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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


AsiaAsia
Geffen 1982
Audio CD$2.09
$0.33 (used)
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 Music Srl 2015
Audio CD$11.00
$13.72 (used)
The Definitive CollectionThe Definitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen 2006
Audio CD$3.00
$2.99 (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$4.19
$1.60 (used)
AstraAstra
Remastered
Universal Special Products 1995
Audio CD$1.48
$0.79 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Goldline 1983
Audio CD$2.25
$0.24 (used)
Asia Live In MoscowAsia Live In Moscow
EDSEL 2015
Audio CD$12.28
$13.18 (used)
Gold [2 CD]Gold [2 CD]
Remastered
Geffen 2005
Audio CD$6.74
$6.05 (used)
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo: 2007 (2CD)Fantasia - Live In Tokyo: 2007 (2CD)
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2008
Audio CD$8.89
$4.52 (used)
Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$13.55
$8.09 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
JOHN WETTON Raised in Captivity 2011 CD NEW Asia USD $17.27 Buy It Now 31m 33s
Asia - Alpha 1983 Ex/Ex Geffen GEF 25508 USD $10.73 Buy It Now 48m 3s
KOKOMO, HIS PIANO & ORCHESTRA - ASIA MINOR - LONDON HLU 9305 - 1960 - EXCELLENT USD $1.52 [0 bids]
54m 14s
KYLIE MINOGUE FEVER 2002 ASIA CD + SPECIAL ASIAN AVCD EDITION BOX USD $29.99 Buy It Now 56m 52s
BARBRA STREISAND SOUNDTRACK CASSETTE TAPE YENTL MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $5.15 Buy It Now 57m 34s
Watergate ?- Heart Of Asia (David Sylvian & Sakamoto Forbidden Colours sample) USD $0.75 [1 bids]
57m 42s
SILVER - Somebody (Asia Call) - 12" USD $16.87 Buy It Now 59m 52s
VILLAGE PEOPLE CASSETTE TAPE GREATEST HITS MADE IN ASIA ULTRA RARE USD $7.72 Buy It Now 1h 2m
REM CASSETTE TAPE AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $5.15 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Asia picture disc USD $9.21 Buy It Now 1h 29m
Maroon 5 Hands All Over Taiwan CD+DVD Asia Tour Edition USD $48.68 Buy It Now 1h 31m
JOAN ARMATRADING CASSETTE TAPE JOAN ARMATRADING MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $5.15 Buy It Now 1h 46m
SPLIT ENZ CASSETTE TAPE THE BEST OF SPLIT ENZ MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $5.15 Buy It Now 1h 59m
LP ASIA/ALPHA on Geffen Records-VG- USD $0.99 Buy It Now 2h
Rock of the 80's CD (NEW) Golden Earring / Asia / Glenn Frey / Kansas / Boston USD $4.98 Buy It Now 2h 12m
AUSTRALIAN CRAWL CASSETTE TAPE THE BOYS LIGHT UP MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $5.15 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Asia - Alpha (Classic 80's Rock) LP USD $3.07 Buy It Now 2h 34m
ASIA [PALMER/HOWE/WETTON/DOWNES]- FANTASIA [LIVE IN TOKYO] 2007 SEALED DVD USD $3.57 [0 bids]
USD $7.14 Buy It Now
2h 59m
ASIA CD - HIGH VOLTAGE [CD/DVD](2014) - NEW UNOPENED - ROCK USD $22.99 Buy It Now 3h 6m
Asia Alpha, 1983 1st 1S Press in Shrink, EXCELLENT, STUNNING SOUND! USD $12.50 Buy It Now 3h 7m
Asia - Asia debut album RARE ISRAELI PRESS LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3h 14m
Asia: Omega Japan Promo Poster (no mini-lp cd wetton steve howe carl palmer Q USD $36.00 Buy It Now 3h 21m
TOHOSHINKI The 3rd Asia Tour Concert Mirotic Taiwan 2CD USD $23.79 Buy It Now 3h 25m
7"-Single ASIA Only Time Will Tell (1982)HOLLAND PS/YES ELP KING CRIMSON BUGGLES USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 29m
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Steppin' Into Asia 7" Japan Picture Disc YMO Yellow Magic USD $27.50 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Japan Asia Securities Co Ltd 100th Anniversary Memorial - Japan CD - NEW USD $99.99 Buy It Now 3h 39m
Marko Melkon Hi-Fi Adventure In Asia Minor LP Decca Records 9061 VG Cheesecake M USD $7.99 [0 bids]
3h 50m
45 RPM MINT UK Store Stock Record London 9305 Kokomo Asia Minor USD $20.00 Buy It Now 4h 2m
Asia Astra SHM mini LP CD Japan w/OBI USD $29.88 Buy It Now 4h 2m
Bob Dylan New Morning Red Sky HTF Asia CassetteTapes Rock Folk Country Pop Lot USD $25.02 Buy It Now 4h 8m
CD Double: Asia : Live In Japan USD $14.40 [0 bids]
4h 17m
Slip Double: Asia : Live Around The World 1990 & 2008 USD $15.32 [0 bids]
4h 17m
Asia - Self-Titled Cassette - Play Tested - Excellent - MC 2008 USD $5.95 Buy It Now 4h 38m
ASIA Astra 1985 Vinyl LP GHS 24072 Geffen Records USD $7.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Chizawa - Asia 4 - R&S - 2006 #389103 USD $6.13 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Tony Bennett: The Classics - Asia Tour Edition (2013) CD TAIWAN USD $23.99 Buy It Now 5h 36m
Music From Laos/Thailand/China - Taste Of Asia (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.96 Buy It Now 5h 41m
ASIA UK JOHN WETTON LOT ALPHA STEVE HOWE YES HEAT OF THE MOMENT BILL BRUFORD LP USD $14.95 Buy It Now 5h 50m
KOKOMO "Asia Minor" Underground 1008 Canada Press! USD $0.99 [1 bids]
5h 58m
Asia Blue - Hope / Boy In The Moon - Atomic #133878 USD $6.13 Buy It Now 6h 26m
