but this might be disappointing. Songs that reached popular charts, songs that are well composed but have a truly catchy and poppy tendency, songs for a completely different audience. Some of the hits you will find here are "Only Time Will Tell", "Heat of the Moment", "Don't Cry" and "Am I in Love?" Songs that you might listen at a radio station, or if you prefer, in this CD/LP on your collection.

Enjoy it!

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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.13 | 411 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars The debut album by the band that every serious progger loves to hate, yeah, i'm talking 'bout ASIA which finds John Wetton (King Crimson, Family, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, Wishbone Ash), Steve Howe (Yes), Geoff Downes (Yes, The Buggles) and Carl Palmer (ELP, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster) synergizing their lengthy prog resumes into a prog power pop album that not only sent a shock wave throughout the prog world but further intensified it by becoming a huuuuge hit on the pop charts (hitting #1 on Billboard and even generating a #4 single with "Heat Of The Moment"). This was new territory. Polished prog refined to pop and enjoying heavy rotation on MTV alongside the likes of the Gogos, Men At Work, Toto, Survivor and Olivia Newton-John. Well, how could they?!!!!!

This album actually has its roots in the "Drama" album by Yes where the band was looking to update their sound into an 80s radio friendly style without seriously sacrificing the prog aspects that their loyal 70s followers craved. With Yes veterans working with new wavers such as Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes they concocted a new mix of the old and new in a style that alienated some old fans who didn't want to move into new territory and picked up newer younger fans who were a little more keen on experiments.

While "Drama" faired well in the UK, elsewhere it was a bit of a miss. Yes decided to take a break from each other and split into two camps. One branch which included Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Chris Squire went on to create a band called Cinema which for some reason changed the name back to Yes for their 1983 album 90125 and the other branch formed ASIA. Both albums took the approach of "Drama" and seriously de-progged it. Actually i should say they condensed the prog into pop-like song structures making this one of the most surreal albums of the entire 80s. These two albums actually sound related as the guitar riffs of "Heat Of The Moment" and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" sound very similar. This would also be the album where ASIA took over Roger Dean's artwork for their albums and Yes would abandon them for the rather uninspiring simplicity that would continue for a while.

Personally i find this album quite entertaining. You hear all the characteristics of full-blown symphonic prog on board with the lush keyboard sweeps, the intricate guitar solos, frenzied time signatures, bombastic deliveries and jazz-tinged drum rolls but they occur in the context of a song structured in the popular music of the day. The music is complex in its minutia but structured melodically to be very catchy and ear-worm generating. The musicianship sounds over-the-top for such simple songs but somehow this album works for me.

Although not one i indulge in on a regular basis i find the efforts to be seductive and introducing a new marriage of styles that hadn't been so successfully fulfilled. I really don't understand the contempt for this one. It has beautiful melodies, strong musical deliveries and oh yeah! Maybe it's the banal lyrics. I can understand that one. Maybe if they were singing about psilocybin enemas, nonsensical verbose meanderings or included unintelligible utterings this would have been better received. Who knows, but despite the "Oooo baby" lyrics that tend to dominate i find it gives this a light fluffy feel for a prog pop album. Overall this album is hardly the best ever to grace either the prog or pop world but it is good piece of exactly what it is trying to be. 3.5 but rounded up because it doesn't get enough love in these here parts :)

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 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 242 ratings

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Alpha
Asia Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Released a year on from the self-titled debut, Asia's 1983 album `Alpha' saw the supergroup - comprised of John Wetton (King Crimson), Carl Palmer (E.L.P), Geoff Downes and Steve Howe (both of Yes) delivering another round of streamlined and gutsy arena pop/rock with very slight progressive rock flourishes. The debut offered snappy proggy playing worked into catchy rock/pop arrangements, but much of the light progressive touches have already been removed, meaning that most of the ten tracks here are fairly straight-forward and often AOR styled. But even if the production is a bit stale and clinical, and you avoid reading too much into the clichéd and `woe-is-my-relationship' lyrics, there's still cool playing trying to get through, and at worst it's a reliable collection of solid rock tunes.

