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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


Gravitas CD/DVDGravitas CD/DVD
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$10.49
$18.96 (used)
AsiaAsia
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$2.02
$1.10 (used)
XXXXXX
Deluxe Edition · CD+DVD
Frontier Records 2012
Audio CD$8.19
$4.13 (used)
ResonanceResonance
Frontiers Records 2012
Audio CD$10.74
$11.98 (used)
High Voltage (CD/DVD)High Voltage (CD/DVD)
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$19.98
OmegaOmega
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2010
Audio CD$2.88
$2.00 (used)
Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90
Remastered
Interscope Records 2000
Audio CD$5.40
$2.60 (used)
Definitive CollectionDefinitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen Records 2006
Audio CD$5.44
$3.97 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Gold Line Sp. 1996
Audio CD$2.99
$0.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
4minute For Muzik For Asia 2010 [CD+DVD] New Sealed US $25.95 Buy It Now 48m 12s
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Asia by Asia (R... US $4.99 Buy It Now 59m
KITARO, Asia Tour Super Live (Japan) LP US $19.95 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Machito/Asia Minor Cha Cha Cha/Sexy Cheesecake Cover/Forum Stereo SF 9043/VG+ US $12.00 Buy It Now 1h 28m
Paul Oakenfold Travelling in Asia Thai Cassette Seal OOP 3 USD SHIP WORLDWIDE US $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Ronan Keating Destination Asia 4 Bonus Tracks Thai Cassette Seal 3 USD SHIPPING US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Rock Sampler #9 Sep-Oct 2001 Thai Promo CD New 2 BE 3 Jessica Jay Toy Box Asia US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Coldplay X&Y South East Asia Tour Thai CD + DVD Seal OOP 3 USD SHIP WORLDWIDE US $34.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Asia - Stickered p/s Asia vinyl LP album record Dutch 85577 GEFFEN 1982 US $17.83 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Fall Insects - Fall Insects Cd Rare hard rock from Asia. US $13.00 Buy It Now 2h 31m
"Keun Suk,jang / 2012 Asia Tour DVD" US $102.47 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Daichi Hayakawa - Real Asia JAPAN CD Mint W/OBI #06-1 US $8.44 Buy It Now 3h 4m
ASIA - ASIA TURKISH PRESSING RARE US $50.00 Buy It Now 3h 17m
Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia Inghelbrecht Pathé Art 78rpm US $35.00 Buy It Now 3h 23m
ASIA 2001 - DREAMLAND (UK) NEW CD US $26.31 Buy It Now 3h 32m
ASIA / PELTON / QUIRK / WATKINS - SONGS FROM PAGE OF SWORDS NEW CD US $24.77 Buy It Now 3h 44m
ASIA, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Lying to Yourself, 1983, Geffen label US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $31.00 Buy It Now
3h 51m
ASIA - "Only Time Will Tell"/"Ride Easy" - 1982 1st UK 7" Single (A1/B1) w/PS US $21.88 Buy It Now 4h 57m
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE CASSETTE TAPE JUSTIFIED MADE IN ASIA US $5.63 Buy It Now 4h 57m
ASIA-ASTRA-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD Ltd/Ed I50 US $42.99 Buy It Now 5h 22m
KITARO Asia Tour Super Live JAPAN LP DIGITAL 1984 NM 1342-46 US $13.50 Buy It Now 5h 23m
U.K. - S/T - Cassette Polish Press (Wetton, King Crimson, Asia, Frank Zappa) US $12.00 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Songs By Miss YAO LEE Vintage Pathé Chinese 10" LP CPA 105 Singapore ASIA CHINA US $39.00 [0 bids]
