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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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ASIA-CASSETTE TAPE-1982 WARNER BROS. RECORDS INC.-M5 2008 USD $8.49 Buy It Now 1h 39m
ASIA-ARENA-JAPAN MINI LP BLU-SPEC CD LTD BONUS TRACK E50 USD $21.50 Buy It Now 1h 44m
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Six Senses [New CD] Asia - Import USD $15.80 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Halo - Here I Am [New CD] Asia - Import USD $17.97 Buy It Now 1h 55m
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Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jaques Morelenbaum - End of Asia [New CD] Japan - Import USD $20.27 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Gira Mundo - Ponto de Partida [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.22 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Shelly West - West By West / Red Hot [New CD] Asia - Import USD $10.50 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Gira Mundo - Ponto de Partida [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.70 Buy It Now 2h 9m
L'Arc-en-Ciel - Chase [New CD] Asia - Import USD $7.79 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Real : N.Flying [New CD] Asia - Import USD $17.98 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Bigbang - Vol 2 (Remember) [New CD] Asia - Import USD $20.70 Buy It Now 2h 15m
J.J. Project - Verse 2 [New CD] Asia - Import USD $17.99 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Asia - Then & Now (CD, 1990, Geffen) USD $7.95 Buy It Now 2h 18m
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Asia Fantasia Live In Tokyo 2 CD album (Double CD) Japanese promo USD $50.73 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Techno - Euphonic Asia White Label 12" Single USD $5.42 Buy It Now 2h 44m
Planet Asia-High End Cloths CD NEW USD $12.23 Buy It Now 2h 51m
ASIA-SELF TITLED & FOREIGNER 4 VINYL LPS USD $0.99 [1 bids]
3h 16m
RHAPSODY-SYMPHONY OF ENCHANTED LANDS II (W/DVD) (ASIA) CD NEW USD $25.66 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Asia Cassette Tape 1982 LIKE NEW USD $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 21m
Brave Girls - High Heels (3rd Mini Album) [New CD] Asia - Import USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3h 48m
Shez, She'Z - She'z Holic [New CD] Asia - Import USD $10.70 Buy It Now 3h 48m
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In Search of Sunrise Vol. 7: Asia by DJ Tiesto (CD, 2008, 2 Discs) MADE IN USA USD $40.00 Buy It Now 4h 20m
ASIA "DON'T CRY / DAYLIGHT" 45 USD $2.50 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Vol. 10-Music Of Central Asia: Borderland - Wu & Master Musi (CD Used Very Good) USD $17.36 Buy It Now 5h 7m
Asia - Live in Moscow 1990 [CD Album] USD $7.78 [0 bids]
5h 22m
Asia - Dragon Attack (From The Asia Archives) [SIGNED CD Album] USD $22.66 [0 bids]
5h 22m
Ultra Worldwide Asia 2015 (CD Used Very Good) USD $5.37 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Brave Girls - High Heels (3rd Mini Album) [New CD] Asia - Import USD $15.98 Buy It Now 5h 52m
Afghanistan - Music from the Crossroads of Asia SEALED LP - Nonesuch 1973 Kabul USD $9.99 [0 bids]
5h 52m
Bandit Queen - Harmony Hotel [New CD] Asia - Import USD $5.87 Buy It Now 5h 59m
Ocean Colour Scene - Marchin' Already [New CD] Asia - Import USD $19.98 Buy It Now 6h 5m
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Wayne Henderson - Sketches of Life [New CD] Asia - Import USD $9.23 Buy It Now 6h 7m
JUNG,JAE-WOOK-CROSS THE LINE (MINI ALBUM) (ASIA) CD NEW USD $21.19 Buy It Now 6h 11m
Six Senses [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.02 Buy It Now 6h 15m
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Asia - Live In Osaka 1992 (Features Steve Howe) (CD 1997) USD $5.40 Buy It Now 6h 17m
ASIA Alpha UICY-9124 CD JAPAN 2001 NEW USD $242.70 Buy It Now 6h 32m
GARY HUGHES Precious Ones '98 JAPAN 1ST CD w/OBI XRCN-2015 OOP AOR TEN DARE ASIA USD $16.25 Buy It Now 6h 48m