Steve Howe seems almost totally absent from the opening two numbers, just providing middling playing that doesn't stand out at all. They're John Wetton driven tracks, the basic but brash rocker `Don't Cry' that improves on repeated listens, and `The Smile Has Left Your Eyes', a slushy power ballad. Thankfully the album starts to pick up a bit more steam from here. `Never In A Million Years' has more powerful chugging guitar driven verses with nice group harmonies in the chorus. The fourth track `My Own Time' is the first time on the disc that band seems to come to life, with rambunctious drumming from Carl Palmer, Howe starting to take flight, and the boisterous chorus is catchy and chest-beating. `The Heat Goes On' is pretty mindless, but there's a foot-tapping up-tempo strut charging it, with an aggressive and tasty Hammond organ run from Geoff Downes in the middle.

`Eye to Eye' opens the second side, racing through in just over three minutes, energized by slightly loopy and manic synths and rippling electric guitar duels, with memorable falsetto vocals from Wetton at the end of each line. `The Last To Know' is a solemn piano ballad with a power chorus. Howe seems to be about to erupt in guitar solo flight after a bit of grunt throughout it, but never really takes off. `True Colours' is heavy with thick synths and bashing ferocious drumming with a bombastic chorus. Despite having verses that are a little dull, `Midnight Sun' more than delivers with it's emotive and dreamy chorus, and finally Howe lets rip with an inspired lengthier guitar solo. At over six minutes, `Open Your Eyes' is the longest piece here, and its definitely the best showcase for the talent of the four players. An upbeat and memorable joyous chorus repeats around colorful synth washes, a driving beat and wailing guitar fills, and this time you can almost hear Wetton's chunky bass trying to break through.

In all honesty, even the best songs on `Alpha' probably aren't half as catchy and strong as anything off the debut album, nor is the same energy and need to impress present from there either. It's kind of `more of the same', just not quite as good, and the fairly cold, flat production certainly doesn't do much to impress. Asia are an easy target of ridicule for many prog fans, but if you don't mind well-played straight-forward rock by a bunch of first- rate musicians and you're forgiving of the style they chose to play in, there's still worthwhile music to enjoy on a surface level throughout `Alpha'.

Two and a half stars, barely rounded up to three.

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 Phoenix by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.16 | 142 ratings

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Phoenix
Asia Prog Related

Review by OldSchoolProg

3 stars When this album first came out, I was very disappointed. The original line-up was back, but for me, they failed to capture that prog-lite sound of the initial first releases. It was heavily (and admittedly) dominated by Wetton and Downes led songs with very little input from Howe, and Palmer seemed to fade into the background as just another session drummer. Had I reviewed this when it was first released, a 1 star, maybe 2 is where I was at. With the release of Gravitas, I've dusted off all my original Asia discs and listened to them a number of times. Phoenix has come out of the pack of last four albums as a bit of a leader. I am hearing more of that keyboard led sound that I missed initially having compared it to the first Asia release of 1982, Downes shines on Phoenix. To the newer releases Phoenix is the one I would lean toward and enjoy the most. I will always support these leaders and musicians of the prog world, live concerts are still amazing and I will be stuck in the 80's with my favorite Asia releases. Phoenix gets a bump up on the enjoyment chart and I won't be afraid to listen to it in the future.

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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.13 | 411 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Of course I have to listen to Asia's first record too and not just their second and third. Asia uses to have Roger Dean's paintings and they did it from the beginning. 1982 came their debut album called "Asia" with an artistic cover picture showing a water dragon in blue in the sea and we see the straight Asia sign above. Asia was Geoofrey Downes on keyboards and vocals, Steve Howe on guitars and vocals, Carl Palmer on drums and percussion and last but not least John Wetton on bass and lead vocals.