5h 58m
LEE JOON GI -ASIA TOUR JG IN JAPAN-JAPAN 3 DVD U85 B US $93.99 Buy It Now 5h 58m
TSUI PING Loving Silence EMI ANGEL S-3AEX-323 CHINESE FEMALE VOCAL LP ASIA CHINA US $39.00 [0 bids]
5h 59m
LIU YUN Do You Know CHINESE FEMALE VOCAL POP JERK SOUL GO-GO LP ASIA CHINA PSYCH US $39.00 [0 bids]
5h 59m
ASIA-ALPHA +2-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD BONUS TRACK Ltd/Ed I50 US $42.50 Buy It Now 6h 31m
ASIA,CD 1990,Then & Now - Asia US $3.99 Buy It Now 6h 39m
EXILE - ASIA - Japan CD+DVD - J-POP US $16.99 Buy It Now 6h 42m
JANG KEUN SUK - 2010 ASIA TOUR (4PC) NEW DVD US $115.60 Buy It Now 6h 42m
ASIA CD - GRAVITAS [CD/DVD DELUXE EDITION](2014) - NEW UNOPENED US $19.99 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Mihimaru GT - The Best Selection Of Asia CD *SEALED* US $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 59m
ASIA (ROCK) - ASTRA [ASIA (ROCK)] - NEW CD US $3.34 Buy It Now 7h 5m
ASIA ENGINEER - Happy - Japan CD - NEW J-POP US $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 19m
ASIA ENGINEER Single Daizenshu The Best Of AE Japan CD US $15.99 Buy It Now 7h 21m
Original 1982 ASIA Asia Self Titled LP Vinyl Record ALBUM 12" GEF 85577 US $16.97 Buy It Now 7h 21m
ASIA-ALPHA +2-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD BONUS TRACK Ltd/Ed G00 US $31.50 Buy It Now 7h 23m
ASIA-ASTRA-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Ltd/Ed G00 US $31.50 Buy It Now 7h 35m
ROCK LP ASIA SELF TITLED 1ST PR NO BAR CODE / 1982 / STILL SEALED US $29.95 Buy It Now 7h 40m
?KOREA CD/Hello ASIA - Mix Asia (Freetempo & UV Muzie) US $45.99 Buy It Now 7h 42m
ASIA (AOR GROUP) who will stop the rain 12" 3 trk b/w aqua part 1 and heart of g US $43.77 Buy It Now 7h 42m
ASIA FIELDS burst 12" 3 trk featuring save me,dazed and ain't that just what lov US $13.41 Buy It Now 8h 4m
MEN AT WORK CASSETTE TAPE CARGOMADE IN ASIA US $5.63 Buy It Now 8h 6m
Asia/ Geffen GHS-2008/ Near Mint US $4.95 [0 bids]
8h 26m
Visage The Anvil 1982 With A Poster Rare Polygram Asia 12" ELP1612 US $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 30m
ASIA-ASTRA-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-SACD Ltd/Ed K25 US $48.99 Buy It Now 8h 48m
ASIA Live In Germany 2x CD NEW US $15.27 Buy It Now 8h 58m
BMG Aug 2008 JAPAN Promo CD Leona Lewis, Usher, Asia Cruise, Psycho Teddy..#38-2 US $10.39 Buy It Now 8h 58m
ASIA Live In Nottingham CD NEW US $13.56 Buy It Now 9h 3m
Geoffrey Downes/John Wetton - Icon (2005) ASIA founding members US $17.04 Buy It Now 9h 20m
Vintage 1982-83 "45" RPM Record Lot Of 22 Motels, Asia, Culture Club, Paul Simon US $34.99 Buy It Now 9h 21m
30 X7"Picture Singles:M.JacksonJourney,Boston,Springsteen,Genesis,McCartney,Asia US $44.99 [0 bids]
9h 32m
EXPLORER SERIES: EAST ASIA / JAPAN - KOTO CLASSICS NEW CD US $22.86 Buy It Now 9h 42m
ASIA / CARL PALMER THREE X VINYL LP OFFER INC FIRST SELF TITLED LP *ALL ORIGINAL US $25.50 Buy It Now 10h 32m
ASIA (ROCK) - DRAGON ATTACK - NEW CD US $7.90 Buy It Now 10h 38m
Asia by Asia (Rock) (CD, Oct-1990, Geffen) Free Ship #DY14 US $5.88 Buy It Now 11h 4m
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO ASIA ~ 3 CD BOXSET NEW US $17.06 Buy It Now 11h 6m
Asia - Live In Tokyo - 2008 (NEW 2CD) US $13.20 Buy It Now 11h 12m
ASIA -FANTASIA:LIVE IN TOKYO 2CD SET 2007 JAPAN OBI WHD ENTERTAINMENT US $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 16m
Live in Moscow 1990 by Asia (Rock) (CD, Jun-1992, Rhino (Label)) Free Ship #DW96 US $5.88 Buy It Now 11h 42m
ASIA-GO JUKE BOX TITLE STRIP US $0.75 [0 bids]
