Asia - Asia
Geffen  (1982)
Progressive Rock

In Collection

CD    9 tracks  (44:20) 
   01   Heat Of The Moment             03:55
   02   Only Time Will Tell             04:48
   03   Sole Survivour             04:51
   04   One Step Closer             04:18
   05   Time Again             04:48
   06   Wildest Dreams             05:11
   07   Without You             05:07
   08   Cutting It Fine             05:40
   09   Here Comes The Feeling             05:42
Personal Details
Owner Terje Dokken
Cat. Number GED 02008
UPC (Barcode) 720642200827
Packaging Jewel Case
Spars DDD
Sound Stereo
Producer Mike Stone
Originally Released 1982\nGold CD Edition Released N/A\nRemastered Edition Released August 16, 1994\nJapanese Mini LP Version Released March 31, 1998\n\nAlbum Details (Mini LP CD Packaging)\nJapanese limited edition featuring a miniature LP style sleeve for initial pressing. \n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: This marriage of four players with impressive pedigrees proved to be the success story of 1982 when Asia's debut lodged itself at the top of the U.S. album charts for two months. The album spawned a massive number four single in "Heat of the Moment," a follow-up Top 20 hit in the sweeping "Only Time Will Tell," and a handful of other tracks that received heavy radio play despite going against the grain of the new wave styling of the day. Produced by Mike Stone, Asia's strengths were the powerful vocals of John Wetton, the nimble, classically tinged guitar work of Steve Howe, Geoffrey Downes' majestic keyboard playing, and anchoring the band, Carl Palmer's propulsive drumming. The lyrics are overwrought at moments, but there's no denying the epic grandeur of the music, which provided some much-needed muscle to radio at the time, and did so with style. -- Tom Demalon\n\ Customer Review\nIt was the Heat of the Moment, June 18, 2005\nReviewer: Tom Sawyer "Hotel Jock" (Chicago, IL)\nIt is rare to say that a band came along completely unexpected, and then left completely unexpected. But this is true of one of the best supergroups ever constructed, Asia. \n\nIn the early 80's, many rock musicians had fall-outs with their respected bands. These included Steve Howe (lead guitarist of Yes), Geoffery Downes (keyboardist for The Buggles), John Wetton (bass player and lead singer for King Crimson), and Carl Palmer (drummer for Emerson, Lake and Palmer). They eventually grouped together to form Asia. \n\nThe band was completely unprepared for the success they would eventually reach in 1982, with the release of their debut album. \nOver 7 million copies sold, completely sold out shows on their tour, endless radio play, and completely dominating MTV's music videos with 'Heat of the Moment', 'Only Time Will Tell', and 'Wildest Dreams'. \n\nThe highlight for many, of course was 'Heat of the Moment'. You could hardly go anywhere without hearing that song. The song reached a high of #4 on the Billboard chats in June, and was one of the biggest hits of the year. It is still one of my favorites to this date. \n\nAsia's glory was short-lived, though. Their following album 'Alpha' was not the success of the first one, and their third album 'Astra' was a huge dissappointment, eventually leading to the break-up of the band. \n\nThis one, though, will always hold a special place in the music industry, MTV, and for me. \n\nBottom Line: It is solid musicianship all the way through. If you're a fan of 80's pop, you'll love it. And if you like 80's rock, you'll still love it. \n\nOne of the best albums of '82, as well as the 80's period. \n\ Customer Review\n4.5 stars - Excellent debut album, April 28, 2005\nReviewer: Darth Kommissar (Las Vegas, NV (USA))\nIn the early eighties, an unlikely but excellent musical occurence happened - the formation of the progressive pop-rock supergroup Asia. The band, at its time of conception, consisted of drummer Carl Palmer (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, ELP), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), keyboardist Geoffrey Downes, and vocalist John Wetton. Asia would become somewhat of a "revolving-door supergroup", in which fairly notable musicians would enter and leave the group on a regular basis. The first Asia album, which was self-titled, got released in 1982. Read on for my review. \n\nAfter hearing this album, I was amazed to discover that these