@ CD ASIA - SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT / DIGI PACK FRONTIERS 2010 SS JOHN WETTON USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 27m
Asia - Self Titled 1st Album LP USD $6.53 Buy It Now 6h 27m
Asia - Astra LP USD $6.53 Buy It Now 6h 31m
Asia - Self Titled LP USD $6.53 Buy It Now 6h 31m
Asia Asia LP GEF85577 VG/EX UK USD $16.03 Buy It Now 6h 36m
cd-christmas - gospel for asia 2 disc set-CLOSEOUT USD $1.29 Buy It Now 6h 40m
Asia - Live At The London Forum [CD New] USD $18.14 Buy It Now 6h 46m
Buggles JAPAN MINI LP CD The Age Of Plastic +3 w/OBI YES asia trevir horn USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 47m
Fisc - Handle With Care cd ONLY CDMFN91 Scott Gorham Phenomena Asia ORIGINAL MPO USD $14.90 Buy It Now 6h 49m
Asia Lounge Box [CD New] USD $18.64 Buy It Now 6h 52m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official t-shirt USD $249.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official shopping bag USD $49.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2007 official t-shirt USD $249.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official bookmark set USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO Kokuritsu official mini uchiwa (fan) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO Kokuritsu official mini uchiwa (fan) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO Kokuritsu official mini uchiwa (fan) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO Kokuritsu official mini uchiwa (fan) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Watergate - Heart Of Asia - Positiva - 2000 #42237 USD $9.20 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2007 official jumbo uchiwa / fan USD $29.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2007 official jumbo uchiwa / fan USD $36.99 Buy It Now 7h
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Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official jumbo uchiwa / fan USD $29.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official jumbo uchiwa / fan USD $36.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO national stadium Kokuritsu official file USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia in Dome 2007 official jumbo uchiwa / fan USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO national stadium Kokuritsu official file USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h
Japan ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in TOKYO national stadium Kokuritsu official file USD $26.99 Buy It Now 7h
Asia Lounge Box - 5 DISC SET - Asia Lounge Box (2008, CD New) USD $16.58 Buy It Now 7h 28m
Watergate - Heart Of Asia (Remixes) - Positiva #42416 USD $6.13 Buy It Now 7h 28m
Asia Alpha 1983 Steve Howe LP USD $3.99 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Machito - LATIN 78rpm Mercury #5256 Asia Minor (Armenian rhumba) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 8m
Asia Don't cry 7" A3580 VG/EX UK USD $11.38 Buy It Now 8h 22m
Asia Heat of the moment 7" GEFA2494 VG/EX UK USD $9.69 Buy It Now 8h 22m
ASIA GRAVITAS SEALED CD NEW 2014 USD $5.49 Buy It Now 8h 33m
SEALED Asia Alpha Geffen 4008 1983 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 9h 3m
Jenny Kee Every Little Time 12 Inch Vinyl Asia Records Hi Nrg Eurobeat Italo USD $13.82 [0 bids]
9h 11m
Prog Rock Vinyl LP - Asia - Alpha - Geffen - GHS 4008 USD $13.92 Buy It Now 9h 14m
Eskimo Love and Fantasy 12 Inch Vinyl Asia Records Hi Ng Eurobeat Italo USD $6.14 [0 bids]
9h 17m
Asia Classics: Dance Raja Dance: The South Indian Film Music Of Vijaya Anand B.. USD $2.99 Buy It Now 9h 28m
(CD) Songs of Turkmenistan [Japan Import] / Central Asia; USD $30.00 Buy It Now 9h 31m
BILL COSBY revenge LP VG+ CSJ 623 Taiwan Asia Press Stereo 1967 Rare USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9h 32m
Asia - Resonance - Live In Basel Switzerland Vol 2 (NEW 2 x 12" VINYL LP) USD $30.68 Buy It Now 9h 42m
Asia - Resonance - Live In Basel Switzerland Vol 1 (NEW 2 x 12" VINYL LP) USD $30.68 Buy It Now 9h 43m
Metallica [ THROUGH THE NEVER ] ORIGINAL CD SOUTH EAST ASIA EDITION FOR THAI USD $34.99 Buy It Now 10h 5m
RING O - TARTAN ASIA EXTREME - REGION 0-DVD USD $0.99 [1 bids]
10h 30m
RING 2 - TARTAN ASIA EXTREME - REGION 0-DVD USD $0.99 [1 bids]
10h 30m
Asia (Classic 80's Rock) LP USD $14.59 Buy It Now 10h 34m
Promo only video classics: Best of 1980-1983 vol.4 DVD Asia TOTO Frida TACO USD $69.99 Buy It Now 10h 48m
ASIA, THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, USD $2.75 Buy It Now 10h 50m
ASIA - Live On Air (Rock) (CD, Sep-2010, Four Worlds) NEW SEALED USD $7.03 Buy It Now 11h
ASIA - XXX 2012 ITALY RARE!!! USD $110.00 Buy It Now 11h 5m
ASIA ALPHA EXCEPTIONAL ORIGINAL 1983 GEFFEN LP BEAUTIFUL! USD $7.96 Buy It Now 11h 5m
Alan Parsons Project Stereotomy Cassette Tape 1985 UK Prog Rock Asia Ambrosia USD $7.19 Buy It Now 11h 12m
12' Vinyl LP Record Album Asia USD $4.99 Buy It Now 11h 49m
Watergate ?- Heart Of Asia - CD Single USD $1.52 [0 bids]
11h 51m
KITARO, LIVE IN ASIA, LP 1984 GERMANY 1ST PRESS A1/B1 EX/EX-, INNER/SL USD $13.80 Buy It Now 12h 5m
BEN & JASON-10 SONGS ABOUT YOU (ASIA) CD NEW USD $18.28 Buy It Now 12h 7m