US $1.50 Buy It Now
11h 53m
Kokomo "ASIA MINOR / ROY'S TUNE" Felsted 45-8612 45 RPM US $1.99 [0 bids]
12h 23m
Mariah Carey Me I Am Elusive Chateuse South East Asia Thai CD Seal 3 USD S US $17.99 Buy It Now 12h 29m
Asia Alpha Cassette Seal OOP 3 USD SHIPPING REGISTERED WORLDWIDE US $7.99 Buy It Now 12h 33m
Black Eyed Peas Monkey Business CD+DVD Asia Special New US $29.99 Buy It Now 12h 36m
WATERGATE - HEART OF ASIA CD SINGLE US $3.39 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Asia Live in Moscow 1990 Thai Cassette Seal OOP US $14.99 Buy It Now 12h 51m
ASIA Dutch Pressing CASSETTE Tape CRO2 Chromium Dioxide AOR Hard Rock HOLLAND US $6.00 [0 bids]
12h 53m
Asia-Then&Now US $1.99 [0 bids]
US $4.00 Buy It Now
12h 54m
Anggun Chrysalis Sony Music Asia CD Excellent 3 USD SHIPPING REGISTER WORLDWIDE US $24.99 Buy It Now 12h 56m
Sealed LPs- Rick James New Edition Billy Ocean Asia Cheech Blondie George Benson US $30.00 [0 bids]
US $40.00 Buy It Now
13h
ALPHA BY ASIA VINYL RECORD ALBUM FROM 1983 US $12.00 Buy It Now 13h
Hilary Duff Santa Claus Lane Asia Promo CD OOP 3 USD SHIPPING REGISTER WORLDWIDE US $14.99 Buy It Now 13h 2m
Audio CD Daniel Asia SONATA FOR VIOLIN & PIANO & A PIANO TRIO Signed US $18.95 [0 bids]
US $25.00 Buy It Now
13h 3m
2 BE 3 2 BE 3 12 Tracks Album CD Excellent ASIA OOP 3 USD SHIPPING WORLDWIDE US $49.99 Buy It Now 13h 3m
Asia Edition STYX Cornerstone LP 1979 Gatefold A&M Records SP-3711 w/Insert US $19.99 Buy It Now 13h 4m
Asia - Archiva Vol. 2 (1996) NEW/SEALED SPEEDYPOST US $5.92 Buy It Now 13h 7m
Rock Box (2011) 10CD Box Set NEW/SEALED Asia, Atomic Rooster, BJH, Uriah Heep.. US $8.31 Buy It Now 13h 15m
Slip Double: Asia : Live Around The World 1990 & 2008 US $24.21 [0 bids]
13h 27m
Slip Double: Asia : High Voltage Live London 2010 2 CDs US $15.59 [0 bids]
13h 27m
Slip Double: Asia : The Omega Tour London 2010 2 CDs US $29.07 [0 bids]
13h 27m
Asia - Then & Now CD 1990 A&M / BMG - Near Mint! US $1.65 Buy It Now 13h 31m
ASIA alpha GEF 25508 A5/B6 near mint disc uk geffen 1983 LP PS EX/EX + insert US $15.34 Buy It Now 13h 54m
AMERICAN DREAMS santana/boston/journey/toto/survivor/asia/etc DOUBLE LP PS NM/EX US $15.34 Buy It Now 13h 54m
PETER AND CLIVE SARSTEDT asia minor KNEWL 01 A1/B1 1st press uk LP PS EX+/EX US $32.12 Buy It Now 13h 55m
Asia - Astra [CD New] US $6.32 Buy It Now 14h
Asia - Then & Now [CD New] US $6.13 Buy It Now 14h 2m
Asia Minor by Dizzy Reece (CD, Apr-1992, Original Jazz Classics) US $10.00 Buy It Now 14h 10m
Asia (2) - Alpha/LP Geffen GHS 4008/NM+ USA/Steve Howe/Carl Palmer/Yes US $5.00 [0 bids]
14h 17m
ASIA ALPHA CASSETTE FREE U.S. SHIPPING LOOK US $5.57 Buy It Now 14h 18m
Lot Of 6 Vinyl Albums Foreigner,Journey,Asia,SteelyDan,Boston, Police US $8.99 [0 bids]
US $22.50 Buy It Now
14h 34m
J DEERE - ROAD TO ASIA NEW CD US $26.31 Buy It Now 14h 43m
Phoenix +1 bonus video clip ASIA CD ( FREE SHIPPING ) US $10.99 Buy It Now 14h 47m
JOHN WETTON PHIL MANZANERA - s/t PROG 1987 ASIA KING CRIMSON ROXY MUSIC US $6.99 Buy It Now 15h
ASIA ASTRA ORIGINAL 1ST PRESS STAMPED PROMO VINYL LP GHS24072 WAX IS MINT US $16.95 [0 bids]
US $22.95 Buy It Now
15h 9m
Asia by Kitaro (CD, 1985, Geffen) Mint #AW91 US $13.63 Buy It Now 15h 21m
CD Double: Asia : Live San Fancisco 2008 2CDs US $23.52 [0 bids]
15h 22m
CD Double: Asia : Live In Japan US $12.95 [0 bids]
15h 22m
CD Double: Asia : Different Worlds Live - Brucksal US $13.20 [0 bids]
15h 22m
Asia - Then And Now (1990) - Used - Compact Disc US $0.99 [1 bids]
15h 22m

