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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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AsiaAsia
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$1.98
$0.50 (used)
Definitive CollectionDefinitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen Records 2006
Audio CD$4.09
$4.98 (used)
Gravitas CD/DVDGravitas CD/DVD
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$10.87
$11.47 (used)
Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90
Remastered
Interscope Records 2000
Audio CD$3.39
$1.23 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Gold Line Sp. 1996
Audio CD$2.46
$1.99 (used)
AstraAstra
Remastered
Mca Special Products 1995
Audio CD$2.95
$1.50 (used)
OmegaOmega
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2010
Audio CD$3.46
$3.11 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Asia - Alpha: Vinyl Record, Excellent, Geffen GHS 4008, Rock, Lp, 12", 33rpm USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 38m
ASIA - Wherever You Are - Promo CD Single - 2000 - MINT USD $5.96 Buy It Now 2h 14m
Japan SMAP - LIVE Smap (Asia Version) - 2 VCD 2001 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 20m
ASIA-GO Promo Only JAPAN 12"NM XDAP-93134 USD $35.10 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Robin Thicke, Flo Rida, Train, Nena, ZZ Top, Free, Toto, Asia, Yes - 2 cd 092714 USD $7.96 Buy It Now 4h 29m
Wishbone Ash ?- Come On NOS 1979 UK 7" Single U.K. Asia Family King Crimson USD $17.95 Buy It Now 4h 49m
Glenn Hughes The Work Tapes SEALED 98 UK CD Trapeze Deep Purple Buggles Asia Yes USD $15.95 Buy It Now 4h 49m
Keith Emerson Off the Shelf SEALED 2006 USA CD Lake and Palmer King Crimson Asia USD $13.95 Buy It Now 4h 52m
Cairo Conflict & Dreams SEALED 1998 USA CD Magna Carta Marillion Pink Floyd Asia USD $12.95 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Cairo Time of Legends SEALED 2001 USA CD Magna Carta Marillion Moody Blues Asia USD $11.95 Buy It Now 4h 54m
GTR ?- When The Heart Rules The Mind NOS 1986 USA 7" Single Yes Asia Genesis USD $13.95 Buy It Now 4h 56m
THE BEATLES - HEY JUDE - REVOLUTION - ASIA 7" USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 57m
ASIA Alpha JAPAN LP NM w/OBI & SHRINKWRAP 25AP2650 USD $12.60 Buy It Now 5h 4m
BLACKFOOT CASSETTE TAPE MARAUDER MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $11.68 Buy It Now 5h 5m
Phoenix by Asia (Rock) (CD, Apr-2008, EMI Music Distribution) USD $8.39 Buy It Now 5h 20m
Asia - 3 Mini LP CD Japan 2001 +Promo-Box+Promo-OBI VERY RARE OOP MINT UK Wetton USD $150.00 Buy It Now 5h 36m
Asia - Asia 1982 Ex/Ex Geffen GEF85577 USD $9.78 Buy It Now 5h 50m
Asia- Astra- Rock LP SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 52m
Asia by Asia (Rock) (HDCD, May-2010, Audio Fidelity) USD $40.00 Buy It Now 6h
Paul van Dyk in between Special 2-DISC Asia Edition NEW cd474 USD $21.84 Buy It Now 6h 4m
JOHN WETTON GEOFF DOWNES ICON "HEAT OF THE MOMENT 05" ASIA YES KING CRIMSON USD $10.84 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Asia - Alpha 1983 Ex/Ex Geffen GEF 25508 USD $10.54 Buy It Now 6h 14m
BARBRA STREISAND SOUNDTRACK CASSETTE TAPE YENTL MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 6h 23m
SILVER - Somebody (Asia Call) - 12" USD $15.97 Buy It Now 6h 25m
VILLAGE PEOPLE CASSETTE TAPE GREATEST HITS MADE IN ASIA ULTRA RARE USD $14.02 Buy It Now 6h 28m
REM CASSETTE TAPE AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 6h 42m