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ASIA shows & tickets


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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)

3.15 | 425 ratings
Asia
1982
2.78 | 252 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.57 | 182 ratings
Astra
1985
2.88 | 145 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.75 | 112 ratings
Aria
1994
3.20 | 112 ratings
Arena
1996
3.21 | 124 ratings
Aura
2001
3.19 | 109 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.17 | 148 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.07 | 120 ratings
Omega
2010
2.92 | 103 ratings
XXX
2012
2.81 | 75 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.73 | 15 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
3.04 | 6 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.08 | 4 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
2001
3.75 | 8 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
3.70 | 41 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
3.12 | 6 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
2.41 | 8 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
2.75 | 4 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in America
2015
3.00 | 3 ratings
Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
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
3.70 | 29 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
2007
3.63 | 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 | 47 ratings
Then & Now
1990
2.16 | 29 ratings
Archiva 1
1996
1.84 | 30 ratings
Archiva 2
1996
3.09 | 4 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
1997
2.70 | 13 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
2.50 | 6 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
 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 252 ratings

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Alpha
Asia Prog Related

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

2 stars Unlike Asia's self-titled debut, "Alpha" cannot be let away from the proghead-driven hate bandwagon so easily. While "Asia" retained at least some of each group members' stylistic approaches and more open, progressive structures, "Alpha" dropped the ball. A far greater percentage of the album's content is generic pop fare and the group members' individuality doesn't shine through nearly as well. Really, there isn't any reason at all to give this album a listen unless you're a devout fan of 80's AOR and pop rock. I would, however, encourage any fan of Roger Dean's artwork to go and buy a copy (or at least a print) of the cover because it is a very fine painting of his. Mine currently sits beautifully on my shelf and makes for great eye candy when I listen to early 70's Yes, which the music on "Alpha" does not resemble in the slightest.

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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.15 | 425 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

4 stars Progheads tend to give this album, and band, a hard time and that's completely understandable. Putting myself in the shoes of an original prog fan whose upbringing was blessed by the classic incarnations of the genre's giants like King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd et al and then waking up one day to find your favourite musicians collaborating together, promoted under the art of Roger Dean and hearing little more than AOR and 80's synthpop, it's agonizing! If I had lived out that experience myself I know I would have developed some major trust issues. However, being a younger (i.e. younger than 40) prog fan and unswayed by the powerful forces of 70's nostalgia, I feel that I can shine a brighter light on an album that's, frankly, pretty darn good.

