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Asia - Anthology CD (album) cover




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3.44 | 19 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Different Worlds

Asia has been anthologized like almost no other band. There are no less than 12 Asia compilation albums listed here on Prog Archives, and there are probably even more out there. This excessive amount of compilations is confusing, to say the least, and I blame this situation for me missing out on this one for so long. Normally, I don't bother with compilations at all. But the present one features some tracks not available anywhere else which makes this a worthwhile compilation for me.

Anthology features 16 tracks, all of which feature John Payne on lead vocals (yes, even the "classic" 80's songs; they were re-recorded here with the Payne-era line-up). Surprisingly, the collection opens with a strong version of a non-Asia track. The Hunter was written by Geoff Downes, but for GTR (the band Steve Howe formed together with Steve Hackett in the mid 80's, after he left Asia for the first time). Unlike many others, I actually like GTR! But I never knew until now that Asia had recorded a version of this song. I like both the original version of The Hunter featuring Max Bacon on vocals, and the present version featuring John Payne.

Only Time Will Tell, Heat Of The Moment, Don't Cry, The Heat Goes On, and Go, are the songs that were re-recorded for this compilation to represent the John Wetton-era of the band (the three first albums; Asia, Alpha, and Astra). Personally, I don't care too much for some of these songs, in any version! But I do prefer the Payne-era over the Wetton-era in general.

Aqua, the first Asia album with John Payne on vocals, is represented here with the lovely Steve Howe instrumental Aqua Pt.1, followed by Who Will Stop The Rain? From Aria we get three tracks in Anytime, Feels Like Love, and Military Man. The latter is a great song. From Arena we get the title track and Two Sides Of The Moon, not the best songs from that album. Different Worlds was a new song at the time and released here for the first time (at least I think so), and Reality was only released on Archiva. The re-issue of Anthology has an acoustic version of Time Again as a bonus track. It's a good one!

A worthy addition to any comprehensive Asia collection!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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