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ASIA

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Asia picture
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$0.99
$0.01 (used)
The Definitive CollectionThe Definitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen 2006
Audio CD$2.99
$2.99 (used)
AstraAstra
Remastered
Universal Special Products 1995
Audio CD$2.25
$2.24 (used)
The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-1990The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-1990
Remastered
Geffen Records 2000
Audio CD$3.80
$2.22 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Goldline 1983
Audio CD$2.10
$0.44 (used)
Gold [2 CD]Gold [2 CD]
Remastered
Geffen 2005
Audio CD$6.95
$5.02 (used)
Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$12.52
$29.36 (used)
PhoenixPhoenix
Frontiers Records/EMI America 2008
Audio CD$6.76
$0.01 (used)
Silent NationSilent Nation
Special Edition · CD+DVD · Import
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$4.72
$3.22 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Live On Air, 0803341319585, Asia USD $7.65 Buy It Now 1h 31m
ASIA "ONLY TIME WILL TELL" 45 PS USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 38m
ASIA "THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES" 45 PS USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 39m
U.K. Asia John Wetton promo photo #2 USD $14.46 Buy It Now 1h 44m
U.K. Asia Yes promo photo circa 1st LP USD $14.46 Buy It Now 1h 44m
ASIA Only Time Will Tell 7" B/w Time Again Pic Sleeve US Geffen 1982 USD $9.09 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA BLUE Boy In The Moon 7" Radio Mix B/w Hope Album Version Pic Sleeve UK ISS USD $3.76 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA BLUE Connect 7" B/w This Journey Promo Stickered Pic Sleeve UK Atomic 1992 USD $5.26 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA BLUE Escaping 7" Cool Blue Mix B/w I Want The Right Pic Sleeve UK Atomic 1 USD $3.76 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA Don't Cry 7" Pic Sleeve DUTCH Geffen 1983 USD $6.79 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA Don't Cry 7" B/w Daylight Split Seam To Bottom Of Pic Sleeve US Geffen 19 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ASIA Heat Of The Moment 7" Pink Group Pic Sleeve Design B/w Ride Easy DUTCH Ge USD $12.13 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Asia 'Alpha' album cover 43 x 43 material nylon? poster 1983 vintage (not cd) USD $5.00 [0 bids]
1h 55m
ASIA - Live At The London Forum Omega Tour CD X2 New Sealed USD $11.55 Buy It Now 2h 9m
ASIA - LIVE IN THE USA 2CDs (New & Sealed) Steve Howe Geoff Downes USD $5.05 Buy It Now 2h 12m
All Star Tribute To STEVE MILLER BAND - Fly Like an Eagle CD ( yes asia xtc ash) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 20m
ASIA 12" ALBUM LP 'SELF TITLED' & INSERT GEFFEN 85577 1982 PROG EX USD $11.49 Buy It Now 2h 26m
ASIA ASTRA GEFFEN RECORDS 1985 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Alan Michael "Lost In Asia" 1988 Jazz LP, Nice VG++!, Vinyl USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 58m
ASIA Asia CD 9 Track GERMAN Geffen USD $7.58 Buy It Now 2h 58m
ASIA Live In Nottingham CD 13 Track UK Blueprint 1997 USD $8.66 Buy It Now 2h 58m
ASIA Wherever You Are CD 2 Track Promo In Special Sleeve B/w Under The Gun. EU USD $7.58 Buy It Now 2h 59m
ASIA BLUE Connect CD 4 Track 7" Radio Mix B/w 3 Amigoz Mix, 4 2 The Floor Mix An USD $7.58 Buy It Now 2h 59m
ASIA Alpha CD 10 Track GERMAN Geffen USD $7.58 Buy It Now 2h 59m
ASIA BLUE Escaping CD 4 Track Cool Blue Mix B/w A Kiss Across The Seal, Sleeping USD $7.58 Buy It Now 2h 59m
US3 Come On Everybody Get Down CD 7 Track Featuring Album Mix, Youth In Asia Rem USD $7.58 Buy It Now 3h 6m