This was a so-called prog super group with members famous from some of the best prog bands in the seventies. Now though was it the eighties and the "Asia" production was not especially progressive at all. They did soft and easy listened pop music with some prog signatures. The best song on the album is also the one which I think i most similar to prog: "Time again" which is a intelligent and cool rock song with typical Yes' guitar plays(7/10). The first song "Heat of the moment" which is Asia's biggest hit ever is also a pleasant history, very catchy and fast, with a flow, though quite silly(6/10). Many songs hold a high quality. "Only time will tell" is fine pop from the eighties(6/10) and "Wildest dreams"(6/10) has also a lot of shown feelings as well as "Without you" where I especially like the instrumental parts(6/10) and "Cutting it fine" which is quite pretentious. The least interesting song is "One step closer" that I just think is enerving(4/10) and I don't like the closer "Here comes the feeling"(5/10) either.

As a full album the result is rather decent. it gives the listeners pleasure when they listen but at the same time it doesn't give them anything special. It is not a fantastic experience to hear this music but it is not bad at all. Three stars!

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 Astra by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.56 | 174 ratings

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Astra
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I continue to the third Asia album from 1985 called "Astra" and just as their previous one "Alpha" did I like it. I haven't heard their first, I have to remind me to do it. Now the cover doesn't go in bright happy colours, now it's purple and dark. It's like someone, a girl in outer space with a strange hat on her head. The cover is very artistic and I like that too.

On this one unfortunately Steve Howe had left the band and the Swiss Mandy Meyer replaced him. That guy, on the other side didn't do a bad job so it was not a step in a bad direction. Still John Wetton sings and plays bass, Geoff Downes plays keyboards and Carl Palmer plays drums.

The music is very easy listened and it would be a crime to call it prog. Though have the musicians strong prog connections and the music holds a high quality. I like many ingredients in it. It has a strong flow and many tracks are easy to like such as the closer "After the war" which has great power, emotion and a strong melody. From time to another you could wish that the band had challenged themselves more but I take the music for what it is. "Rock and roll dream" is another pleasant track and "Go" is a powerful starter. I like what I hear on this album, it has as I said a strong flow that invites you and takes you with it through the album. John Wetton's voice is another thing that not goes the listener unattended. It is strong and emotional.

I would absolutely not recommend this as a prog album, that would be an insult to the name of prog, but absolutely for someone wanting a nice collection of songs for a bright summers night. Three stars!

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 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 242 ratings

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Alpha
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Asia have their heritage in the progressive rock and in some aspects of their music they are still prog rock. As on this, their second studio album "Alpha" from 1983 they use a beautiful Roger Dean cover with colourful and imaginative motives and bright light. The guitar on the record(Howe) and the keyboards(Downes) do some prog-like performances sometimes too. The album "Alpha" feautures Geoffrey Downes on keyboards, Steve Howe on guitars, Carl Palmer on drums and John Wetton on vocals and bass.

Asia plays a soft and quite conventional rock music with short pop songs that could be radio hit music. For a progressive listener it could be paintful to listen to these cheesy pieces without innovation even if the band could be playing prog. Though is it still something that makes me not want to leave this record but listen to it again and again. The compositions are just very nice and pleasant. It is clear that the band liked what they did and that they where happy and it makes me happy too. The music don't give me surprises and I could not hold this record very high. I must though say it's a good record.

"The heat goes on" and "Open you eyes" together with many other songs are the best and I like to recommeng this album to you anyway. Play this record when you want to feel light and joyful and perhaps when you are rollerskating. Three stars!

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 Live in Hyogo  by ASIA album cover Live, 2003
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Live in Hyogo
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another "Official Bootleg" album, "From the Asia Archives", as the cover says, like other albums from the same series (with "Live in Buffalo", "Dragon Attack", "Live in Massachusetts 1983" being the other live albums) which "Voiceprint - Trademark of Official Quality" released between 2003 and 2004 (and that maybe all are out of print now). "Live in Hyogo" is clearly an audience recording from a concert they played during their "Then and Now" tour in 1990, in Japan. The line-up included original members John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes, plus the energetic Heavy Metal guitar playing style from Pat Thrall, a guitarist who played with the band during that tour replacing original guitarist Steve Howe, who left the band in 1984 before the band recorded their "Astra" album which was released in 1985.