More places to buy ASIA music online Buy ASIA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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ASIA shows & tickets


  • ASIA on 11 Oct 2014
  • Asia at The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano on 19 Oct 2014
  • Asia at The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 29 Oct 2014

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)

3.11 | 389 ratings
Asia
1982
2.76 | 225 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.49 | 163 ratings
Astra
1985
2.84 | 131 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.72 | 103 ratings
Aria
1994
3.18 | 105 ratings
Arena
1996
3.21 | 112 ratings
Aura
2001
3.19 | 98 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.17 | 135 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.06 | 112 ratings
Omega
2010
2.92 | 94 ratings
XXX
2012
2.77 | 54 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.63 | 8 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Recollections: A Tribute To British Prog
2014

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

2.75 | 38 ratings
Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa
1990
2.21 | 5 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
2.67 | 5 ratings
Live Acoustic
1999
3.09 | 4 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.00 | 3 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
2001
3.71 | 7 ratings
America - Live In The Usa
2002
2.75 | 7 ratings
Dragon Attack
2003
2.12 | 5 ratings
Live in Buffalo
2003
2.00 | 2 ratings
Live in Hyogo
2003
1.57 | 4 ratings
Live in Massachusetts '83
2004
3.00 | 9 ratings
Live In Nottingham
2007
3.68 | 35 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
3.00 | 4 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
2.26 | 4 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012