musicians, all of whom initially peaked in the seventies, were still making awesome music in the eighties. If you're looking for wildly progressive music that the world had never seen the like of before, though, look elsewhere. Asia's sound takes elements of eighties rock and progressive rock, and combines them together excellently. The sound here is a bit more commercial than what you'd expect from these musicians, but that doesn't make it anything less in the quality department. The two big hits on this album are the classic opening tracks, Heat Of The Moment and Only Time Will Tell. These melodic pop-rockers are among the ultimate songs of the genre released in the early eighties, and they deserve their high status. Unfortunately, people tend to ignore the material off of this album outside of those two tracks (with the exception of the people who look a little deeper into the band's stuff.) There is no shortage of excellent material featured on this album. Through the course of the album, Geoffrey Downes proves that he's one hell of a keyboard player - keyboards in a rock and roll band have never sounded better than this - you've gotta hear this guy to believe him. Former Yes guitarist Steve Howe also shows us that he's certainly not past his prime when it comes to playing his instrument. John Wetton also proves his point as being one of the most underrated vocalist in rock music. My personal favorite song on the album is Time Again, which is probably the hardest rocking song on the album. Howe's guitar and Downes' keyboards are combined beautifully here - anyone who says these two instruments don't mix has obviously never heard this song. Also not to be overlooked is the classic power ballad Without You. There is not a single weak song on this album. If you're a fan of any of the bands these guys used to be in, the Asia years are certainly worth checking out. \n\nAsia's albums sold separately seem to be fading from store shelves, but fortunately a new solution has been released - the Anthologia collection. This collection combines the band's earliest albums, and throws in some B-Sides and rarities! In other words, don't get them separately - get Anthologia instead. It's a better value, it's got the rare tracks, and it's just an all-around excellent set. \n\nThere's not much else I can say about Asia's debut. Power pop never sounded so excellent. One thing I have noticed over the years is that any group that has ever featured Carl Palmer is a great band - Asia is no exception. If you're a fan of progressive rock, eighties rock, or just plain rock in general, Asia's material is well worth ckecking out. Don't overlook these guys - they rule.\n\ Customer Review\nAn impressive album, December 4, 2004\nReviewer: sauerkraut - See all my reviews \nThis self-titled, full-length debut album from Asia was released in 1982. Nine tracks are contained. The material is in a majestical pop rock musical direction. Altogether, I find the songwriting to be pleasing, the musicianship to be skillful, and the sound quality to be worthy. I enjoy John Wetton's distinctive, smooth, meat-and-potatoes vocal delivery; also, he handles the bass guitar playing. There is an agreeable synthesis in regard to Steve Howe's gratifying guitar work and the tasteful keyboard playing of Geoff Downes. As for the harmony vocals, I find them to be remarkably rich. The compositions that I consider to be favorites are "Only Time Will Tell," "Sole Survivor," and "Here Comes the Feeling." The nicely tailored, attractive "Only Time Will Tell" displays memorable, stately keyboard work from Downes, indelible, pretty guitar playing from Howe, and lush, charming vocal harmonies. The rousing "Sole Survivor" exhibits a dynamic, unforgettable chorus, while the spirited "Here Comes the Feeling" presents a catchy principal keyboard line and sparkling solo from Downes and an energy-filled, captivating refrain. I think that the rest of the songs are enjoyable, too. The sprightly "Heat of the Moment" provides lavish, admirable harmony vocals. The appealing, easygoing "One Step Closer" features a mellow, flowing chorus. The energetic "Time Again" sports creative musical arrangements and impressive utilization of vocal harmonies. The lively "Wildest Dreams" supplies talented drumming from Carl Palmer. The plaintive "Without You" furnishes somber, pleasant harmony vocals. The