KEWI UNIVERSITY OF SWING Little Asia 7" B/w Right/left Pic Sleeve UK Wea 1983 USD $3.74 Buy It Now 3h 8m
KOKOMO Asia Minor 7" B/w Roy's Tune UK London 1960 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 3h 8m
KOKOMO Asia Minor 7" B/w Roy's Tune US Felsted USD $7.58 Buy It Now 3h 8m
Alan Michael - Lost In Asia - Jazz LP SEALED USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
ASIA - Aura - Brand new and Sealed cd Digipak + 3 Extra Tracks USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 17m
STINKIN FISH Mules Asia 7" B/w Go With The Flow Pic Sleeve UK Inter City 1989 USD $6.78 Buy It Now 3h 19m
ASIA LP ALPHA ex+ 33rpm / rock USD $12.29 Buy It Now 3h 23m
TUVA: VOICES FROM THE CENTER OF ASIA (CD,1990, Smithsonian label) USD $7.49 Buy It Now 3h 30m
ASIA GEFFEN RECORDS 1982 ALBUM EX. CONDITION USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 32m
ASIA - LIVE IN OSAKA Japan 1992 Wt Steve Howe 2CDs (New/Sealed) Official Bootleg USD $5.05 Buy It Now 3h 37m
MACHITO AND HIS AFRO CUBANS Asia Minor CD 21 Track UK Proper 2002 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 3h 51m
Planet Asia ?- Place Of Birth / The Professional -ABB 1999 Funk Hip-Hop Rap Soul USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3h 53m
HUSTLERS H.C. Big Trouble In Little Asia 12" 4 Track Deepdownxtralong Version B/ USD $7.58 Buy It Now 4h 3m
ASIA BLUE Escaping 12" 3 Track A Kiss Across The Sea Mix B/w Sleeping Giant Mix USD $7.58 Buy It Now 4h 3m
ASIA FIELDS Burst 12" 3 Track Featuring Save Me, Dazed And Ain't That Just What USD $7.58 Buy It Now 4h 3m
ASIA - S/T - OOP 1982 1ST ISSUE W/ INNER SLEEVE - HEAT OF THE MOMENT - VG VG+ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
ASIA - ALPHA - OOP 1983 W/ LYRICS LP EX NM USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
L'ORCHESTRE DEVEREAUX Terra del fuago / Asia in the minor 78 MOOD MUSIC FDH062 USD $18.78 Buy It Now 4h 36m
Asia Self-Titled LP NM 1982 GHS2008 USD $4.95 Buy It Now 4h 41m
TUVA / VOICES FROM THE CENTER OF ASIA NEW CD USD $22.40 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Asia 45 Record Don't Cry Vintage 1983 Geffen USD $1.10 [0 bids]
USD $2.00 Buy It Now
4h 47m
Asia 'Armed To The Teeth / Asia' CD - 2015 - US Progressive Hard/Heavy USD $13.99 Buy It Now 4h 49m
ASIA CD THEN & NOW JOHN WETTON CARL PALMER GEOFFREY DOWNES GEFFEN USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4h 49m
(CD) Music of Autumn Winds: Solo and Chamber Music From East Asia - David Loeb USD $11.99 Buy It Now 4h 55m
V/A- Music Of Central Asia Vol. 8- CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 4m
ASIA - Featuring JOHN PAYNE - SCANDINAVIA 2005 (New & Sealed) Live Rock CD USD $5.77 Buy It Now 5h 6m
ASIA featuring John Payne - Aqua (mini LP)[Limited] Blu-Spec CD SICP-20417 JAPAN USD $33.04 Buy It Now 5h 6m
ASIA: Asia [SHM-SACD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $46.05 Buy It Now 5h 7m
ASIA CHILL OUT LOUNGE - ASIA CHILL OUT LOUNGE (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $15.73 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Rock 45 ASIA Heat Of the Moment on Geffen USD $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Rock 45 ASIA Only Time Will Tell on Geffen USD $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 15m
ASIA featuring John Payne - Anthology (mini LP) [Limited] (Blu-Spec CD) JAPAN USD $32.02 Buy It Now 5h 27m
RASCO Time Waits For No Man 2LP Stones Throw Planet Asia Defari Dilated Peoples USD $20.00 [0 bids]
5h 27m
KUBIQ Kuboniqs 2LP w/Hype Stickers HERATIK Planet Asia Skhool Yard Rasco Fanatik USD $10.00 [0 bids]
5h 27m
ASIA featuring John Payne - Scandinavia Extended (mini LP) Limited (Blu-Spec CD) USD $60.53 Buy It Now 5h 36m
SWIFT,TAYLOR-HOLIDAY COLLECTION (ASIA) CD NEW USD $20.99 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Asia: Asia: Best Of Phoenix Tour 2008 (mini LP) [SHM-CD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $51.75 Buy It Now 5h 38m