Like in other live albums from this line-up and tour ("Now-Live in Nottingham", "Dragon Attack", and "Live in Moscow"), the band played very well, but the main difference was Thrall`s guitar playing, who played the songs in his own style, a very different style from Howe`s . The songs sound well, but one sometimes miss Howe`s guitar playing style in the songs which were played from their "Asia" and "Alpha" albums. The band also played during that tour some songs from the "Astra" album (which had Mandy Meyer as guitarist), plus some songs from KING CRIMSON and U.K. They also played some of the new songs they released in their "Then and Now" compilation album from 1990 ("Praying for a Miracle" and "Days like These"). With "Live in Moscow" and "Now-Live in Notingham" (I still have not yet listened to "Dragon Attack" but it seems that it also is an audience recording, as one review about that album says) having much better recordings than this audience live recording from Hyogo, I think that "Live in Moscow" is the best choice to buy from all the live recordings that I have listened unitl now from this line-up and tour, being a professional recording officially released by the band. So, this Hyogo album is more for the collectors and fans of the band. This audience recording is not very good.

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 Asia Live In Philadelphia by ASIA album cover Live, 1997
2.15 | 7 ratings

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Asia Live In Philadelphia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I saw this live album and other similar "official bootleg" live albums which were released from ASIA in 1997 ("Asia Live in Osaka", "Live in Koln") in some of the record shops of my city, being sold at very expensive prices. I had some curiosity to listen to some of them, but I never bought them then. Fortunately, I found this album in youtube available for listening.

I always have considered that Geoff Downes kept the ASIA name alive between 1991 and 2005 to kept busy with his musical career using an established band`s name. He maybe did not want to start from the beginning with a new band`s name with bassist and lead singer John Payne, so after the ASIA reunion tour of 1990-91 (with John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Pat Thrall) he started recording a new ASIA album ("Aqua") with John Payne as his main musical partner, with some new members and some appearances by Steve Howe (on 6 of the 12 songs from that album) and Carl Palmer. But mainly, that was a new band using an old name from a band from the eighties. And there were some musical differences between the "old" and "new" ASIA line-ups, with Payne having a very different vocals sound and style to John Wetton`s, with Payne being more like a Heavy Metal singer in comparison. So, I don`t like his voice very much, and more when he sang the old songs from ASIA. He sounded better singing the new songs from the band. Anyway, Downes carried on with Payne and several other line-ups of the band until 2006 when he reformed the original ASIA line-up.

After recording the "Aqua" album with Payne and other new musicians plus some help from Howe and Palmer, the band toured for a time with Howe as guest. This "official bootleg" album was recorded during that tour with Howe playing guitar along with Vinny Burns on most songs of the setlist. The styles of both guitarists are very different, with Burns being more like a Heavy Metal guitarist, but with him also playing some very good lead guitar parts. There are also some differences between the old songs from 1982-85 and the new songs from "Aqua", with the original style of the band being more clear in the old songs, of course. The then new songs don`t sound very ASIA in style, but they carried on as band anyway. And it seems that while the new band did not have the same success as the original band, they still have a lot of followers (with Payne still playing without Downes in his "ASIA featuring John Payne" band and still playing some songs from the original band).

It is curious, but none of the songs on which Howe had a co-writter credit during his time with ASIA (1982-83) were played during this 1992 tour, or at least, none of them were included in this album. Instead, they played "Aqua Part 1" from the "Aqua" album, a song co-credited to Howe as songwriter, and he was given a solo section to play four of his acoustic guitar compositions (three of them which were originally recorded with YES: "Mood for a Day", "Clap" and a fragment from "The Ancient").

