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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

Geffen 1982
Audio CD$2.79
$0.01 (used)
The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-1990The Very Best Of Asia: Heat of the Moment 1982-1990
Geffen Records 2000
Audio CD$4.18
$0.84 (used)
The Definitive CollectionThe Definitive Collection
Geffen 2006
Audio CD$2.23
$2.33 (used)
Geffen Goldline 1983
Audio CD$2.41
$1.90 (used)
Phoenix: Special EditionPhoenix: Special Edition
Import · Special Edition
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$10.00
$8.95 (used)
Universal Special Products 1995
Audio CD$2.86
$2.87 (used)
British Live Performance SeriesBritish Live Performance Series
Rainman 2016
Audio CD$9.99
Gold [2 CD]Gold [2 CD]
Geffen 2005
Audio CD$6.82
$7.39 (used)
Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]Gravitas [CD/DVD Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$5.83
$6.35 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Asia "The Smile has left your Eyes" 12" Single on Red Vinyl Rare USD $32.87 Buy It Now 37m 42s
Ya Ya - II 2 MEGA RARE AOR CD Original 1988 Atco Scarred Sam Blue GTS Asia Burns USD $131.48 Buy It Now 52m 57s
Asia - Then & Now (2005) USD $6.57 Buy It Now 52m 58s
Wonder - What / Asia USD $4.21 [3 bids]
56m 57s
AFGHANISTAN Music from Crossroads of Asia NONESUCH LP NM promo USD $8.00 [0 bids]
57m 33s
ASIA S/T 1982 GEFFEN CLASSIC ROCK LP USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1h 12m
ASIA Alpha 1983 GEFFEN CLASSIC ROCK LP USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1h 15m
Peanut butter Wolf With Planet Asia & Madlib - Definition Of ILL 12" Brand New USD $10.00 [0 bids]
2h 2m
78 rpm 10" WINIFRED ATWELL asia minor / vendetta USD $26.30 Buy It Now 2h 15m
331/3 1984 GEFFEN RECORDS KITARO ASIA ALBUM USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2h 38m
ASIA "DON'T CRY" 45 PS USD $4.49 Buy It Now 2h 50m
ASIA Aqua 1992 CD Geoffrey Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer USD $3.99 [0 bids]
3h 13m
Asia - Live In San Francisco 2008 (2008) 2CD USD $2.63 [0 bids]
3h 26m
Movie (Asia) (Pal0) DVD Region ALL 4891670611599 USD $25.25 Buy It Now 3h 30m
Asia CD Asia 24 KT GOLD LIMITED USD $100.00 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Asia Music Various Artists Audio CD USD $31.65 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Steve Howe 2015 UK Anthology tour flyers ( Yes, Asia, GTR ) USD $0.66 [0 bids]
4h 12m
Steve Howe - The Steve Howe Album - Magazine Album Advert - 1979 - Yes / Asia USD $3.93 Buy It Now 4h 16m
HWA,JUNG YONG-1ST ALBUM (A VER.) (ASIA) CD NEW USD $26.01 Buy It Now 4h 31m
3 LP lot asia press import CCR pendulum Simon Garfunkel bridge Cream best of VTG USD $125.00 Buy It Now 4h 40m
Asia-Astra CD NEW USD $6.29 Buy It Now 4h 47m
RARE Lot of 16 VTG Taiwan Pressing Asia Union Vinyl Records Classical Music VG+ USD $99.99 Buy It Now 5h 30m
ASIA [LP] SELF TITLE (VINYL 1982 GEFFEN) GHS 2008 USD $4.25 [7 bids]
5h 30m
Slip Double: Asia : High Voltage Live London 2010 2 CDs USD $11.11 [0 bids]