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

4.16 | 17 ratings
Asia In Asia (VHS)
1984
2.26 | 8 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.12 | 11 ratings
Live In Moscow 1990 (DVD)
2003
3.13 | 11 ratings
America: Live in the USA (DVD)
2003
3.66 | 25 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
2007
3.57 | 7 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)

2.59 | 38 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 | 9 ratings
Rare
1999
3.44 | 15 ratings
Anthology
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
Axioms
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2000
2.83 | 17 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
2000
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.40 | 15 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
2002
3.77 | 13 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
3.00 | 3 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
 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
2.77 | 54 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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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.11 | 389 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

1 stars It's interesting hearing this album after all of these years of adventures in abstract prog music and training in classical musicianship in college. Interesting in the sense that this album now sounds comical, while I remember it sounding cool back in high school (which is why I bothered to review it). The first track of course is the big radio hit from the 80s, and you pretty much couldn't get any more dated sounding than this (from prog musicians anyway). It's strange hearing Wetton's vocals now after listening to Red all of these years (to be fair, his singing is actually better in this dreadful album, sadly enough).Most early 80s rock cliches can be found in this album. There are moments from each musician where I hear some strong hints at prog style, for example the interesting sections in Soul Survivor. However, these shades of progressiveness almost make it worse, tantalizing the listener into being so aware of the potential for creativity that was never really tapped into. Every moment of the album is so contrived; the commercialism is, quite frankly, disgusting and boring, and what hints of skilled playing that one might find are either out of place, lame, or just preposterous sounding. It makes one imagine that Journey, Boston, and even Foreigner were doing at least something right at the time, which is disgraceful. It's like a bunch of extremely skilled painters using their skills to create vulgar, even lack-luster looking Anime drawings; as a person with a profession in the arts, I myself I find it almost offensive. I would even rather listen to Cyndi Lauper, since you can at least sing a catchy melody with that kind of pop music. Here, it's just commercialized noodling around.

Every moment of this album is dreadful in one way or another. Don't waste any money or time on it.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 54 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Probably best to start this review with a couple of admissions. Firstly, when the first Asia album came out it was purchased immediately and I very nearly wore the needle out playing it (yes it was vinyl, yes I really am that old). But, to me it was a state of diminishing returns as each album wasn't quite as good as the last and I soon lost interest. It was only later that I listened to some material and realized that there were still some good songs, but that it wasn't really working for me. But, when I heard that the original line-up was going to get back together then of course I was excited, but while 'Phoenix' and 'Omega' did have some good bits here and there, 'XXX' had little in the way to save it. So, when I was offered this album I was quite in two minds, especially when I saw that Steve was no longer involved and instead they now had Sam Coulson (who has worked with Paul Gilbert and Walter Trout).

After I had played the album a few times I found myself questioning how to actually review it. If one is looking for groundbreaking music then this isn't it, but if one wants an album filled with anthems that just beg the listener to sing along then maybe it is. Although this has Asia on the sleeve, and is filled with Asia-style harmonies and songs, there is a real feeling that this is actually a Downes-Wetton album. Carl always played a more subdued role with Asia than ELP due to the style of music, and Sam seems to be content to provide backing riffs and has little to do with the way of lead roles (although they do throw him the occasional solo and he does a great job) and this makes the album somewhat one-sided. But, did I enjoy listening to it? The answer to that has to be a resounding yes, and I know that if they deigned to tour down here then I would be delighted to go and see them. So, for pure listening pleasure (and I know that this is weighted with sentiment) it has to be 4/5, but I wouldn't be surprised to see others rate it much lower than that. But, it is a million miles better than 'XXX', although that wasn't too hard to be fair.