The playing from all the members of the band is good in this album, but maybe it was not one of their best concerts from that tour, so there are some fails on Payne`s vocals and in some parts of Howe`s guitar playing. The recording of the album is not very good, not being very known if it is an audience recording or a soundboard recording. There are some very typical shouts from some members of the audience which I don`t like, but they are very typical from a lot of recordings done by members of the audience. Anyway, the band sounds clear in this recording and as an "official bootleg" from that point of view it is not a bad recording.

For collectors and fans only.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.80 | 71 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ASIA was announced in 1982 as a "super-group". Many Prog Rock fans then were "excited" to see the names of three very respected Prog Rock musicians working together in a band (Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton), still expecting to listen to great musical things in Prog Rock terms by the combination of their talents. The only musician in the band without a full time Prog Rock music background was Geoff Downes, who previously was part of a Pop Rock band called THE BUGGLES who in 1980 became part of YES for their "Drama" album, being recruited then by YES more as "urgent replacements" by their manager as they had contracted tour dates to be played and to satisfy some pending financial problems that the band had when Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman left the band. So, "Drama" was surprisingly a very good album done by a tired YES, which had some success, but the tour was not as successful as the album because THE BUGGLES ` former lead singer Trevor Horn had great problems singing the old songs from the band in concert. So, YES split for a time, and Steve Howe and John Wetton were put in contact by one very famous A&R man to form a new band. This A&R man was very influential and had some plans to form some "super-groups" . ASIA was one of them. So, Palmer and Downes later joined that band to form that "super-group". Despite the very good quality of their first album from 1982 (which was more Pop Rock oriented than Prog Rock oriented), many Prog Rock fans were disappointed by the commercial musical direction the new band followed ("the new musical trends of the eighties"). So, I can say that ASIA really was like other "super-groups": a very good combination of very good musicians which apparently only could work together well for one album. After the success of this first album, some problems started to appear between the egos of some members, and the record label executives and managers declared Wetton and Downes as the "official composers" of the band, another thing which caused a lot of problems which in the end caused the split of the original band after the tour for a second album titled "Alpha" (1983), an album which was even more Pop Rock oriented than their first. Anyway, the band was not the same without Howe as guitarist, but the band reunited in 2006 with their original line-up. Unfortunately, maybe the chemistry was not as good as it was for their first album from 1982, so Howe finally left again in early 2013. So, like other "super-groups", ASIA was maybe destined to be remembered for a really very good first album and nothing more.

But ASIA is not finished yet as a band without Howe. Even if the guitar role has been increasingly diminished in this band in their last albums with Howe, they recruited a young guitarist called Sam Coulson for this "Gravitas" album. But again, replacing a very characteristic sound as guitarist like Howe`s is not an easy task. Coulson is a good guitarist, but his style of playing is more related to other guitarists that the band had before (Mandy Meyer, Pat Thrall) than to Howe`s. So, this "Gravitas" album is similar in some ways to "Astra" (1985) but without the eighties very characteristic production sound and style that "Astra" has. The songs are very good, all composed by Wetton and Downes with their very characteristic composing style, and with very good arrangements. These musicians are very good and with a lot of experience, of course, so one can expect really very good albums from them, even if the Prog Rock arrangements are not very present and even if the style of the music is more Pop Rock oriented than before. Wetton and Downes became the "definitive" composers for this band, and the sound of this band is more related to their composing style since "Alpha". Their first album should be remembered really as a "one-off" very good combination of talents which produced a very good album which still had some Prog Rock things, and for that reason it is maybe their best album. But with Wetton and Downes as composers and with Palmer as a very good drummer plus Coulson`s guitar style the band still sounds very well. I think that Downes really shines with his keyboards playing and arrangements in ASIA more than in YES (on which the guitars are the predominant instruments more than the keyboards). So Downes`s best musical place in a band is in ASIA, working together with Wetton as composers and producers.

In conclusion, this is a good qualiy album, very well recorded, mixed and produced, and with a very good cover design by Roger Dean. Not very Prog Rock in musical style, but good anyway.

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