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Asia

At the dawn of the 1980s, the ship of progressive rock had all but foundered on the jagged reefs of musical fashion, weighted down with its leaden pretensions and buoyed on toward ruin by a new wave. Things looked bleak for fans of this once-glorious genre. But then, like a phoenix from the ashes, a band arose from the wreck, borne on the wings of a dragon: Asia. By its very nature, any supergroup is bound to inspire somewhat outsize expectations. But Asia had outsize expectations even for a supergroup. Assembled from the ranks of Yes (Steve Howe), Emerson Lake & Palmer (Carl Palmer), King Crimson (John Wetton), and the Buggles (Geoff Downes), Asia – or the idea of Asia – must have seemed a band of messianic proportions to fans of prog rock. So with outsize expectations firmly in place, Asia proceeded to confound them utterly. The big hits “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell” give a good indication of ASIA, both album and band, overall. One can hear traces of King Crimson in Wetton’s elephantine bass sound and passionate vocals; there are moments that recall Yes when Howe interweaves his classically-tinged guitar lines with Downes’ beefy keyboard textures. But ultimately, this doesn’t sound like some alchemical fusion of its members’ former bands. Because by focusing their attack into four-minute blasts instead of sprawling LP-length epics, Asia strip prog down to its sinewy core – “arena prog”, if you care to put a label to it, sounding as much like Journey as Genesis. (Early Genesis, that is – in the early 80s, Genesis were blazing many of the same trails as Asia were. )For prog purists, that constituted nothing short of treason. But for listeners who came without preconceptions – i.e. those who sent ASIA soaring to #1 and “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell” to #4 and #17, respectively – it sounded pretty damn awesome. The furious “Time Again”, the pulsating “Here Comes the Feeling”, the exuberant “One Step Closer”. .. still sounds pretty damn awesome, really. Asia may not have been able to save progressive rock. But they were able to produce a great album, and that’s good enough for me. Check it out!

Prog-rock pasts gave way to pop fame as Asia debuted with this 1982 #1 smash. Wetton/Howe/Downes/Palmer eclipsed the success of Yes, ELP and King Crimson as they scored smashes with Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell . An ’80s rock-supergroup classic!

 

 

 

Asia Review

 

Groundbreaking and Very First Album by the Progressive Super Group band!! Steve Howe, John Wetton, Carl Palmer, and Geoff Downes make up this Superstar Stratospheric band!! -Read Reviews-

The most important-the music-is pretty good. ..just the sleeve was a little torn.

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