ASIA's main selling point is its lineup; it is a supergroup after all. Steve Howe is on it, though it's no "Close To The Edge". Carl Palmer is on it, though it's no "Tarkus". John Wetton is on it, though it is most certainly no "Larks' Tongues In Aspic". What these three, plus Geoff Downes, who featured on Yes' "Drama", do create, however, is a fresher, more sophisticated alternative to the generally uninspired genre of 80's AOR. Several of the tracks on side 1, such as "Heat of the Moment" and "One Step Closer", are fairly typical 80's rock fare and make for friendly radio tracks. There aren't too remarkable, though "Sole Survivor" and "Time Again" are great songs that make use of the band's talents in a format that is very accessible to new listeners. "Time Again" in particular is one of the album's strongest tracks and features quality, though short, jazz-based soloing from Steve Howe. The album's second side, while not veering too far from standard rock song structures, does allow for slightly more instrumental exploration, especially on the ballad "Without You" and "Cutting It Fine". "Wildest Dreams" is one of the album's highlights, featuring some great drum soloing by Carl Palmer and political-yet-emotive lyrics that are spine-chilling at times.

"Asia", while not pure progressive rock, makes for good crossover material and serves as a good introduction to certain elements of the genre for those who find it difficult to access. This makes the album a good recommendation for people who aren't quite into 70's symphonic prog but would like to get there eventually. "Asia" isn't just for prog beginners, though; there are aspects of it that a seasoned prog veteran can appreciate.

Progressive rock can be described as many things. Emotional? Certainly! Ambitious? No doubt. Breathtaking? Of course! Exploratory? Perhaps. But one category that you probably won't find "Lizard" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans" chalked under is fun. Sure, serious, intelligent music is great to listen to in many situations but it's very difficult to enjoy all its facets when you're out for a night on the town with your buds or living it up at a house party. "Asia", however, is music that you can crank up loud when you're cruising the main drag on a summer evening while not degrading into lifeless, brain-dead pop. Is it a masterpiece in the pantheon of prog triumphs? Probably not. But "Asia" is still a quality rock record that's easy to digest, so set aside your prejudices and give it a try.

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 Rare by ASIA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
2.70 | 13 ratings

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Rare
Asia Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Amoeba

I've seen this album listed as a proper studio album by Asia rather than as a compilation, but it is probably best left out when listing Asia's "regular" studio output in virtue of the radically different nature of the music found here. Even though this was released as under the Asia name it actually has a lot more to do musically with Geoffrey Downes' solo career and his New Dance Orchestra releases in particular. Like Downes' The World Service album which was released in the same year, Rare is an all instrumental album. It consists of many brief instrumentals, some of which were originally intended for a nature documentary and the others for a computer game. I'm guessing that the two tracks The Journey Begins and The Journey Ends mark the start and the finish of the nature documentary material and the rest of the tracks are the computer game tracks, but I'm not sure about this.

The only two musicians credited are Geoff Downes and John Payne. There are no lead vocals at all but Payne does add some choir vocals. There are some occasional drums and guitars.

While I do find some value in at least some of these compositions, the fact that this music was intended to be accompanied by pictures is evident and it rarely stands on its own feet. It is not bad as background music, but it does sound somewhat incomplete and even unfinished at times. Some of Geoff Downes' solo albums are much better examples of his instrumental side. Rare is for fans only.

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 Axis XXX Live in San Francisco by ASIA album cover Live, 2015
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
Asia Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars This is the review of the video and not the audio. I had to watch this to know that if you want to buy this other live album, you don't really need the video. Frontier Records has released many live albums of Asia in the past tours. A band that had a long career despite the inconsistency of their music. Some that don't like this music will say that this Pop, AOR kind of music has never been interesting. But i am sure at the time the band released their first album, the progressive rock community was intrigued to know what quality of music can play those great musicians. At the time, it was a deception, because Progressive Rocks fans were use to hear Progressive Rock music. After some line-up changes, it was worst, not only it was not more Progressive, but the songs were not as good as their first album. But, i think the band has made some better songs in the late 90's and enough good songs in their last albums to make a decent set list on this new live album.

I said that the video portion was not needed to appreciate this live recording, because of the lack of visuals. The picture and the sound are ok, and for those musicians that seemed operating on automatic pilot, you won't hear many mistakes. As you might expect, this is not a essential album for your collection.

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 Then & Now  by ASIA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
2.56 | 47 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
3.15 | 425 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 | 252 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
3.17 | 148 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
3.15 | 425 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
2.57 | 182 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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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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