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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.11 | 389 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by JT_Productions

1 stars This will probably piss a few people off, but I feel I have to say it. I hate Asia. Sorry, but I really, really can't stand them. Asia is immaculately produced, and generally brilliantly done, but I loathe it. It flies in the face of everything about music that I hold dear, especially from musicians of their calibre, who weren't entirely unsuccessful before... Everyone's entitled to make a decent living, but not when they unload this kind of crap on the general public. This gets one star simply in recognition of the work that went into it and the intelligence behind it, not for the music. Avoid.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 54 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars What makes an album is good? I think it relies on how you look at it instead of the musical quality per se. For me personally, music is emotion. It touches something very substance in people's mind and in my case also heart. When Asia was first formed in the 80s all ears were focusing on how the music would sound like as most of members were coming from pioneers of prog with bands like ELP, Yes, King Crimson. People expected very high but forgot that the real intent of the members to create Asia as project was for them to take a refresh mind by making something else other than prog. So when it was launched there were many people disappointed as they asked question like: where is the PROG element? I was disappointed as well at first listen.

But then I took another standpoint by forgetting who actually played in the band and reposition Asia as a straight forward rock band and BOOM! I like it. Of course Time Again and Wildest Dreams as my favorites. But overall the album was quite good for my ears. The melody as well as chorus lines were all OK to my ears. And now I am facing this new album by Asia named as "Gravitas" with major disappointment not because of the composition or performance - yes both components are not good as well. The chief disappointing factor with this album is that it has lost its soul. There is nothing such as the nuances of legendary prog masters. Well that should be fine ...and I reposition it already this album as an AOR kind of music style. But the music fails to prove me the good quality of it unless one thing: the stunning guitar work by the new boy. I think ...almost all songs are weak but the guitar solos are almost all great. The only song that deserves good rating is the album title "Gravitas" where it has stunning guitar solo. Most of songs have very weak and damn boring chorus line. It's really waste of time listening to this album. Actually "I Would Die For You" is potentially a good track ...but again ... the chorus line is so boring ....

Overall, I would not recommend this album not because of bad composition but more on the lost of soul in the music. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.11 | 389 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by MJAben

1 stars There are several reasons why I think this album is deserving of one star.

One, it isn't prog, if it weren't for the stellar line-up I doubt this would even be on this website and even still, it's under 'Prog Related' for a reason. At a base level I cannot understand what differentiates from music such as Journey, Boston or Europe. This is arena rock with little to no prog and, I feel as a result of that, the album couldn't deserve more than three stars based on that fact alone.

But here's why it doesn't even deserve that.

It's cheesy, beyond cheesy... This is downright laughable at times. I am listening to an album from Steve Howe and John Wetton or am I listening to 'a thousand and one renditions of 'Eye of the Tiger''. I'm sorry but that's how this album comes across.

The album is a clear attempt to make money, and although there is nothing inherently wrong with that (if I ever chose to became a professional musician I would go into pop simply for the money) the fact still remains. I get that the style of artists change over time and I would never want an artist to play the same style of music over and over again but, at the same time, this is beyond musical change, this is similar to Genesis' 'Invisible Touch', its an album that screams "lets get some hits".

On top of that, I can't think of an album that better illustrates "why prog went to **** in the 80's". Perhaps this isn't a fair criticism but my father recounts when growing up how this album symbolized how all of his prog icons were gone and why he largely lost interest in music at this point in his life. I know I can't blame a single band for the loss of prog in the 80's but, it does seem to perfectly encapsulate the changing attitude of many 70's prog musicians.

But here's my largest complaint, and the reason that I feel the album most deserves one star, the diversity... This album may be the least diverse "prog" album I have ever heard where every song feels like a cheap copy of the previous song in an attempt to spew out as many hits as possible and while, one or two songs on an album in this style wouldn't go amiss, an entire album of this causes the album to feel dull, repetitive and downright lazy.

There is a real strength in writing a good pop song, but writing the same pop song over and over again and calling it an album is less of a strength. At some level the music is catchy, but just because it's catchy doesn't mean it's good.

As a pop album 2/5 stars

As a prog album 1/5 stars (I would rate it lower if I could).