LP Excellent Kitaro Asia AudioPhile 1985 Record Geffen Vinyl Album USD $15.99 Buy It Now 5h 38m
Geffen Records Asia Ride Easy Wetton Howe GEF50040 4:35 (P22) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
5h 48m
Tuva - Voices From The Center Of Asia [CD New] USD $17.87 Buy It Now 5h 52m
ASIA ALPHA 25AP2650 OBI LP Dp1014 USD $4.99 [1 bids]
6h 4m
Asia Self Titled LP Geffen Records GHS 2008 1982 NM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 8m
Asia Mei - Shards [CD New] USD $17.22 Buy It Now 6h 14m
Asia - Self Titled - Vinyl LP - Power Rock, Pop Rock, 70s/80s Rock USD $3.75 Buy It Now 6h 15m
ASIA Alpha GHS4008 LP Ah4562(LP-33 RPM) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 6h 21m
ASIA 45 Don't Cry PROMO COPY Mono and Stereo Copy Geffen Records 1983 #7-29571 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 26m
ASIA 45 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes PROMO COPY Mono&Stereo Version 1983 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 26m
ASIA: Alpha LP GEFFEN RECORDS GHS4008 US 1983 Promo INNER SLEEVE VG++ USD $8.99 Buy It Now 6h 38m
7"-Single ASIA - Go (1985) HOLLAND PS / ELP / KING CRIMSON / BUGGLES / KROKUS USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 51m
ASIA Live in Moscow 1990 JAPAN 2 MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT RARE GQCP-50024-5 USD $69.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
SKITZ MIX ASIA ALBUM CD USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7h 5m
Then & Now by Asia  10 Songs  Minty CD USD $5.25 Buy It Now 7h 12m
Asia-Alpha-ORIGINAL 1983 US LP -SEALED-Roger Dean Cover! USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Asia Alpha Cassette Tape RARE MINT No Inlay USD $2.49 Buy It Now 7h 42m
SNSD Girls' Generation The 1st Asia Tour 2CD Mini Album CD K-POP Sealed USD $31.05 Buy It Now 7h 55m
YES - YES:TODAY. / 2 CD SET. ( ABWH , ASIA , STEVE HOWE , JON ANDERSON ) USD $9.20 Buy It Now 8h
50 X7" Singles :ASIA,BOSTON,JOURNEY,FOREIGNER,LOVERBOY,TOTO,LENNON,POISON USD $24.99 [0 bids]
8h 2m
ASIA-GOLD -32TR- CD NEW USD $18.90 Buy It Now 9h 8m
1997 Taiwan R.O.C. Midem Asia Sampler 20 Tracks by Taiwan Recording Artists RARE USD $69.69 Buy It Now 9h 55m
Borodin: Symphonies No.1 & No.2/In The Steppes Of Central Asia, New Music USD $15.45 Buy It Now 10h 5m
2 Lot ASIA CDs - ASIA & ALPHA - Downes, Howe, Palmer, Wetton USD $10.00 [0 bids]
USD $16.00 Buy It Now
10h 10m
Asia 45 w/ps GO / AFTER THE WAR ~ VG++ Canada press USD $3.95 Buy It Now 10h 25m
Radio Show: FLASHBACK! 6/4/01 LYNYRD SKYNYRD, ZZ TOP, DOOBIE BROTHERS, ASIA, WHO USD $18.99 Buy It Now 10h 30m
ASIA MINOR-BETWEEN FLESH AND~-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Hi25 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 10h 38m
ASIA-FANTASIA LIVE IN TOKYO COLLECTORS EDITION-JAPAN 2 HQCD DVD O00 USD $56.99 Buy It Now 10h 49m
Dance Nation-Asia Import Ministry of Sound (Artist) Format: Audio 2xCD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 50m
ASIA-ASTRA-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD Ltd/Ed I50 USD $36.99 Buy It Now 10h 51m
BONEY M.-ULTIMATE 2.0 ASIA VERSION-JAPAN 2CDS F56 zd USD $26.50 Buy It Now 10h 55m
BETH Acoustic Session Swedish Artist CD NEW Asia Edition HDCD Remastered USD $20.99 Buy It Now 11h
ASIA-XXX-JAPAN SHM-CD DVD LTD BONUS TRACK J25 zd USD $39.50 Buy It Now 11h 3m
ASIA-AQUA-JAPAN MINI LP BLU-SPEC LTD BONUS TRACK E50 USD $22.50 Buy It Now 11h 4m
SUPER JUNIOR-THE 1ST ASIA TOUR CONCERT ALBUM-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK G88 zd USD $30.99 Buy It Now 11h 5m
ASIA-GOLD-JAPAN 2 SHM-CD F00 zd USD $24.50 Buy It Now 11h 8m
ASIA-S/T-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD I50 USD $36.99 Buy It Now 11h 15m