VINNY BURNS The Journey 1999 JAPAN CD w/OBI OOP AOR TEN DARE ASIA Gary Hughes USD $12.19 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Mary Lorson - Piano Creeps [New CD] Asia - Import USD $5.76 Buy It Now 7h 4m
NCT 127 - Nct 127 Limitless [New CD] Asia - Import USD $22.39 Buy It Now 7h 18m
ASIA "GO/AFTER THE WAR" 1985 GEFFEN NM USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7h 23m
Stoned Asia (3xCD Box Set) Govinda Nitin Sawhney Cornershop Thievery Corporation USD $17.57 Buy It Now 7h 56m
NEW Asia (Audio CD) USD $7.94 Buy It Now 8h
Ocean Colour Scene - Marchin' Already [New CD] Asia - Import USD $19.45 Buy It Now 8h
Lake Trout - Not Them You-Limited [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.68 Buy It Now 8h
GINGER ALE-DAGGERS DRAWN (ASIA) CD NEW USD $12.87 Buy It Now 8h 13m
ASIA HEAT OF THE MOMENT RARE 7" SINGLE USD $9.93 Buy It Now 8h 27m
Asia XXX ROMAN E NO KAIKI Limited Edition Japan SHM-CD+DVD MIZP-30002 New USD $37.52 Buy It Now 8h 48m
DAS PERFEKTE DINNER- ASIA MIT MIYAGI UVM. CD NEW+ USD $20.79 Buy It Now 8h 58m
YOU`RE SURROUNDED / O.S.T. ...-YOU`RE SURROUNDED / O.S.T. (ASIA) CD NEW USD $25.09 Buy It Now 8h 58m
TRAX-BLAST / 1ST STORYBOOK (ASIA) CD NEW USD $25.62 Buy It Now 8h 59m
Xia - Just Yesterday [New CD] Asia - Import USD $8.95 Buy It Now 9h
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CASTELLI,CRICCO-STREETLIFE (ASIA) CD NEW USD $7.73 Buy It Now 9h 19m
TOY-BOX Ltd Asia CD + VCD Delux Set - Fantastic/AVTCD - 95236/+ Interactive Game USD $1.99 [0 bids]
9h 22m
YOSHITAKA AZUMA moonlight of asia LP w/OBI japan synth electronics cosmic disco USD $59.99 Buy It Now 9h 22m
Celine Dion/David Foster Rare Asia Tour Promo Delux 2 CD set - Falling Into You USD $2.99 [0 bids]
9h 23m
Asia Spirit of the Night - Live In Cambridge 2009 CD KICP-1471 from Japan New USD $73.19 Buy It Now 9h 39m
Woo-Hyun Nam - Write [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.62 Buy It Now 9h 43m
Woo-Hyun Nam - Write [New CD] Asia - Import USD $17.65 Buy It Now 9h 49m
Btob - Remember That [New CD] Asia - Import USD $18.42 Buy It Now 9h 49m
ASIA 1982 12" Vinyl LP ASIA geffen rec in vgc USD $12.16 Buy It Now 9h 51m
Celinda Pink - Unchained [New CD] Asia - Import USD $11.56 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Son Volt - Okemah & The Melody Of Riot [New CD] Asia - Import USD $14.18 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Mark Williams - Point In Time [New CD] Asia - Import USD $10.27 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Papas Fritas - Helioself [New CD] Asia - Import USD $10.19 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Urban Soul Collectiv - Please Yo'self: Mixed By Modaji [New CD] Asia - Import USD $8.82 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Counterstrike - Insubordination [New CD] Asia - Import USD $10.45 Buy It Now 9h 56m
Lake Trout - Not Them You-Limited [New CD] Asia - Import USD $15.02 Buy It Now 9h 59m
Asia, Downes, Howe, Palmer, Wetton - Alpha JAPAN MASTER SOUND LP, OBI Audiophile USD $59.99 Buy It Now 10h 21m
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AS NEW CD. Paul Baloche - Live In Asia USD $7.18 Buy It Now 10h 46m
ASIA cd ARIA fifth album MAYHEN RECORDS release 11 tracks 11073-2 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 51m
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Ikari O.S.T. [New CD] Asia - Import USD $22.92 Buy It Now 10h 56m
ASIA Alpha vinyl LP USD $4.06 Buy It Now 10h 59m
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ASIA DEE Jingle Baby 91 UK 7" 45 USD $4.06 Buy It Now 10h 59m
ASIA Long Way From Home CD USD $4.06 Buy It Now 10h 59m
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Ryuichi Sakamoto - Ikari O.S.T. [New CD] Asia - Import USD $23.89 Buy It Now 11h 21m
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Planet Asia - The Sickness: Part One (2006 CD US Rap Hip Hop Cali Agents) USD $11.97 Buy It Now 11h 40m
VARIOUS ARTISTS Heat of the Night CASSETTE TAPE ALBUM NEW Toto Boston Asia USD $1.34 [0 bids]
11h 41m
ASIA New Sealed 2017 LIVE 1990 MOSCOW RUSSIA CONCERT CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 11h 42m
The Cutters - Sonic Wave Love [New CD] Asia - Import USD $9.06 Buy It Now 11h 50m