5h 38m
Slip Double: Asia : Live Around The World 1990 & 2008 : Sealed USD $13.15 [0 bids]
5h 39m
Slip Double: Asia : The Omega Tour Edinburgh 2010 2 CDs USD $12.83 [0 bids]
5h 40m
Slip Double: Asia : The Omega Tour London 2010 2 CDs USD $18.84 [0 bids]
5h 40m
Oasis...There And Then Sony Music Asia Gold 2xVCD FCS6948 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h 46m
ASIA Asia GHS2008 LP Ep6222 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
5h 50m
Asia - Heat of the Moment [The Essential Collection] (CD 2013) USD $2.62 [0 bids]
5h 57m
Black Belt Theatre Planet Asia Audio CD USD $21.56 Buy It Now 6h
ASIA / 1982 MINT MINUS LP USD $9.95 Buy It Now 6h 8m
KOKOMO ~ ROY'S TUNE / ASIA MINOR ~ FELSTED 8612 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6h 13m
AUTHENTIC ASIA- "ASIA TODAY 2 VOCAL" German Import. Music Library. USD $11.96 Buy It Now 6h 21m
Then and Now - Asia (CD 1990) Near Perfect Cond Fast Free Shipping USD $8.49 Buy It Now 6h 31m
(GP824) DJ Muggs & Planet Asia, Pain Language - 2008 DJ CD USD $6.71 Buy It Now 6h 58m
ASIA ALPHA 25AP2650 OBI LP En4060 USD $2.99 [0 bids]
7h 10m
ASIA debut LP Vinyl Carl Palmer John Wetton Steve Howe Yes Heat Of The Moment USD $7.99 Buy It Now 7h 10m
ASIA - st album SHM-SACD Japan mini LP papersleeve USD $36.99 [0 bids]
7h 17m
ASIA Asia 25AP2299 LP Ec7473 USD $0.99 [0 bids]
7h 28m
Salem - King Night LP + Pre Order Asia / Dirt 7" - 1st Press Embossed Sleeve. USD $65.73 Buy It Now 7h 37m
(CC661) One Movement, Musexpo Asia Pacific - 2010 sealed CD USD $7.56 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Lot of 5, 70s 80s Rock Ktel Styx Scorpioins Asia Chicago hair bands USD $4.99 [0 bids]
7h 46m
T Shirt Asia : Aisa Logo & Eyes : Black Size L USD $19.71 Buy It Now 7h 54m
BTOB-MOVE (ASIA) CD NEW USD $20.78 Buy It Now 8h 3m
ASIA Asia 25AP2299 OBI LP Eq6220 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
8h 23m
ASIA Astra + insert 1985 UK press USD $14.45 Buy It Now 8h 30m
Treasures of Asia Pacific FIM XRCD064 USD $75.55 Buy It Now 8h 42m
ASIA Self Titled (Cassette) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 9h 28m
HIDEAKI TOKUNAGA CD We All *Rare Universal Asia Release* USD $12.99 Buy It Now 9h 29m
Kokomo - Asia Minor LP VG+ FL 7513 Felsted Mono 1961 USA 1st Vinyl Record USD $25.00 Buy It Now 10h
Astra Asia Audio CD USD $61.10 Buy It Now 10h 4m
Asia - Gold (2005) | -CD- Mint Condition USD $10.51 Buy It Now 10h 14m
Planet Asia Callin the Shots Speak the Truth 12" Single Vinyl Record USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 31m
Tchaikovsky/Borodin - Eugen Onegin Waltz/In Steppes of Central Asia (7") VG/NM USD $1.99 Buy It Now 10h 37m
Eisenhower In Asia/Khrushchev in America LP-CBS News-Walter Cronkite-XTV 64428 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 10h 42m
Still Sealed Asia Astra US Geffen Original Pressing NOS John Wetton Carl Palmer USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 59m
Turbulence by Steve Howe (CD 1991 Relativity) prog guitar Yes Asia Bill Bruford USD $3.99 [1 bids]
