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Stool Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Asia
    Posted: May 12 2013 at 16:30
Yesterday in a secondhand record shop I found the first Asia LP for 1. I'd never heard anything by this band, but I know the band members are mostly very talented etc etc so I got it.


It's blimmin' awful!

Might get more than 1 on ebay for it though, as it's in good condition and there's an insert with it.


Any fans of this record or this band wish to persuade me of its merits?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 16:44
Looks like you bought it in the heat of the moment.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 16:50
Originally posted by Horizons

Looks like you bought it in the heat of the moment.


Yeah, I felt like I might need to re-visit my lunch. "Here comes the feeling", I thought. But I kept it down.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 16:54
How could you have not heard anything by Asia? Anyway, I quite like them. They're a pop/prog band, so if you were expecting complex music, I suggest you try U.K. or King Crimson.

The merits of Asia's first album are: great vocals, nice melodies, & interesting keyboard sounds. Remember, it was 1982. So, for what it is and when it came out, it's a solid album. Just my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 17:22
Originally posted by Stool Man




Any fans of this record or this band wish to persuade me of its merits?


I'm in no way a fan of the music, but the cover art is fantastic!

1 Merit!


And holy crap! I just checked their PA page. 11 studio albums?!?!?!? LOL


Edited by Tapfret - May 12 2013 at 17:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 18:02
Stool Man, I'm kind of with Humor4u1959 here, that first album is quite OK, and some of the intros are really cool! But...it is their only bareable album. If you think that first one is too commercial and straightforward, wait until you get to the second one....although that probably won't happen now!

The first one is the only one I can stomach, and there is FAAAAAR too many other bands worth looking into before Asia again...like pretty much ANY other prog related band?!

I'm always very fascinated when prog musicians try to find a balance between prog and commercial, it brings about some interesting results! Asia, of course, tipped way too far one way!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 18:07
Originally posted by Stool Man

Yesterday in a secondhand record shop I found the first Asia LP for 1. I'd never heard anything by this band, but I know the band members are mostly very talented etc etc so I got it.


It's blimmin' awful!

Might get more than 1 on ebay for it though, as it's in good condition and there's an insert with it.


Any fans of this record or this band wish to persuade me of its merits?

Hah!  I remember its debut very well, they created quite a buzz!  I don't like it much, except for one song, "Sole Survivor."  That one is a keeper.   I did see their first tour & they put on a very good stage show, although Palmer had to use his ridiculous revolving drum set that he used with ELP!!  "Cheesy prog"!!  

Wetton did very well with Asia, he's possibly the most financially successful of all prog bassists (well, him or Rutherford, but I consider Wetton more of a leader).  

Asia has had a rather dizzying lineup, including some fine guitarists like Al Pitrelli!  However, I'm not much in favor of such corporate super-groups.  

Errrr....am I a fan?  Well....I like one song, so....Clap

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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 18:54
I was like 13 when that debut album came out, and I was probably the ideal target audience for such an album.  I thought it was great.  I still enjoy it from time to time, either as an "80s nostalgia" piece or just a nice album from my youth, like 90125.  The followup "Alpha" was pretty good too.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote King Crimson776 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 21:33
Good driving music.

The reunion album, Pheonix, has some good moments. The best being "Parallel Worlds", probably the most prog thing they've done.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 01:27
Like many others, I quite like the debut of this 'Supergroup', after that, it's all down hill .                                                                                                                
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 01:36
I loved that debut when it came out. Carl Palmer's drumming was as powerful as it had been for years. He obviously relished the chance to use twin bass drums for the first time and it shows on Sole Survivor which as mentioned is one of the best tracks on the album. Howe is also on top form and shows the rockier side of his repertoire. Wetton is probably the most impressive. Love the bass and vocals. I would rate this as one of the best AOR albums but it does have some nice prog touches. Geoff Downes beautifull keyboard peice at the end of Cutting It Fine is one of those moments and Palmer struts his stuff impressively on Wildest Dreams. The production and artwork are also things I really like about this package.

So has it stood the test of time? I think so as long as you don't try to rate or regard it as a prog album. The band have always made it clear that this was a project that was meant to be outside of prog yet people erroneously still want to view them as a prog band. It was never meant to be a 'prog supergroup'.

Later albums? Well Alpha was a big let down. A few good songs but it was a lot less appealing than the debut. Howe and Wetton were apparently at odds with each other and Wetton decided to leave. A press announcement was made that Greg Lake was the replacement ( very ironic if you know your prog history) and was to play in the up coming world wide live broadcast (later released on VHS as Asia in Asia). Clearly Lake was very uncomfortable singing Wetton's parts and the management asked Wetton to return which in turn resulted in Howe leaving to be replaced by Mandy Meyer. The resulting album Astra was barely any improvement on Alpha , more standard issue AOR.

After that my knowledge of the band is sketchy. Eventually Palmer  rejoined ELP , Wetton left to concentrate on his solo career and Geoff Downes was left holding the baby along with John Paynes. I know there are some that rate this era as better than with the 'classic' line up. I have heard one album and it was very respectable but I gave it away to my boss who is more into this stuff. Basically a heavier sounding version of Asia.

Of course the original line up got back together around 2005. I went to see them at Shepherds Bush Empire and the place was packed out. Great gig and the played all of the debut album. Since then they released 3 albums  all respectable and listenable in my opinion. Howe has of course recently departed and we await to see what impact that will have..