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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)

3.16 | 480 ratings
Asia
1982
2.78 | 293 ratings
Alpha
1983
2.57 | 220 ratings
Astra
1985
2.89 | 174 ratings
Aqua
1992
2.83 | 134 ratings
Aria
1994
3.28 | 141 ratings
Arena
1996
3.27 | 151 ratings
Aura
2000
3.17 | 135 ratings
Silent Nation
2004
3.21 | 174 ratings
Phoenix
2008
3.08 | 147 ratings
Omega
2010
2.91 | 133 ratings
XXX
2012
2.81 | 102 ratings
Gravitas
2014
2.72 | 32 ratings
Asia feat. John Payne: Recollections - A Tribute To British Prog
2014

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

2.77 | 52 ratings
Asia Live: 09-XI-90 Mocквa
1990
2.40 | 11 ratings
Now: Live In Nottingham
1997
2.00 | 8 ratings
Asia Live In Osaka
1997
1.15 | 10 ratings
Live In Koln
1997
2.14 | 10 ratings
Asia Live In Philadelphia
1997
3.08 | 5 ratings
Live At The Town & Country Club
1999
2.69 | 7 ratings
Live Acoustic
1999
3.07 | 9 ratings
Ensŏ' Kai (Live in Tokyo 1983)
2001
1.21 | 5 ratings
Alive In Hallowed Halls
2001
3.82 | 11 ratings
America - Live In The Usa
2002
2.00 | 4 ratings
Dragon Attack
2003
2.20 | 7 ratings
Live in Buffalo
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live in Hyogo
2003
1.61 | 6 ratings
Live in Massachusetts '83
2004
2.47 | 6 ratings
Live In Nottingham
2007
3.63 | 52 ratings
Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
2007
3.67 | 6 ratings
Extended Versions
2007
3.21 | 10 ratings
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009
2010
2.07 | 6 ratings
Live Around the World
2010
2.53 | 13 ratings
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010)
2012
2.88 | 8 ratings
High Voltage: Live
2014
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live in America
2015
2.71 | 13 ratings
Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
2015
3.14 | 3 ratings
Symfonia - Live in Bulgaria 2013
2017

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

4.15 | 22 ratings
Asia In Asia (VHS)
1984
2.31 | 13 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.19 | 16 ratings
Live In Moscow 1990 (DVD)
2003
3.15 | 15 ratings
America: Live in the USA (DVD)
2003
3.70 | 36 ratings
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD)
2007
3.60 | 10 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)