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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)

3.14 | 437 ratings
Asia
1982
2.78 | 259 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.57 | 188 ratings
Astra
1985
2.88 | 149 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.77 | 116 ratings
Aria
1994
3.22 | 117 ratings
Arena
1996
3.21 | 127 ratings
Aura
2001
3.18 | 113 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.18 | 153 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.08 | 124 ratings
Omega
2010
2.90 | 109 ratings
XXX
2012
2.83 | 81 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.59 | 22 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 | 43 ratings
Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa
1990
2.31 | 7 ratings
Now: Live In Nottingham
1997
2.14 | 7 ratings
Asia Live In Osaka
1997
1.15 | 8 ratings
Live In Koln
1997
2.19 | 8 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 | 7 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.21 | 5 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
3.60 | 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
2.44 | 8 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
3.00 | 5 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in America
2015
2.60 | 7 ratings
Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
2015

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

4.19 | 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)

2.57 | 48 ratings
Then & Now
1990
2.17 | 30 ratings
Archiva 1
1996
1.85 | 31 ratings
Archiva 2
1996
3.00 | 4 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
1997
2.70 | 14 ratings
Rare
1999
3.45 | 17 ratings
Anthology
1999
3.04 | 6 ratings
Axioms
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2000
2.85 | 18 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
2000
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.41 | 19 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
2002
3.80 | 15 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)

2.21 | 9 ratings
Aurora (EP)
1986
3.20 | 5 ratings
Long Way From Home
2005
2.13 | 4 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Military Man (EP)
2009

ASIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aurora (EP)  by ASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
2.21 | 9 ratings

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Aurora (EP)
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A Japanese release from ASIA which is a vinyl EP with four songs from the band. Maybe it is now a rarity and a collectors's item. It was released in 1986.

It has the next songs:

"Too Late" (composed by John Wetton /Geoff Downes / Carl Palmer): from ASIA's third album titled "Astra" (1985). This song also was released as a single "A" Side in the U.S. in 1985, reaching there a Number 30 in the charts. A good Pop Rock song from the "Astra" album, an album which was unsuccessful and which has more of the very typical eighties's sound (with a lot of reverb) and production than their previous albums ("Asia", from 1982, and "Alpha" from 1983). It has Mandy Meyer on guitars, playing in a very different style to Steve Howe's, who left the band in 1984.

"Ride Easy" (composed by John Wetton / Steve Howe): previously released as the "B" Side of their "Heat of the Moment" single (but not in the U.K.). Wetton said in their "Fantasia - Live in Tokyo" DVD / CD from 2007 that this song was in fact one of the earliest songs that he and Howe composed for the band. This studio version is more a Pop Rock song with some Prog Rock influences. It also has Howe on guitars. The acoustic version which was included in their "Fantasia - Live in Tokyo" CD / DVD is more "nostalgical" and maybe better than the studio version. I sometimes prefer the live acoustic version.