Edited by richardh - May 13 2013 at 01:39
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 01:53
I like it as much as GTR LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 03:30
I liked it when it came out, we were already quite accustomed to the idea that the old good prog was dead, and were being fed increasingly bad music by bad musicians, so here was again some great musicianship and tunes which while far from the classic prog were quite decent.
In some respects it's not too different from some Crossover or modern Symph / Neo by people like Neal Morse: catchy poppy tunes with commercial hooks dressed with some symphonic-derived instrumentation and arrangements.

A big problem of the album is having Heat Of The Moment as opening track, it makes you start the listening already with the wrong foot, since very early on I skipped it and started listening as from Only Time Will Tell.

It's a fine album as long as you listen to it with the right approach, not expecting real Prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barsoom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 11:33
I bought their debut album in 1982, purely on the strength of the cover art, and the fact that I recognised one of the band members on the back cover. (Carl Palmer- I hadn't got around to listening to Yes or KC at that time.) I instantly fell in love with the sound, and became a die-hard fan. For me, they were a gateway band, in that through researching the members, I became aware of all the other bands the members had played in. Some fans only stuck with the Wetton-era lineup, but I even loved the John Payne era stuff. Some of the music has flashes of prog brilliance, although much of it is mainstream AOR, but I love the stuff anyway, so sue me! I love melodic rock music that's well produced, has excellent musicianship, catchy tunes, and occasional flashes of prog, as well as true prog, so Asia fit the bill wonderfully for me. I got the chance to finally see them live in 2010 on the Omega tour, where I was blessed by possibly one of the best drum solos of Carl Palmer's career.

There are now two versions of the band- the 'original' Asia, which features Wetton, although Steve Howe has now left again to be replaced by Sam Coulson, and Asia Featuring John Payne, which has a twin-lead guitar sound that is just incredible. The 'original' band doesn't acknowledge any of the John Payne era stuff on their website (Although Geoff Downes is still quite proud of the work he did on that era) and don't play it live, but John Payne's band happily play anything from 1982 up to Silent Nation, plus their own new stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 11:52

No surprises here, but I am a fan of all of their work.  I do like the Payne era stuff as well as the classic lineup stuff. I have also been on PA long enough to not be surprised at all that they are not well-liked by many members.  Que sera sera.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 11:57
Originally posted by richardh



Later albums? Well Alpha was a big let down. A few good songs but it was a lot less appealing than the debut. Howe and Wetton were apparently at odds with each other and Wetton decided to leave. A press announcement was made that Greg Lake was the replacement ( very ironic if you know your prog history) and was to play in the up coming world wide live broadcast (later released on VHS as Asia in Asia). Clearly Lake was very uncomfortable singing Wetton's parts and the management asked Wetton to return which in turn resulted in Howe leaving to be replaced by Mandy Meyer. The resulting album Astra was barely any improvement on Alpha , more standard issue AOR.
I'd wondered what the history was behind Mandy Meyer replacing Howe. Thanks for that.

I bought "Astra" when it came out, and immediately fell for the lead single, "Go".  It's a good tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mageestout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 11:59
Originally posted by humor4u1959

How could you have not heard anything by Asia? Anyway, I quite like them. They're a pop/prog band, so if you were expecting complex music, I suggest you try U.K. or King Crimson.

The merits of Asia's first album are: great vocals, nice melodies, & interesting keyboard sounds. Remember, it was 1982. So, for what it is and when it came out, it's a solid album. Just my opinion.


I have to agree with you.
I remember being in middle school when it came out and it being "THE" record to get.
I even had a 3/4 length baseball shirt with the ASIA logo on it - apparently me and one other kid in the 7th grade were cool.

While they're not heavy-hitters like the groups the lads came from, its great "prog-pop" - which sometimes makes the casual listener find out more and by some kid listening to ASIA they may end up being an ELP, Yes or Crimson fan.

Hell, I even enjoy their last CD with all the original members ("XXX" released last year).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jude111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 13:06

I was 14 when it came out. I didn't like it, and with each new song of theirs played on the radio, my dislike turned to full on antagonism. By this time, I had already been to a Rush concert, Floyd was my favorite band, and I had albums like Zeppelin IV and In the Court of the Crimson King. Asia was clearly sell-out corporate rock. Soon after, the Firm released their first album, and it became official: supergroups suck.


Edited by jude111 - May 13 2013 at 13:14
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 13:43
Originally posted by HolyMoly

Originally posted by richardh



Later albums? Well Alpha was a big let down. A few good songs but it was a lot less appealing than the debut. Howe and Wetton were apparently at odds with each other and Wetton decided to leave. A press announcement was made that Greg Lake was the replacement ( very ironic if you know your prog history) and was to play in the up coming world wide live broadcast (later released on VHS as Asia in Asia). Clearly Lake was very uncomfortable singing Wetton's parts and the management asked Wetton to return which in turn resulted in Howe leaving to be replaced by Mandy Meyer. The resulting album Astra was barely any improvement on Alpha , more standard issue AOR.
I'd wondered what the history was behind Mandy Meyer replacing Howe. Thanks for that.

I bought "Astra" when it came out, and immediately fell for the lead single, "Go".  It's a good tune.

I like 'Go' as well. Probably one of the catchiest tunes they recorded and easy to recall. The video is also memorable ..although perhaps not for the right reasonsLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote otto pankrock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2013 at 18:52
I knew prog-rock was going down the pipes from about 1975 onwards. However, when they put out Asia, that was the final nail in the coffin.
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