2.59 | 55 ratings
Then & Now
1990
2.16 | 34 ratings
Archiva 1
1996
1.86 | 35 ratings
Archiva 2
1996
2.96 | 6 ratings
Anthology: The Best Of Asia
1997
2.68 | 16 ratings
Rare
1999
3.45 | 17 ratings
Anthology
1999
3.04 | 7 ratings
Axioms
1999
2.33 | 3 ratings
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997
2000
2.86 | 20 ratings
Heat of the Moment: The Very Best of Asia 1982-1990
2000
3.15 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.43 | 21 ratings
Asia - Anthologia - 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990
2002
3.80 | 17 ratings
Gold
2005
2.57 | 7 ratings
Archiva 1 & 2
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
2016

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

3.14 | 5 ratings
Only Time Will Tell
1982
4.05 | 3 ratings
Heat of the Moment
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
Don't Cry
1983
2.19 | 10 ratings
Aurora (EP)
1986
3.00 | 6 ratings
Long Way From Home
2005
2.31 | 7 ratings
Asia featuring John Payne - Military Man (EP)
2009

ASIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Astra by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.57 | 220 ratings

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Astra
Asia Prog Related

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A short-lived new phase for Asia!

After the fiasco of joining forces with the missed Greg Lake and parting ways with Steve Howe, Asia tried to retrieve the right path with Astra, joining with the young and talented guitarist Mandy Meyer. But the result was an uninspired and very foreseeable album with some of the lowest moments in the band's history.

Meyer's heavier approach to prog gave some of the song a litter "heavier" feeling, but that was not enough to recover the energy and strong songwriting that Asia had on their first album. Let's talk about the songs...

Go is a lousy attempt to make another hit, just very predictable. Voice of America lacks some kind of hook, and its chorus is a just shameful. Hard on Me is better, a good AOR song with strong riffs. One of the highlights? of the album. It strangely remembers me of what John Payne would make in this band years later.

Whishing opens with a beautiful keyboard arrangement, but after that it turns into a poppy AOR tune which lacks real interest beyond its beautiful guitar bridge. But while Rock and Roll Dream is an obvious attempt to make something progressive and symphonic, is by far the best track on the album. And the funniest moment despite its repetitive chorus.

But then comes Countdown to Zero, a pitiful ecological song with bad songwriting. And so, the album goes on till the end... Love Now till Eternity is just uninspired, Too Late is another lousy attempt to make a hit, and Suspicion is far from being memorable despite its good keyboard solo.

After the War is another attempt to sound progressive and symphonic, but it's just pompous. But it contains a good guitar solo and good guitar melodies, giving an idea of how good Meyer really was and how wasted he was in this record.

Conclusion: the first Asia album were by no mean great records, but pretty enjoyable nevertheless. But this Astra does not reach the good copositive level of Asia and Alpha, despite its good guitars and lavish production, making hearing this disc a boring and uninteresting experience, despite a pair of good songs. For this reason, I consider this album worthy just for fans of Asia's first era, is there are still some out there.

Best Tracks: Hard on Me, Rock and Roll Dream.

My rating: **

 Only Time Will Tell by ASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.14 | 5 ratings

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Only Time Will Tell
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A single from 1982 from which I read a review in a newspaper in the same year. If I remember well, the reviewer liked the "Asia" album a lot (the same as me) that he also bought this single because it had in the Side 2 a song ("Ride Easy") which wasn't included in the "Asia" album. I also looked for this single in some record shops in my city...without success because maybe it was an imported copy and it wasn't released in my country! (a thing that I never really knew). Anyway, it was until I bought the "Asia Gold" (2005) 2 CDs compilation in late 2008 that I finally listened to "Ride Easy" in its studio version.

Well. This single has in the Side 1 a song from the "Asia" album called "Only Time Will Tell", composed by John Wetton and Geoff Downes. It is really a Ballad with very good arrangements, particularly with very good guitar arrangements and playing by Steve Howe.This song was successful and had some radio playing in some radio stations in my city. It even was used in a TV ad some time later. It is really a more Pop Rock song with very few Prog Rock influences. That was a thing which made some Prog Rock fans "hate" this band. It wasn't my case.