RAMONES CASSETTE TAPE MONDO BIZARRO MADE IN ASIA ULTRA RARE USD $14.02 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Maroon 5 Hands All Over Taiwan CD+DVD Asia Tour Edition USD $32.68 Buy It Now 6h 57m
JOAN ARMATRADING CASSETTE TAPE JOAN ARMATRADING MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 7h 12m
VAN HALEN CASSETTE TAPE 5150 MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 7h 22m
SPLIT ENZ CASSETTE TAPE THE BEST OF SPLIT ENZ MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 7h 25m
BON JOVI CASSETTE TAPE SLIPPERY WHEN WET MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 7h 35m
AUSTRALIAN CRAWL CASSETTE TAPE THE BOYS LIGHT UP MADE IN ASIA RARE USD $9.35 Buy It Now 7h 41m
ASIA Who Will Stop The Rain CD 4 Track B/w Aqua Part 1,heart Of Gold And Obsess USD $8.79 Buy It Now 7h 54m
Thomas Barsoe BETTER MAN ASIA CD + DVD 4 MV + 1 LIVE TR USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 59m
Planet Asia: The Sickness, Part One USD $8.00 Buy It Now 8h 17m
ASIA BLUE Connect CD 4 Track 7" Radio Mix B/w 3 Amigoz Mix, 4 2 The Floor Mix An USD $7.90 Buy It Now 8h 25m
ASIA Live In Nottingham CD 13 Track UK Blueprint 1997 USD $9.03 Buy It Now 8h 27m
ASIA Wherever You Are CD 2 Track Promo In Special Sleeve B/w Under The Gun. EU USD $7.90 Buy It Now 8h 28m
Asia - Asia debut album RARE ISRAELI PRESS LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
ASIA Then And Now CD 10 Track GERMAN Geffen 1990 USD $7.90 Buy It Now 8h 40m
JOHNNY MADDOX - ASIA MINOR/SHELL HAPPY 45 RPM 1961 USD $1.37 Buy It Now 8h 49m
TOHOSHINKI The 3rd Asia Tour Concert Mirotic Taiwan 2CD USD $23.79 Buy It Now 8h 51m
7"-Single ASIA Only Time Will Tell (1982)HOLLAND PS/YES ELP KING CRIMSON BUGGLES USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 55m
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Steppin' Into Asia 7" Japan Picture Disc YMO Yellow Magic USD $27.50 Buy It Now 9h
ASIA BLUE Escaping CD 4 Track Cool Blue Mix B/w A Kiss Across The Seal, Sleeping USD $7.90 Buy It Now 9h 4m
Asia (Yes / ELP) - classic 12" single (prog / melodic rock) USD $9.03 Buy It Now 9h 15m
Japan Asia Securities Co Ltd 100th Anniversary Memorial - Japan CD - NEW USD $94.99 Buy It Now 9h 35m
ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE CD 1989 ARISTA ARCD85-90126 YES, ASIA, GENESIS USD $4.99 Buy It Now 9h 48m
Asia Alpha, 1983 1st 1S Press in Shrink, EXCELLENT, STUNNING SOUND! USD $12.50 Buy It Now 9h 57m
YESTERDAYS BY YES (1988 ATLANTIC CD) MADE IN GERMANY REMASTERED GENESIS, ASIA USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 10m
Robbie Williams (2003 MTV Asia Live),Norah Jones/EMI Official TV AD VCD USD $49.99 Buy It Now 10h 12m
Yes DVD House Of Yes Live CD Genesis Asia Marillion Pink Floyd USD $7.99 Buy It Now 10h 29m
Asia - High Voltage (NEW CD+DVD) USD $26.37 Buy It Now 10h 33m
ASIA - ONLY TIME WILL TELL (RARE JAPAN 3LP) USD $32.00 Buy It Now 11h
ASIA - LOVE OF SCIENCE (RARE JAPAN LP) USD $22.00 Buy It Now 11h
FOX,BRITNY-LONG WAY TO LIVE ! (ASIA) CD NEW USD $23.98 Buy It Now 11h 7m
GAME MUSIC-STREET FIGHTER TRIBUTE ALBUM (ASIA) CD NEW USD $25.46 Buy It Now 11h 7m
REZ ABBASI-THIRD EAR (ASIA) CD NEW USD $14.87 Buy It Now 11h 7m
PRIMAL FEAR-NEW RELIGION (ASIA) CD NEW USD $19.28 Buy It Now 11h 7m
SCARS ON BROADWAY-SCARS ON BROADWAY (ASIA) CD NEW USD $20.45 Buy It Now 11h 7m
Asia,Boston,Styx,SEALED CD,Legend of Rock Since 1960,Glenn Fry,Jefferson Starshi USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 9m
