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The (John Payne era) Asia appreciation thread

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Kingsnake View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 16 2016 at 05:00
Let's focus on the material Asia put out with John Payne at the helm, in this thread.
One of the longest serving vocalists (and bassist) of the band, and a very important songwriter.
 
In the Payne/Downes era the band put out these albums:
 
Aqua
Aria
Arena
Archiva 1
Archiva 2
Aura
Silent Nation
 
As Asia featuring John Payne, John Payne put out these albums:
Militairy Man (ep)
Recollections (cover album)
 
As GPS, John Payne put out an album with Guthrie Govan and Ray Schellen:
Window to the Soul (wich can be seen as a follow-up to Silent Nation)
 
To me, the albums Aria, Arena and Aura are amongst the best pop-rock-neoprog albums ever released.
Great production, great musicianship with topnotch musicians (Al Pitrelli, Mike Sturgis, Aziz Ibrahim, Elliott Randall, Guthrie Govan, Chris Slade, Simon Philips, Ian Crichton, Steve Howe, Pat Thrall, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tony Levin, Luis Jardim, etc.)
 
The sound and nostalgic feel really appeals to me. Aria and Aqua are also great, but sound colder and more distant.
Arena and Aura sound warm.


Edited by Kingsnake - December 16 2016 at 05:03
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Magnum Vaeltaja View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2016 at 10:47
It's been a while since I listened to any Payne-era Asia but I remember liking a few tracks off of Aqua quite a bit. Possibly my favourite Asia album after the debut.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2016 at 22:21
I have Aqua but haven't listened to it for years. When I visited Singapore during the early 90's, I got the cover art of the Aqua album printed onto a T-Shirt. Still have it, but it doesn't fit anymore.
Cool that Pitrelli was in Megadeth for a while.

Edited by Tom Ozric - December 16 2016 at 22:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2016 at 02:05
I really like Arena, because of the two guitarist involved (Aziz Ibrahim and Elliott Randall).
It has a reall nostalgic feel to it.

Also Payne and Downes combined are so much better songwriters than Wetton/Downes.
Payne also has more soul in his voice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LTocher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2017 at 02:00
Aura is a really good album in my opinion, as is Rare and half of Arena. Aqua had a lot of potential but never seemed to fully realize it, but I do think this period gets a lot less credit than it deserves... Aura in particular.
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