In the Side 2, there is "Ride Easy", composed by John Wetton and Steve Howe. It is another Pop Rock song from this band with some Prog Rock influences. Maybe the most Prog Rock influences in this band came from Howe's songwriting contributions and guitar playing. Before the band played this song in concert, Wetton introduced the song to the audiences, with him saying that this song was one of his favorites and that it was one of the first songs that Howe and him wrote for the band. I don't know why this song was finally destined to be in the Side 2 of this single. It is a very good song.

If I remember well I bought the "Asia" album on LP in mid June 1982... thirty five years ago. It still brings good memories to me.

 Heat of the Moment by ASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Heat of the Moment
Asia Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I think that it was in late 1981 or in early 1982 that I read in a newspaper or in a Rock magazine about the formation of ASIA. a new band formed by four former members of some Prog Rock bands. John Wetton (ex- member of KING CRIMSON, URIAH HEEP, UK and others) was the main founder of the band, and in late 1980-early 1981 he met Steve Howe (ex-member of YES), and both started planning to form a new band and to write songs together. It seems that ASIA also was put together by a manager and by some record industry executives, and in fact several other musicians auditioned to be members of the band (Trevor Rabin, among them). But the original line-up was ready by 1981 with the addition of Cal Palmer (ex-member of ELP) on drums and Geoff Downes on keyboards (ex-member of THE BUGGLES and YES).

By mid 1982 I remember that I visited one day a record shop in my city (one of the several record shops which were closed in 1982-83 after another economic crisis in my country), and I was seeing the LPs there, when the person who was selling the albums there was playing in a turntable the first ASIA's album. I asked him: "Which album is that?" and he showed me the album cover of ASIA's first album. The song which I was listening to then was to "Heat of the Moment". I don't remember if I stayed in the record shop enough time to listen to the full album or if it was played in full, but I liked a lot "Heat of the Moment". It maybe was until some weeks later that I bought the album in another record shop (maybe the prices of the imported LPs were cheaper in the other record shop, I don't remember well now). But some weeks later I went to the first record shop that I visited to buy a T-shirt which had the cover art of the album printed at the front. Very good memories of that time.

Maybe Wetton and Howe started the band, but in the end the best working songwriting team in the band was by Wetton and Downes, who wrote the main Hit Singles that the band had.

"Heat of the Moment" is a song composed by Wetton and Downes which curiously has Steve Howe playing the main riff of the song. It is mainly a song written for the guitar, and it obviously has a lot of Pop Rock influences with very good arrangements. The lyrics are also very Pop Rock influenced, without having "deep meaning". So it was a song mainly written having Radio playing in mind. But it is a very good song. But I don't like the official video of this song which I watched to in youtube some years ago.

In the Side B of this single there is "Time Again", the only song of the band which was credited to be written by the four original members of the band (Downes-Howe-Palmer-Wetton). It really was a song with a lot of Prog Rock music inlfuences which some songs of their first album still had. It maybe was the most Prog Rock song that their first album had, and it worked very well.

If ASIA was a disappointment for a lot of Prog Rock fans with their albums having a lot of Pop Rock songs, it still had a lot of quality in some songs, with some of them still being influenced by Prog Rock ("Time Again" was one of them). Their first album is very good despite that criticism. And both songs from this single are very good.

John Wetton died in 31-January-2017. The band is going to do a tour with Billy Sherwood replacing Wetton. Even Wetton asked Sherwood to replace him even before his death from cancer. Wetton knew that maybe he couldn't tour with ASIA due to his health problems. Howe was replaced some years ago by a young guitarist called Sam Coulson.

ASIA's first album was released thirty five years ago in 8-March-1982.