11h 2m
Asia Astra LP album with Countdown To Zero and Too Late Asia vinyl! USD $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 27m
Asia Aqua MINT CD 1994 Pyramid Records steve howe king crimson wishbone ash yes USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 2m
ASIA 7" SOLO EL TIEMPO LO DIRA-EL CALO argentina ID# 02326 PROMO ONLY CBS 244 a USD $19.00 Buy It Now 12h 7m
Asia Astra NM CD 1985 Made In Japan yes the buggles emerson, lake USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12h 11m
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo: 2007 (2CD) by Asia USD $7.19 Buy It Now 12h 40m
Asia Live in Moscow Rhino CD Classic 80s Rock Heat of the Moment Kari Anne Rare USD $8.99 Buy It Now 12h 51m
Various Artists-Womens Voices of Central Asia [cd + Dvd] CD NEW USD $18.74 Buy It Now 14h 59m
Various-Bukhara The Musical Crossroads Of Asia CD NEW USD $16.18 Buy It Now 14h 59m
Kokomo ~ Asia Minor b/w Roy's Tune Felsted NM 45 7" Record Single 45-3816 + 12" USD $7.98 Buy It Now 15h 6m
Asia - Asia / TH Cassette USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15h 25m
* JOHN WETTON (King Crimson,Asia,UK) - Arkangel KOREA CD NEW ~ SEALED ~ USD $17.00 Buy It Now 15h 48m
Various Artists-Asia Classics: Dance Rajah Dance CD Import Excellent USD $2.97 Buy It Now 16h 21m
ASIA LOUNGE BOX 5 CD NEW+ USD $16.03 Buy It Now 16h 45m
FTIsland Beautiful Hits for Asia No.1 Taiwan Ltd CD+DVD USD $33.68 Buy It Now 16h 55m
ASIA - THE ASIA COLLECTION 3 CD SET ROCK NEW++++++++++++ USD $14.00 Buy It Now 17h
Super Junior / Super Show 3 : 3rd Asia Tour Concert (2CD) *Sealed* $2.99 Ship USD $18.99 Buy It Now 18h 48m
UK Reunion Live In Tokyo 2 CD Korea New U.K. ASIA KING CRIMSON ROXY MUSIC USD $17.99 Buy It Now 18h 51m
ASIA Live in the USA 19 track 2 CD SEALED Live In Philadelphia 1994 USD $7.88 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in Germany 16 track 2 CD SEALED Live In Koln 1994 USD $7.88 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in Japan 20 track 2 CD SEALED Live In Osaka 1992 USD $7.88 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in Sao Paulo 2008 18 track 2 CD SEALED USD $13.13 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in Tokyo 2008 21 track 2 CD SEALED USD $12.35 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live at the Town & Country 1992 11 track CD SEALED USD $6.56 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in San Francisco 2008 21 track 2 CD SEALED USD $10.51 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Live in Osaka 1992 20 track 2 CD SEALED USD $7.88 Buy It Now 19h 3m
ASIA Now Nottingham Live 1990 13 track CD SEALED USD $7.88 Buy It Now 19h 3m
GEOFFREY DOWNES Vox Humana 15 track CD SEALED inc. 2 Bonus Tracks Asia USD $4.90 Buy It Now 19h 7m
Asia: Don't Cry 7": 1983 UK Release: Picture Sleeve USD $1.30 [0 bids]
19h 18m
Asia- Alpha- Vinyl Record VGC USD $6.00 [0 bids]
USD $8.00 Buy It Now
20h 40m
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ASIA discography