active "Cutting It Fine" has a touching, regal ending keyboard passage from Downes. The CD insert does not include the song lyrics. The album cover artwork is interesting--a portion of this illustration is also displayed on the back of the CD jewel case. The disc is just over 44 minutes. The enthusiasm that emanates from this album is infectious. Actually, I rate this piece of work 3.5 stars; it is a treat to listen to. \n\ Customer Review\nPotent distillation of prog into powerhouse pop, September 30, 2004\nReviewer: Dr. Emil Shuffhausen (Central Gulf Coast)\nIf you want 10-minute suites with lengthy instrumental noodling, this is not the album for you...despite its amazing pedigree featuring members of Yes, ELP, and UK (and, by extension, Tomorrow, Bodast, Atomic Rooster, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, King Crimson, Roxy Music, and, of course, the Buggles). These instrumental virtuosos strip everything down to a tight, melodic core and simply play these songs like a house on fire. It's got plenty of proggy elements, but it's all fairly concise. All of the tracks here are radio-friendly powerhouses, and the album sold by the ton, standing tall at #1 on the album charts for an astounding 9 straight weeks. The critics, of course, hated it. But it still holds up, more than 20 years later. "Heat of the Moment" is where English flash and drama meet the Spector-ish "Wall of Sound," and it makes for a fantastic single. Gotta love the riffage from Steve Howe! On "Only Time Will Tell," soaring harmonies and a memorable melody powered this track into the Top 10 as well. Geoff Downes proves that he is by no means a "second tier" keyboardist with his wonderfully dexterous playing and nuanced sonic textures. A tennis match was allegedly the inspiration for "Sole Survivor," and it jumps back and forth appropriately with a hard-hitting edge. The stately "One Step Closer" and the rocking "Time Again" also feature soaring harmonies and strong lead vocals from belter John Wetton. Carl Palmer steps to the fore with the tricky percussive showcase, "Wildest Dreams," before the band cools down with the majestic "Without You"--Wetton really shines vocally here. The album closes on a rocking note with "Here Comes the Feeling." Prog purists gagged on this album, but Asia captured a spark and sound that riveted listeners in the early 1980s. Sadly, they were not able to maintain this standard as consistently and brilliantly throughout the rest of their career, but for a few brief, shining moments, Asia ruled the music world. \n\ Customer Review\nThe only "supergroup" that was ever worth a damn, May 26, 2004\nReviewer: Stock In (TX) \nThanks to MTV, the 1980s became a black hole music-wise. Whether a band could actually play became irrelevant. It was more important to have a freakish haircut or to be a cross-dresser. Video had killed the radio star as The Buggles song said.\nIronically, one of the Buggles, Geoff Downes, joined with Carl Palmer (ELP), Steve Howe (Yes) and most importantly, John Wetton (King Crimson/ UK) to form Asia, a group that didn't rely on shock value or gimmicks. They just played great music. How revolutionary! \n\nFor fatuous prog-fans, Asia was like garlic to Count Dracula. If Downes, Howe, Palmer and Wetton were involved, the album MUST have twelve-minute songs about wizards and spaceships, right? WRONG! Asia showed a certain maturity and featured lyrics about more personal and down-to-earth issues. The players were in their thirties, after all -the age at which it's hard to sing about "mountains that come out of the sky and uh, stand there" with a straight face. The progsters had grown up.\n\nWhat many people forget is that while the musicians of Asia had strong prog backgrounds, John Wetton and Geoff Downes (the two main songwriters) had very strong pop credentials, too. Downes was with The Buggles, Wetton was with Roxy Music. Asia's music shows a perfect combination of catchy hooks and intricate musicianship. No prog album before or since produced more hit songs and no pop act had such astounding musical skill.