 Symfonia - Live in Bulgaria 2013 by ASIA album cover Live, 2017
3.14 | 3 ratings

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Symfonia - Live in Bulgaria 2013
Asia Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars We knew what to expect with this new live release from Asia because it's again the Italian Frontiers Music that his behind this like the last Asia and Yes live releases. They choose to presents shorts concerts in stereo only with limited extras. The line-up is about the same with Wetton, Palmer, Downes but this time Sam Coulson is taking the place of Steve Howe. The concert was shot in 2013. The band has added the Plovdiv Opera Orchestra to play some songs. I always have my doubts about the inclusion of an orchestra with a rock band because we can't always capture their sound with the electric guitar. The set list here has no real surprise with their best early tracks from their first albums and another bunch of later tracks. The light show here is minimal and doesn't add much to the professional performance of a band that is used to the live experience after 35 years. I would recommend this for the Asia fans and not to all progressive rock fans since the music of Asia is not the most adventurous thing, but can give you some good entertainment for 80 minutes here.
 Arena by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.28 | 141 ratings

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Arena
Asia Prog Related

Review by Andre the Aeropagite

5 stars This is definetely one of the best albums Asia ever recorded. It is a mix of rock, pop, latin and a little bit of progressive and the result is awesome. At first I was not impressed with the album, but with time I realised that "Arena" has a stronger tracklist compared to previous albuns with john payne ("Aqua" and "Arena"). The production and song writing are top notch, The selection of musicians is business as usual for Asia, with high level names such as Eliott randall (from Steely dan), aziz ibrahim (from simply red) and Michael sturgis (from Phenomena). Luis jardim in percussion did a very good job too, specially in the opening track, "Into the arena".

It is sad that a very good album like this is so underrrated, especially with quality songs such as "arena" and "turn it around". Anyway, I highly recomend it to anybody who likes rock/pop.

RATINGS:

1. Into The Arena (9/10) - has a latin approach, reminds a lot of Santana. Very nice guitar work by Hotei tomoyasu 2. Arena (9,5/10) - follows with the latin style plus rock. Has a catchy chorus and inspired keyboard solo by geoff downes. 3. Heaven (8/10) 4. Two Sides Of The Moon (8/10) 5. The Day Before The War (9/10) - this can be considered a progressive rock song, definetely a highlight in the album. 6. Never (8/10) 7. Falling (8/10) 8. Words (8/10) 9. U Bring Me Down (9/10) - time to Aziz Ibrahim shine. Very good rocker with arabic influences. 10. Tell Me Why (8,5/10) 11. Turn it Around (9,5/10) probably the best song in the album. Could be a hit if Asia were a mainstream band at the time. 12. Bella Nova (8/10) 13. That Season (7/10)

 Asia by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.16 | 480 ratings

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Asia
Asia Prog Related

Review by Andre the Aeropagite

5 stars This is a very enjoyable album if you are looking for a classic rock experience, so I based my entire review on this concept. If you are seeking for a progressive rock album you will be desapointed, because Asia is not a progressive rock supergroup, It is a AOR (adult oriented rock) group, despite its members are former musicians from legendary progressive rock groups, such as Yes, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. In fact, AOR does not get any better than this: "Asia" shows a strong repertoire, with some highlights that everybody knows, like "heat of the moment", "sole survivor" and "only time will tell". The LP itself was a huge hit all over the world, especially in the USA, staying for 9 weeks in the top of the charts. There are no weak tracks here, folks. The musicianship is at high level, both steve howe and Carl palmer plays basic rock tracks with a characteristic progressive rock touch ( wildest dreams for example) and the John Wetton/Geoff downes duo plays in a more basic way but complement each other very well. I strongely recomends to anyone who is searching for a excellent rock release. But if you are looking for a Progressive rock album, stay away. Individual scores: 1. Heat Of The Moment - 10/10 - almost perfect rock/pop song. It was a huge hit all over the world 2. Only Time Will Tell - 10/10 - steve howe shines even when he does not play many guitar lines. Another huge hit 3. Sole Survivor - 9/10 4. One Step Closer - 8/10 5. Time Again - 8/10 6. Wildest Dreams - 9/10 - Carl Palmer´s moment to shine with a short drum solo. 7. Without You - 8/10 8. Cutting It Fine - 7/10 9. Here Comes The Feeling - 6/10 - perhaps the weakest song in the album, but is not a bad one at all.
 Fantasia - Live in Tokyo by ASIA album cover Live, 2007
3.63 | 52 ratings

