Saturday, June 28, 2008


I found a great web site, '80's Music Lyrics, and an article, Asia, which was very helpful in preparing this tribute to Asia.

Asia was formed in 1981, as a rock and progressive rock group. The group consisted of former members from the groups Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Hold the Ladder, Uriah Heep, U. K., and The Buggles. The formation of Asia was much hyped to be a super group, consisting of many popular, well-known members from the former groups. After the groups, Yes, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and King Crimson split up, the formation of Asia began. Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, John Wetton, Allan Holdsworth, as well as Eddie Jobson got together and their debut album was released in 1978.

By 1980, Wetton had left the U. K. And a new supergroup project was planned. This time it consisted of Wetton, Wakeman, Carl Palmer, and Trevor Rabin. Wakeman quit the group just before the group signed with the Geffen Records label. Wetton and Steve Howe (guitarist for Yes) got together in 1981 and worked together writing. The two were joined by Geoff Downes and later by Carl Palmer. Some demos were also recorded with Trevor Rabin in the group but he dropped out to join a new Yes group that was forming.

The group’s debut album, Asia, in 1982, met with much commercial success and reached number one in the U. S., staying there for nine weeks. From the album came the singles, “Only Time Will Tell,” and “Heat Of The Moment,” which were a big success and reached the Top 40 chart. “Heat Of The Moment” reached the Top 5 and stayed as a stadium favorite in U. S. Sporting events. It was also parodied, beautifully, in a South Park episode. “Sole Survivor,” from the same album, was a favorite, also, and received a lot of airplay on the rock stations in the U. S. "Asia" was, by far, their best album.

The group toured the U. S. in 1982 and 1983 and had sold out performances at each concert. I saw them in concert, with Chris DeBurgh (“The Lady In Red,” & “Don’t Pay The Ferryman”) as their opening act. Asia was great.

MTV television channel played their videos and Asia was named Album of the Year by the Billboard.

Neither of the groups following 2 albums received as much recognition as their first one did.

In 1983, they released “Alpha,” their second best album. Their ballad, “Don’t Cry,” reached the Top 10 on the charts in 1983 and “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes,” was in the Top 40 on the Billboard chart. The tracks, “Eye To Eye” and “My Own Time” were big fan favorites and “Open Your Eyes” and “The Heat Goes On,” were concert favorites. Greg Lake replaced Wetton in 1983 and the group had a tour called, Asia In Asia, in Japan. Wetton was recruited back into the group in 1985 and Steve Howe left the group and was replaced by Mandy Meyer.

“Asia” and “Alpha” were their best albums, containing their hit singles. In 1985, they released “Astra,” followed by “Aqua” in 1992, “Aria” in 1994, “Arena” in 1996, “Archiva Vol. 1” in 1996, “Archiva Vol. 2” in 1996, “Anthology” in 1997, and breaking their tradition of choosing a word, beginning with the letter “A” as an album title, released “Rare” in 1999.

They went back to tradition, finding a one word album title, beginning with the letter “A”, with “Aura” in 2001, then, broke tradition again, with “Silent Nation” in 2004, followed by “Definitive Collection” in 2006.

It was announced that the group was going back into the studio in 2007 to record a new album which was to be released in 2008.The group had 18 albums and 32 singles during their span in the music industry.

I love Asia, because their first two albums, “Asia” and “Alpha,” were terrific. “Don’t Cry,” “Heat Of The Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell,” and “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” are my favorites. They were also an enjoyable group to see in concert. South Park’s Eric Cartman character has a great “Heat Of The Moment” tribute in the episode, South Park - Kenny Dies.

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