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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$11.99
$9.99 (used)
AsiaAsia
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$1.83
$0.33 (used)
Definitive CollectionDefinitive Collection
Remastered
Geffen Records 2006
Audio CD$4.52
$3.66 (used)
High Voltage (CD/DVD)High Voltage (CD/DVD)
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$11.99
$20.01 (used)
XXXXXX
Deluxe Edition · CD+DVD
Frontier Records 2012
Audio CD$7.99
$6.99 (used)
ResonanceResonance
Frontiers Records 2012
Audio CD$8.98
$9.99 (used)
Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90Very Best Of: Heat of the Moment 1982-90
Remastered
Interscope Records 2000
Audio CD$3.61
$2.30 (used)
AlphaAlpha
Geffen Gold Line Sp. 1996
Audio CD$2.75
$0.98 (used)
OmegaOmega
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2010
Audio CD$3.75
$2.99 (used)
Spirit of the Night: LiveSpirit of the Night: Live
Frontiers Records 2011
Audio CD$9.09
$15.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Asia Alpha CD (1983, Geffen 4008-2 DADC ) RARE / OOP US $12.00 Buy It Now 33m 24s
Asia Astra CD (1985, Geffen, Japan 24072-2) MEGA RARE ! US $8.00 Buy It Now 33m 24s
ASIA MINOR - KOKOMO (A.K.A. JIMMY WISNER) US $0.50 [0 bids]
34m 5s
MACHITO AND HIS ORCHESTRA ?- ASIA MINOR CHA CHA CHA SF 9043 SEXY CHEESECAKE US $7.06 Buy It Now 36m 27s
ASIA - DONT CRY STEVE - 2 cds Tarantura Limited Numbered US $150.00 Buy It Now 36m 29s
ASIA (ROCK) - ARCHIVA [LIMITED EDITION] - NEW CD BOXSET US $49.70 Buy It Now 42m 28s
ASIA 1982 Self Titled 12" Vinyl 33 LP Heat Of The Moment ROCK Wildest Dreams VG US $11.99 [0 bids]
US $15.99 Buy It Now
50m 37s
Asia D "Che bello che bello" TECHNO ELECTRONIC EP VG+ MEXICAN EDITION US $2.76 Buy It Now 57m 26s
Then & Now by Asia (Rock) (CD) Geffen US $6.00 [0 bids]
1h
ASIA / SHAMES / BRIDGE ENSEMBLE - IVORY NEW CD US $15.27 Buy It Now 1h 4m
33 LP Record Asia "Heat of the Moment" Geffen GHS-2008 US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 7m
Asia Astra US $5.00 [0 bids]
1h 15m
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Secret Message styx yes asia supertramp the moody blues US $1.99 [0 bids]
1h 19m
ASIA / ALPHA RECORD 33 RPM 12'' VINYL ALBUM LP US $3.00 Buy It Now 1h 25m
ASIA:Album Cover:T-shirt:NEW:LARGE ONLY US $26.38 Buy It Now 1h 31m
ASIA:Album Cover:T-shirt:NEW:MEDIUM ONLY US $26.38 Buy It Now 1h 32m
ASIA / HEAT OF THE MOMENT / RIDE EASY / EXCELLENT CONDITION / # GEF50040 US $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 35m
SOUNDTRACK CASSETTE TAPE GOOD MORNING VIETNAM MADE IN ASIA US $6.86 Buy It Now 1h 37m
OVER THE TOP OST JAPAN CD OBI 3200yen 32DP SAMMY HAGAR ASIA EDDIE MONEY 1ST PR US $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Asia Alpha LP 1983 RCA Still Sealed US $19.95 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Asia Alpha LP 1983 RCA Still Sealed #2 US $19.95 Buy It Now 1h 48m
CD: ASIA The Asia Story featuring JOHN WETTON 2 Discs w/slipcasex US $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Open Hearts [Original Soundtrack] by Anggun (CD, Nov-2003,Music Asia US $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 20m
ASIA "THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES" 45w/PS MINT PROMO US $3.50 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Asia Self Titled Debut Lp 1982 Geffen Records VG+/EX++ Vinyl Rock US $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 43m
ASIA "HEAT OF THE MOMENT / RIDE EASY" 45 US $2.00 Buy It Now 2h 46m
Coldplay X&Y South East Asia Tour Edition CD RARE IMPORT EXTRA TRACKS & DVD NEW US $100.00 Buy It Now 3h 14m
LAURIE CHICA CUBANA 12" ORIG 88 ASIA RARE ITALO DISCO HI-NRG ELECTRO BALDELLI NM US $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 18m
ASIA LIVE RISEN SUN JAPAN AUTHENTIC BLU SPEC MINI LP CD NEW SICP-20423 US $32.99 Buy It Now 3h 30m
ASIA ALPHA JAPAN MADE SHM MINI LP CD + PROMO OBI NEW OUT OF PRINT UICY-93915 US $65.99 Buy It Now 3h 30m