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Fantasia - Live in Tokyo
Asia Prog Related

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Asia's reformation and best live album

3.5 stars

Finally, 24 years after "Alpha", the golden line-up of ASIA is reunited! This historical event was expected by the fans for a long time, although Downes, Howe, Wetton and Palmer only last 2 years by releasing only 2 studio albums within their supergroup. However, they were ASIA's best opuses. How did this reformation happened? Well, the non- historical members were insistently replaced by the original ones...

As you may expect, "Fantasia"'s set-list only focuses on the 1982-1983 era. No material from the 90's or "Astra" either. The eponymous debut is played in its entirety, whereas "Alpha" is represented by just 3 tracks: "Don't Cry", "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and of course "The Heat Goes On". The record includes a few surprises though. The first one is "Ride Easy", B-side of 1982's "Heat Of the Moment", repacked in the 1986 EP "Aurora". An average prog-symphonic AOR song. The second interesting initiative are ASIA's concert versions of one representative title of each member's original band: YES' "Roundabout", KING CRIMSON's "In The Court Of The Crimson King", E.L.P.'s "Fanfare For The Common Man" and also BUGGLES's well-known pop hit single "Video Kills The Radio Star"! Finally, the little novelty "Intersection Blues" is an enjoyable Steve Howe's acoustic guitar solo. Not bad but kind of out of place in this universe of fantasy.

The live renditions of the songs is overall pretty good. "Fanfare For The Common Man", "Video Kills The Radio Star" and "Sole Survivor" are even rockier than their studio versions! "The Heat Goes On" contains nice organ and drums soli.

Needless to say more, if you enjoyed ASIA's first records, "Fantasia" is the one and only live album you need. Nonetheless, if you're a newcomer, this double-disc may not be a pertinent choice. The set-list only concentrates on the 1982-1983 era and therefore does not give an overview of the band's career. Furthermore, the self-titled debut (their best) is over-represented.

Anyway, "Live in Tokyo" remains ASIA's best live release to date!

 Only Time Will Tell by ASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.14 | 5 ratings

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Only Time Will Tell
Asia Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First I admit that my personal Asia relationship is very nostalgic. "Asia" (1982) was perhaps the first vinyl I ever listened to by my own, I was twelve or thirteen years. The album really grabbed me. Soon it was followed by several other early 80's vinyls owned by my sister or brother, e.g. Dire Straits' Love Over Gold, Jon Anderson's Animation, Yes' 90125 and Rush's Signals. That was the beginning of my prog history!

There were three singles taken from that debut of the commercially succesful prog-related supergroup, the first one being obviously the mega-selling 'Heat of the Moment' (in fact I never digged it, too commercial even for the little kid that I was), the others being 'Sole Survivor' and this one. 'Only Time Will Tell' is an enjoyable and catchy pop song with a strong emotional dose. The powerful and melodic playing with especially guitars and keyboards in front... No wonder I was hooked. If I had heard this music for the first time in the age of thirty or fourty, how much would I have liked it? Impossible to know. And besides, how different my music taste would be with completely different first steps?

On the B-side is 'Ride Easy', a beautiful, acoustically oriented, peaceful ballad, in which John Wetton uses his great voice more sensitively. It wouldn't have been a bad inclusion on the album, but as a non-album song it only increases the validity of this single. Back to my teenage years: I also gave the second Asia album (Alpha) a few spins, but didn't like it much, not to speak of anything I have happened to listen to from Asia in my later years.

 Silent Nation by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.17 | 135 ratings

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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

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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.

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

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