"Daylight " (composed by Wetton / Downes): a very good song which was previously released as the "B" Side of their "Don't Cry" single in 1983. It also was previously released as a Bonus Track in the cassette version of their "Alpha" album. Another Pop Rock song with some Prog Rock influences and also with a lot of reverb, and with Howe on guitars. One of the best songs from their "Alpha" album period. It was also played live during their "Asia in Asia" concerts with Greg Lake on lead vocals and bass in December 1983 (during a 6 dates tour in Japan, when Lake briefly replaced Wetton).

"Lying to Yourself" (composed by Wetton / Howe): previously released as the "B" Side of their "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" single in 1983, and with Howe on guitars. Another very eighties Pop Rock song with some Prog Rock influences. It maybe was the most commercial song that Wetton and Howe wrote together. Despite this, by 1983 the main composers (and more successful composers for the record label and management, at least in the singles charts) in the band were Wetton and Downes, and this song was destined to a "B" Side, with their "Alpha" album having only songs compoed by Wetton and Downes, and with Howe finally leaving the band in 1984.

I think that this Japanese EP has very good songs which were previously released as "B" Sides of some singles and which could have been very well included in their respective albums if they could have been originally released in the CD format in 1982-1983. Anyway, all these songs can be found now on CD in their "Asia Gold" compilation from 2005.

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 Axis XXX Live in San Francisco by ASIA album cover Live, 2015
2.60 | 7 ratings

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Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
Asia Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Time and time again

Since the original line-up of Asia reunited in 2006 they have flooded the market with live albums. It started in 2007 with Fantasia - Live In Tokyo, an excellent DVD (and double CD), and the only one that you will need. Fantasia was recorded before the release of the studio album Phoenix and featured a very strong set list containing not only every track from the band's self-titled 1982 debut album, but also songs originally recorded by King Crimson, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and The Buggles.

Following 2008's Phoenix, the band then released another live album/video called Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009. This one was still good but it featured a considerably less interesting set list, especially with Fantasia already out there. Gone were most of the songs from the members individual pasts. After the next studio release - 2010's Omega - yet another live album appeared, called Resonance. The track list once again featured almost the same songs from the band's first two albums plus several songs from Phoenix and Omega.

This brings us to the present album which is yet another double disc set with the same line-up recorded on tour in support of the XXX ("triple X") album. Once again we get to hear a very predictable set of songs including standards like Only Time Will Tell, Time Again, Don't Cry, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Sole Survivor, and the ultra-tedious Heat Of The Moment. These songs have been played so many times and been included on countless live albums. The newer songs are not awful, but also not too exciting. I wish they had done something less predictable and included more rare songs and songs from the members individual pasts.

The inclusion of the early, non-album B-side Ride Easy would have been more interesting had it not already been included on the aforementioned Fantasia. However, the version featured here is somewhat different making it worthy of mention. Something else worthy of mention is Steve Howe's acoustic set, which is always nice.

Like I have said before, Fantasia - Live In Tokyo is the only live release you need from the reunited Asia. The subsequent several live releases are just too similar and offer too few surprises to be of much additional interest even for fans of the band.

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 XXX by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.90 | 109 ratings

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XXX
Asia Prog Related

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

2 stars I was quite disappointed when I first got this album on its release. At that point I'd only ever heard Asia's debut album, which I quite liked. I was intrigued by the Roger Dean cover, which - contrary to the album's musical content - is quite beautiful, so I decided to buy it. Seeing as I hadn't heard any of Asia's material from the 30 years in between, I was in for quite the surprise when I heard an album even less progressive than their debut.

The majority of the album is pop rock and soft rock and is largely forgettable and unappealing. There are a select few quality moments, such as the opener, "Tomorrow The World", which isn't unlike something that may have appeared on the band's debut, and Steve Howe's solo in "Faithful", which reminds me a little bit of "Wildest Dreams". So unless you're a die-hard fan of modern Asia, this album will be little more than $20 you'll wish you could get back.

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 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 259 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
3.14 | 437 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

3 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 | 14 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
2.60 | 7 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
2.57 | 48 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
3.14 | 437 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 | 259 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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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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