\n\nThe songs are simply amazing. The best (Only Time Will Tell) is a classic and the weakest (One Step Closer) is still a good song. Unlike other "supergroups" where the music seems shoehorned together the music of Asia blends naturally. Carl Palmer's drums do more than keep time. His solo on Wildest Dreams is concise and explosive. Steve Howe's guitar is perfect on solos and background, Geoff Downes' keyboards range from triumphant to melancholy -in the same song! John Wetton's bass is simply the best and his voice seems almost custom-designed to echo in concrete stadiums. It's that strong, but is just as good in quieter moments on Without You.\n\nWhen Asia left the scene, a lot of musical integrity went with them. The music for the rest of the 1980s (with a few exceptions) went from bad to Prince -or worse. This album is a sort of time capsule from that period when music mattered more than lipstick.\n\ Customer Review\nMusic that changed a life, April 14, 2004\nReviewer: A music fan\n"Only Time Will Tell" is the first rock song I ever heard, having been cloistered by my parents' country/Anne Murray music preferences. From the moment I heard the keyboard intro, I was pulled into rock's orbit and would never look back. To this day, I can never listen to any of the first 3 songs on the album and not think of that impressionable time in my life, with the music itself being one of the most positive associations.\nA year later I scraped up enough money to buy my own cassette, and I bought the just-released Alpha. But soon thereafter I went back and got the debut, and discovered that (unlike many later albums I would purchase), the great music wasn't limited to what made it onto the radio. Track after track pulls me in, envelopes me in the soundscape these great musicians crafted, and I leave this world for an hour.\n\nI consider this album just slightly inferior to Alpha, and then only because it has one lukewarm track (Wildest Dreams) whilst Alpha is phenomenal from beginning to end. \n\nIndeed, my very favorite song of all time is "Sole Survivor". The lyrics and music of this song place me in a fantastic, desolate location or state of mind, a journey to hell and back. This piece would work even without lyrics. The sense of isolation and bleakness at the bridge, the brief moment of doubt, of whether all is said and done, followed immediately by the decisive anger and defiance, the implicit declaration that "It does not end here!", and the swift, determined move forward to face the unknown. The biting, snarling guitars transform from your tormenters into your allies as you are swept away on a wave of emotion and vindication.\n\nThis track is epic, yet less than 5 minutes in length. That's what I call songwriting.\n\nThose who say Steve Howe and John Wetton's guitars are missing must not be listening to the same music as me. Catch the intro to "Time Again", the solos in "Heat of the Moment" and "Without You", the exquisite guitar work on "Sole Survivor" and "Cutting It Fine", and then tell me that this music is light on the strings. Compare these songs to those on "Astra", and then ask again where it is that Steve Howe is missed.\n\nCritics throw out a lot of words about this album: "not progressive enough", "overproduced", "too slick", "too radio-friendly". Funny, I don't think about any of that when I'm immersed in that other world. If I think at all, it's thanking God that these guys put their talents together when they did, even if it was for too brief a moment. Otherwise I might be listening to Hank Williams Jr.\n\ Customer Review\nThis one fooled three of us, March 30, 2004\nReviewer: William J. Eichelberger "Here come da judge!" (Ft. Thomas, KY) \nI first heard of Asia while driving home from a night class in the spring semester 1982, but the snow we were fighting made it seem anything like spring. There were four of us in the car that night when WEBN played "Heat Of The Moment". Rob actively disliked the song. Mark guessed King Crimson, Bob guessed Yes, and I thought ELP. Turned out we were all partly right. I bought the album almost immediately, only to have my sister ruin it by dropping the stylus while trying to go back to listen to her favorite song for the hundredth time in a row. Asia may have seemed contrived to some, overdone to others, but I've always thought of it as a perfect snapshot of the spring and summer of 1982. From my way of thinking, music is at it's best when twenty+ years later it still gives you that brief taste of life as it was the first time you heard it. This album is like that for me. The albums that followed were decent, but this one never failed to play all the way through. I can point to a favorite song, or rather some favorites, but I can't say that there's anything on it that I regard as inferior to the others. That doesn't happen often, so when it does occur, I make sure to add it to my road library immediately.