ASIA / AXIOMS~HISTORY OF ASIA JAPAN 2CDs JOHN WETTON US $34.99 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Sub Rosa: Live in Milan 1998/John Wetton/Asia/UK/King Crimson/Uriah Heep/new cd US $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Vintage Record 7" 45 rpm Asia Geffen 50040 Heart of the Moment US $6.00 [0 bids]
US $8.00 Buy It Now
3h 51m
Asia - Then & Now - New Sealed CD Geffen Version John Wetton Carl Palmer US $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 11m
Asia - Archiva 2 - Austria CD - Rarities US $9.50 Buy It Now 4h 11m
Asia - Archiva 1 - Austria CD - Rarities US $9.50 Buy It Now 4h 11m
ENNIO MORRICONE CASSETTE SOUNDTRACK TAPE THE MISSION MADE IN ASIA US $4.00 Buy It Now 4h 44m
ASIA-HIGH VOLTAGE LIVE-JAPAN BLU-RAY M65 US $54.99 Buy It Now 4h 47m
BRYAN FERRY & ROXY MUSIC CASSETTE TAPE THE BEST OF MADE IN ASIA US $4.00 Buy It Now 4h 57m
ASIA ALPHA, YES, KING CRIMSON, ELP, YUGOSLAV LP VINYL US $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 6m
TUVA / VOICES FROM THE CENTER OF ASIA NEW CD US $21.41 Buy It Now 5h 9m
BUKHARA: MUSICAL CROSSROADS OF ASIA / VARIOUS NEW CD US $21.41 Buy It Now 5h 22m
ASIA**GOLD (RM)**2 CD SET US $9.98 Buy It Now 5h 49m
ASIA Asia '82 DEBUT LP JOHN WETTON ex-KING CRIMSON ORIGINAL US press US $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 12m
ASIA Astra '85 JOHN WETTON ex-KING CRIMSON ORIGINAL US press US $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 12m
ASIA Alpha '83 JOHN WETTON ex-KING CRIMSON ORIG pr MINT- in SHRINK !!!! US $6.99 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Arrested Development Blues & Soul 1992 Stereo Mcs Asia Blue Hiroshima US $12.06 Buy It Now 6h 18m
THE DEER HUNTER & THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY CASSETTE TAPE SOUNDTRACK MADE IN ASIA US $10.29 Buy It Now 6h 23m
ASIA-HIGH VOLTAGE LIVE-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK G35 US $30.50 Buy It Now 6h 37m
ASIA-HIGH VOLTAGE LIVE-JAPAN CD+DVD BONUS TRACK M65 US $54.99 Buy It Now 6h 43m
ASIA - LIVE ON AIR NEW CD US $12.39 Buy It Now 6h 59m
Asia Boston Winning Combinations Cd UNIVERSAL 2001 New! Sealed!! US $4.99 Buy It Now 7h
Muddy Apes - Fairy Dirt No.5 Asia CD US $31.75 Buy It Now 7h 6m
Sunday Morning Music 2 Asia CD US $36.83 Buy It Now 7h 6m
Tvxq (Dong Bang Shin Ki) - 2Nd Asia Tour Concert O CD US $25.20 Buy It Now 7h 6m
Celine Dion David Foster 1994 Love Lights The World Asia Exclusive Taiwan OBI CD US $69.99 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Asia - Under The Bridge 12" Double Vinyl LP (SFMVC1202) - NEW US $19.28 Buy It Now 7h 51m
Asia - Live In Moscow (CD) - SFMCD141 US $8.02 Buy It Now 7h 55m
ASIA - THEN & NOW 2004 US CD * NEW * US $11.24 Buy It Now 8h
NEIL YOUNG EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE INTERNATIONAL RECORD GL-7024 ASIA RAR US $5.99 [0 bids]
8h 14m
Asia - Under The Bridge (CD) - SFMCD253 US $9.63 Buy It Now 8h 24m
ASIA - LIVE AROUND THE WORLD (DIGIPAK) NEW CD US $16.72 Buy It Now 8h 35m
ASIA - VERY BEST OF: HEAT OF THE MOMENT 1982-90 NEW CD US $14.55 Buy It Now 8h 36m
ASIA NEW CD US $8.78 Buy It Now 8h 36m
Asia - Live In Nottingham (SFMCD068) US $8.02 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Asia - Bedrock In Concert [CD New] US $12.93 Buy It Now 8h 49m
ASIA - 7" SINGLE - DON'T CRY / TRUE COLORS US $1.59 [0 bids]
8h 50m
ASIA Alpha UK 1st press vinyl LP Geffen GEF25508 1983 Nr Mint US $16.07 Buy It Now 9h 17m
ASIA/RELATED - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF T2) US $11.18 Buy It Now 9h 19m
YOUTH IN ASIA One Kiss CD 3 Track US $8.75 Buy It Now 9h 19m
ASIA SELF TITLED 33 1/3 Rpm Vinyl~Canada Pressing GEFFEN XGHS 2008 US $18.98 Buy It Now 9h 19m
ASIA/RELATED - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF T4) US $11.18 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Asia Resonance (Live in Basel Switzerland/Live Recording (2CD+DVD NEW US $19.28 Buy It Now 9h 26m
ASIA 1983 ALFA JAPAN 1st press CD 35DP-80 OOP US $9.99 [0 bids]
9h 35m
SONG OF THE STEPPE. CENTRAL ASIA. NEW AGE. BRAND NEW CD ALBUM US $6.01 Buy It Now 9h 44m
BONEY M.-ULTIMATE 2.0 ASIA VERSION-JAPAN 2CDS F56 zd US $28.50 Buy It Now 9h 47m
ASIA / AMERICAN BRASS QUINT / DORIAN WIND QUINT - TRILOGY NEW CD US $23.21 Buy It Now 9h 54m