SNSD Girls' Generation The 1st Asia Tour 2CD Mini Album CD K-POP Sealed USD $24.99 [0 bids]
11h 30m
Asia ALPHA Vinyl LP Album Excellent Condition W/Original Sleeve USD $4.99 Buy It Now 11h 33m
Raised In Captivity - John Wetton (Asia) - (CD) Robert Fripp / Steve Morse USD $2.99 [0 bids]
USD $6.99 Buy It Now
11h 45m
Live in Poland/ Emerson,Lake & Palmer/Asia/KIng Crimson/new cd/Live 1997 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 12h 57m
Asia - Alpha USD $7.00 Buy It Now 13h 4m
Asia - Asia USD $7.00 Buy It Now 13h 4m
ASIA (ROCK) - SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT: THE PHOENIX TOUR LIVE IN - NEW CD BOXSET USD $12.94 Buy It Now 13h 19m
ASIA HEAT OF THE MOMENT / RIDE EASY 45 RPM EP RECORD USD $12.50 Buy It Now 13h 21m
HUGE 50 LP LOT LYNYRD SKYNYRD ERIC CLAPTON STEVE MILLER JOURNEY BAD COMPANY ASIA USD $12.50 [2 bids]
13h 27m
ALPHA BY ASIA (CD) USD $12.50 Buy It Now 13h 52m
ASIA ARGENTO PINK VINYL 2 LP featuring THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE USD $55.00 Buy It Now 13h 55m
ASIA GRAVITAS SEALED CD NEW 2014 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 13h 59m
Asia - Then & Now - Polish Press USD $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 11m
ASIA-ROCK LEGENDS album-CD NEW sealed USD $8.67 Buy It Now 14h 16m
LP / ASIA / SELF TITLED (CANADA) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 14h 28m
LP / ASIA / ALPHA (CANADA) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 14h 29m
Asia - Alpha Japan LP Obi Mint USD $7.00 [0 bids]
14h 29m
Asia - Astra Japan LP USD $6.00 [0 bids]
14h 29m
Asia - Alpha Japan LP USD $6.00 [0 bids]
14h 29m
Asia - Don't Cry / Daylight Japan 45 USD $6.00 [0 bids]
14h 29m
Asia - Astra Japan LP Obi Logo Sticker In Shrink Wrap USD $8.00 [0 bids]
14h 29m
PSYCHEDELIC VISIONS 3 MENIS OMINUS BLACKLIGHT SEMSIS ASIA 2001 GOA TRANCE 2 CD USD $69.99 Buy It Now 14h 41m
KITARO, LIVE IN ASIA, LP 1984 GERMANY 1ST PRESS A1/B1 EX/EX-, INNER/SL USD $13.55 [0 bids]
14h 41m
BILL COSBY revenge LP VG+ CSJ 623 Taiwan Asia Press Stereo 1967 Rare USD $20.00 Buy It Now 14h 58m
Asia (2013, CD New) 4988005788542 USD $27.53 Buy It Now 15h 3m
Asia - Resonance - Live In Basel Switzerland Vol 2 (NEW 2 x 12" VINYL LP) USD $30.12 Buy It Now 15h 8m
Asia - Resonance - Live In Basel Switzerland Vol 1 (NEW 2 x 12" VINYL LP) USD $30.12 Buy It Now 15h 9m
Then & Now by Asia Very Good Used CD [BMG] [ AAD] USD $3.00 [0 bids]
15h 15m
Then & Now by Asia (Rock) (CD, Oct-2004, Universal Special Products) USD $5.95 Buy It Now 15h 20m
METALLICA [ THROUGH THE NEVER ] ORIGINAL CD SOUTH EAST ASIA EDITION FOR THAI USD $34.99 Buy It Now 15h 31m
Asia Self Titled LP 1982 Geffen GHS 3008 Vinyl Record USD $5.00 Buy It Now 15h 34m
PROG COLLECTIVE "Epilogue" Top all-star prog line up YES NEKTAR HAWKWIND ASIA USD $7.99 [0 bids]
15h 39m
ASIA: Alpha LP (Japan, pic disc, w/ insert card, PVC sleeve w/ title sticker) r USD $70.00 Buy It Now 16h 7m
TIESTO: ASIA TOUR 2008 DVD VIDEO NEW PAL R2 USD $22.60 Buy It Now 16h 10m
CERRONE-CERRONE XI-THE COLLECTOR (ASIA) CD NEW USD $21.63 Buy It Now 16h 15m
Rare 60's Hong Kong China Ye Feng Pathe EMI Asia Chinese 7" CEP2301 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 16h 36m
60's Taiwan China Liu Yun Chinese OST EMI Pathe Asia 7" CEP2549 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 36m
WESETLIFE - AGAINST ALL ODDS - ASIA IMPORT-CD USD $0.99 [0 bids]
16h 59m
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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)