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 54 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by robbob

4 stars I have been a follower of Asia since their beginnings. Yes Asia is prog related...is pop prog...but in this vein one of the best groups.

Maybe Asia Asia was the only one in a line of symphonic heavy prog. Then...in a more popular line.

Maybe it got better(in my opinion yes) with their other singer(second era) When Wetton returned ...it returned the Asia "Time Will Tell"..Asia" Astra" line again.

In the second era another sound ...solid..AOR rock ..a good heavy pop prog... This album is more in that line and in the level of Arena...or Aura...the best albums of the second era.

I found the last ones(before this) very bad pieces of music ...but I enjoyed this one...ans I enjoyed it not as as very prog material but...as a quite good rock music.

So an improve since their last albums.

In this kind of prog related or pop prog for me 4 stars.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 54 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by Thandrus

4 stars Contrary to popular opinion, I think this new Asia album is their best after original line-up reunion. Despite the stellar line up (well, without Howe this time), I think people should have already learnt what to expect from the band - good old AOR, with Wetton's characteristic melodic touch. Of course, not all of their albums were successful even in this field (for example Omega and XXX were quite dull-ish.), but on Gravitas they finally achieve what they aimed for.

The two opening songs show us that we are not to expect any deviations - they are both based on a simple, repetitive but very beautiful chorus, which manages to never bore you in those quite long songs. There are three more songs that exploit this simple song title-chorus formula (Nyctophobia, I Would Die For You, Till We Meet Again) result is again pretty pleasant, if not extraordinary.

Some of the songs are on ballad or slow side, which somehow echo Wetton's excellent "Battle Lines" album. Everyone of them is good, especially in the chorus department, with some of them (Russian Dolls, Heaven Help Me Now) being really excellent.

There are a couple of things to be said about the overall sound. New guitar player really fits this simple and direct style of today's Asia. In the last few albums Howe seemed to be bored from his own limited input - here, even riffs sound energetic, even if simple. On the other hand, the biggest problem here is Downes' choice of background strings. They are quite irritating sometimes and drag the album a bit down for me.

But overall, all of this is quite exciting to listen. While not having any masterpiece aspirations, this album is the best they've done since reuniting. 3,5 stars, but when if I have to choose, I'll gladly upgrade to 4. Now let's wait for Payne's Asia to finally release something. My personal expectations are very high.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.77 | 54 ratings

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Gravitas
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I have no experience of Asia. I just knew it was a prog "super group" with old progers who gathered in the early eighties and recorded some quite popular records, but as I can see here, not so well ranked by prog listeners. Especially this most recent record from 2014, "Gravitas" which featured John Wetton on song and bass, Sam Coulson on guitar, Geoff Downes on keyboards and Carl Palmer on drums. Of these, it's especially Carl Palmer I have heard of before. "Gravitas" is Asia'a twelfth studio album and it has a wonderful cover picture with a dragon wandering behind a birch forest. The "Asia" sign is very stylistic.

When I put the record on, I do enjoyed what I heard. The band seemed so coherent and it was a nice flow in the music. I liked the vocalist and the half-symphonic feeling in this well played and instrumentalistic pop music. I like the clear sounds I heard. I enjoy the majority of these tracks. My favourite is "Russian Dolls" (7/10) which is the most acoustic and where the vocals do it perfect, a thoughtful text too. "Valkyrie" and "Gravitas" are powerful pop songs with a hint of prog in it and they are lovely to listen to. "Heaven help me now" and the sugarsweet "Joe DiMaggio's Glove" (6/10) are also worth hearing. The others aren't so interesting really. The most catchy and almost annoying bit is "I would die for you"(4/10).

As a whole record I consider this thing to work well and I believe they play just the music they want to play. I didn't expected so much after I have seen some reviews but this what over my expectations. I find this record pleasant and I think others will think the same. Three stars!

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