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

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

3.15 | 450 ratings
2.79 | 269 ratings
2.59 | 197 ratings
2.90 | 156 ratings
2.81 | 122 ratings
3.23 | 124 ratings
3.24 | 133 ratings
3.15 | 121 ratings
Silent Nation
3.19 | 160 ratings
3.09 | 134 ratings
2.93 | 118 ratings
2.83 | 87 ratings
2.68 | 25 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Recollections: A Tribute To British Prog

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

2.77 | 44 ratings
Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa
2.33 | 8 ratings
Now: Live In Nottingham
2.14 | 7 ratings
Asia Live In Osaka
1.15 | 8 ratings
Live In Koln
2.18 | 9 ratings
Asia Live In Philadelphia
3.08 | 5 ratings
Live At The Town & Country Club
2.68 | 6 ratings
Live Acoustic
3.04 | 7 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
1.21 | 5 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
3.75 | 8 ratings
America - Live In The Usa
2.75 | 7 ratings
Dragon Attack
2.18 | 6 ratings
Live in Buffalo
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live in Hyogo
1.60 | 5 ratings
Live in Massachusetts '83
3.00 | 9 ratings
Live In Nottingham
3.71 | 43 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
3.60 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
3.19 | 7 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2.43 | 9 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
3.00 | 5 ratings
High Voltage: Live
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in America
2.60 | 7 ratings
Axis XXX Live in San Francisco

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

4.19 | 20 ratings
Asia In Asia (VHS)
2.21 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2.15 | 13 ratings
Live In Moscow 1990 (DVD)
3.10 | 12 ratings
America: Live in the USA (DVD)
3.70 | 31 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
3.63 | 8 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour - Live in Cambridge 2009

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

2.58 | 50 ratings
Then & Now
2.17 | 31 ratings
Archiva 1
1.85 | 32 ratings
Archiva 2
2.96 | 5 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
2.70 | 15 ratings
3.45 | 17 ratings
3.04 | 6 ratings
3.00 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2.85 | 18 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
3.43 | 20 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
3.80 | 15 ratings
2.50 | 6 ratings
Archiva 1 & 2

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

2.19 | 10 ratings
Aurora (EP)
3.00 | 6 ratings
Long Way From Home
2.13 | 5 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Military Man (EP)

ASIA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Silent Nation by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.15 | 121 ratings

Silent Nation
Asia Prog Related

Review by altaeria

2 stars

SILENT NATION is the last official ASIA album featuring John Payne as lead vocalist and primary songwriter... and it hearkens back to the band's 1994 ARIA album in many ways, although somehow not quite as vibrant.

The songs are all quite straight-forward. Some are basic upbeat Rock, while others are slower and more moody... Unfortunately, however, there are only a couple standout tracks here... and the almost-hypnotic atmosphere established on their 2001 album AURA is completely missing this time around.

Being a fan of all incarnations of ASIA myself, the biggest gripe I have with this particular album is its lack of "embracing" the ASIA heritage... I understand that times change and bands do different things... but an ASIA album should never leave the listener disappointed by lack of instrumental dynamic... Here, it seems like the guitar parts are completely understated, and the drumming is lackluster at best... Why ??? Guthrie Govan was the guitarist for Pete's sake !!!

Oh well. Geoff Downes was apparently losing his inspiration for the Payne partnership by this point anyway... so I guess we can simply chalk this album up as just a lost opportunity all around.

Lastly, the existing track sequence doesn't necessarily help the material either... so here is my suggested sequence for those just being introduced to the album...

Midnight... Long Way From Home... Ghost In The Mirror... What About Love... The Prophet

I Will Be There For You... Darkness Day... Gone Too Far... Silent Nation... Blue Moon Monday... Rise

PS: Just a warning for fans of Wetton-era ASIA who NEVER heard any Payne-era ASIA... You probably won't appreciate this album at first (if at all)... Try to preview the songs "Long Way From Home" and "Ghost in the Mirror" somewhere online beforehand.

1 star on the Prog-o-meter

2 stars on the Personal-Taste-meter

2 stars overall.

 Aurora (EP)  by ASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
2.19 | 10 ratings

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.

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

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.

 XXX by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.93 | 118 ratings

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.

 Alpha  by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.79 | 269 ratings

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.
 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.15 | 450 ratings

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.

 Rare by ASIA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
2.70 | 15 ratings

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.

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

Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
Asia Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / 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.

 Then & Now  by ASIA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
2.58 | 50 ratings

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!

 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.15 | 450 ratings

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 :)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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