3.12 | 405 ratings
Asia
1982
2.78 | 240 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.56 | 173 ratings
Astra
1985
2.85 | 136 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.73 | 105 ratings
Aria
1994
3.19 | 107 ratings
Arena
1996
3.22 | 117 ratings
Aura
2001
3.19 | 103 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.17 | 140 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.08 | 115 ratings
Omega
2010
2.93 | 99 ratings
XXX
2012
2.81 | 66 ratings
Gravitas
2014
3.00 | 12 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Recollections: A Tribute To British Prog
2014

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

2.76 | 39 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
2.68 | 6 ratings
Live Acoustic
1999
3.08 | 5 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.00 | 3 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
2001
3.86 | 7 ratings
America - Live In The Usa
2002
2.75 | 7 ratings
Dragon Attack
2003
2.18 | 6 ratings
Live in Buffalo
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live in Hyogo
2003
1.60 | 5 ratings
Live in Massachusetts '83
2004
3.00 | 9 ratings
Live In Nottingham
2007
3.68 | 38 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
3.08 | 5 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.35 | 7 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
3.50 | 2 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014

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
3.68 | 27 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
2007
3.75 | 8 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour - Live in Cambridge 2009
2010

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

2.61 | 43 ratings
Then & Now
1990
2.16 | 28 ratings
Archiva 1
1996
1.83 | 28 ratings
Archiva 2
1996
3.09 | 4 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
1997
3.00 | 10 ratings
Rare
1999
3.44 | 16 ratings
Anthology
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
Axioms
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2000
2.84 | 18 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
2000
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.44 | 17 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
2002
3.79 | 14 ratings
Gold
2005
2.40 | 5 ratings
Archiva 1 & 2
2005

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

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

ASIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 240 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 | 140 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
3.12 | 405 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

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

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

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

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 Astra by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.56 | 173 ratings

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Astra
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

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

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

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

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

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 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.78 | 240 ratings

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Alpha
Asia Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

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

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

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

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

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Live in Hyogo
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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Asia Live In Philadelphia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

For collectors and fans only.

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 Gravitas by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.81 | 66 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
3.12 | 405 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
2.81 | 66 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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