ASIA-S/T-JAPAN SHM-CD D50 US $19.50 Buy It Now 9h 54m
Planet Asia - High End Cloths [CD New] US $12.25 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Asia - Selt Titled Debut Album - Record LP US $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 2m
Stoned Asia Boxset 1 3cd US $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 14m
Asia .. Don't Cry ... ...Orig First Pressing .45 record 38-04259 US $5.00 [0 bids]
10h 27m
Logical Drift - Colors Of Asia CD US $15.68 Buy It Now 10h 28m
Explorer Series: East Asia Japan - Koto Classics CD US $18.38 Buy It Now 10h 32m
Music Of Central Asia - Vol. 7-Music Of Central Asia CD US $22.02 Buy It Now 10h 32m
Music Of Southeast Asia CD US $20.43 Buy It Now 10h 32m
Tuva - Voices From The Center Of Asia CD US $18.71 Buy It Now 10h 32m
Birds With Ears LP - Youth In Asia - Mint US $32.16 [0 bids]
10h 33m
Singapore Sakura Sings Chinese Songs EMI Asia LP CLP930 US $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 33m
Hong Kong Jenny Tseng ?? Asia Concert GF Chinese 12" LP CLP239 US $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 33m
Singapore Poon Sow Keng ??? Vol.2 Chinese EMI Asia CLP909 US $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 35m
Singapore Wong Li ?? 1974 Chinese Pop Songs EMI Asia 12" LP CLP1276 US $24.99 Buy It Now 10h 35m
ASIA-HIGH VOLTAGE LIVE-JAPAN DVD K03 US $44.50 Buy It Now 10h 41m
China Hong Kong Chinese Classical Music EMI Asia CLP803 US $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 41m
Clementine - Voyage : Asia Best CD US $29.21 Buy It Now 10h 43m
Under The Bridge - Asia New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $19.10 Buy It Now 10h 46m
Asia - Asia Collection CD US $25.86 Buy It Now 10h 58m
Sting - Songs From The Labyrinth (Asia/Australia 2008 Tour CD US $19.56 Buy It Now 10h 59m
Hong Kong Hacken Lee Li Ke Qin ??? 1992 Polygram Asia CD FCS4220 US $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 3m
Hong Kong Hacken Lee Li Ke Qin ??? 2001 Universal Music Asia CD FCS4207 US $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 3m

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


  • Asia at The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 29 Oct 2014
  • Asia at Shepherds Bush Empire, London on 2 Nov 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 | 397 ratings
Asia
1982
2.77 | 230 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.56 | 166 ratings
Astra
1985
2.84 | 133 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.73 | 104 ratings
Aria
1994
3.18 | 106 ratings
Arena
1996
3.22 | 114 ratings
Aura
2001
3.18 | 100 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.17 | 137 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.07 | 113 ratings
Omega
2010
2.93 | 95 ratings
XXX
2012
2.79 | 60 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.67 | 9 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
2.68 | 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 | 36 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
3.00 | 4 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.29 | 5 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014

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

4.17 | 18 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)

2.60 | 41 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
3.41 | 16 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
3.25 | 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
 Phoenix by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.17 | 137 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
3.11 | 397 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 | 166 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
2.77 | 230 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
2.79 | 60 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 | 397 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
2.79 | 60 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 | 397 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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