\n\ Customer Review\n"One time glory right in my gaze", January 28, 2004\nReviewer: mwreview "mwreview" (Northern California, USA) \nThis album IS the 1980s. "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell" are two of the musical highlights of the decade and this album is almost as solid as those two singles. I have read criticisms that the album is too "cliche'd." I'm not sure what is meant by that as I thought "Only Time Will Tell" had a very unique sound for a single. This is not an ordinary pop album. It has a powerful, progressive sound yet a sound that is also accessible (progressive rock moves into the 1980s). "Without You," for example, starts out as a ballad and then launches into a killer guitar solo with keyboard in tow, then settles down only to explode once more. "Cutting it Fine" is a rocker until it reaches a very interesting slow piece at the end. The music takes the listener through different emotions. Although I can't give this classic any less than 5 stars, I think some of the songs are overdone, such as "Time Again" and, especially, "Wildest Dreams." The POW! POWPOW! part of the latter track seems a bit much to me unless the band was simulating war sounds to keep with the theme of the lyrics. Still, it seems overpowering in this song. On the other end of the review spectrum, perhaps this album is overrated; however, the next two Asia albums (Alpha and Astra) are painfully underrated, so it all evens out.\n\ Customer Review\nMammoth Let-down, June 22, 2000\nReviewer: Fred Hoffknecht (Belmont, CA) \nOne of the biggest disappointments in prog-rock history. Touted as the first new major supergroup of the 80s, they had everything going for them; Carl Palmer, John Wetton, Steve Howe and Jeffrey Downes have resumes that would put 90% of their peers to shame. They had major support from a huge new label (Geffen) and legions of fans from their former groups (ELP, UK, King Crimson, Yes, The Buggles) waiting for this new venture. So what went wrong? Let me count the ways: 1) their name. The last thing we needed was another trite, meaningless geographical locale for a band name (at least Chicago, Kansas and Boston were actually from their namesakes). Naming the album eponymously only made matters worse. 2) There wasn't a single good songwriter in the group, as the unimaginative name should have tipped off. This collection made Styx, Boston and Foreigner sound positively DEEP. 3) The production was so over-the-top, unimaginative and synth-blasted, you wouldn't know Howe or Wetton were even in the band (listen to Wetton's incredible bass on his three KC albums and it makes you wanna cry...maybe he needs a Robert Fripp to whup him around a bit). Only the tracks "Wildest Dreams" and "Ride Easy" (from a 45-flipside) hinted at what was possible. They racked a couple hit singles and heavily-rotated videos, but the subsequent albums only got worse. It's a shame to think Asia probably influenced hair-farmer bands more than experimental progressive ones. I refrained from rating "Asia" * out of respect for the musicians and for the Roger Dean cover.\n\ Details \nProducer: Mike Stone \n\nAlbum Notes\nAsia: John Wetton (vocals, bass); Steve Howe (vocals, guitar); Geoff Downes (vocals, keyboards); Carl Palmer (drums).\nRecorded at Townhouse Studio, London, England.\n\nProg-rock fans everywhere got very excited when they found out that ex-members of such bands as Yes (guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Geoff Downes), King Crimson (bassist/vocalist John Wetton), and ELP (drummer Carl Palmer) were forming a supergroup, Asia. With its 1982 self-titled debut, the quartet surprisingly crossed over to the more mainstream pop audience with no problem, hitting the top spot on the album charts.\nTime and again here, each member shows his mastery of his respective instrument. ASIA is chock full of compositions showcasing the quartet's keen pop sensibilities, such as the uptempo Top 10 hit "Heat of the Moment," and the more laid back "Only Time Will Tell."\n\nIndustry Reviews\nRanked #18 in CMJ's Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982.\nCMJ (01/05/2004)