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Asia

Asia

Postby Chris » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:19 am

Asia – Saturday, July 18
Geoff Downes - Keyboards
John Wetton – Bass and Vocals
Steve Howe - Guitars
Carl Palmer - Drummer

Asia formed as a supergroup in 1981 out of the demise of several bands. Guitarist Steve Howe came from Yes and drummer Carl Palmer was the Palmer in Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Keyboardist Geoff Downes had been an original member of The Buggles and also had just had a short stint with Yes. Rounding out the group was singer and bass guitarist John Wetton, who had most notably been in King Crimson. Their self-titled debut album in 1982 was an immediate smash hit and spent 9 weeks at #1 and eventually sold over 4 million copies. It had an amazing six songs make the Mainstream Rock chart while two songs made the Pop Singles chart. The first single, “Heat of the Moment” would reach #4 on the Pop Singles chart and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart and would prove to be the band’s biggest hit. “Only Time Will Tell” also broke the top 20 on the singles chart, topping out at #17. While the band came from progressive rock roots, their music was more radio friendly and pop sounding than most prog-rock bands during that time. The band received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist of the Year in 1982. The band released a sophomore album in 1983 titled Alpha. While not selling as well as its predecessor, it still reached #6 on the charts and went platinum. “Don’t Cry” was another top 10 hit for the band, reaching #10. It also hit #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” reached #34 on the charts. However, cracks started to form in the band and Wetton left the band and was replaced by Greg Lake from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer while on tour in 1983. This did not last long as Wetton returned in 1984. However, Steve Howe left the band and was replaced by Krokus’s Mandy Meyer. In 1985, the band released their third album, Astra. With a harder sound to it and no notable hits to help propel sales, the album only reached #67. The single “Go” did hit the charts at #46. A tour for the album was cancelled and the band disbanded until 1990. Several formations of the band would occur over the next few years during tours but the four original members would not reform for several years. In 1990, the band released Then & Now, which contained 6 previously released songs and 4 new songs. The album had a minor hit in “Days Like These,” which reached #64. The album continued to sell over the next few years and in 1998 it finally went gold. Wetton left the band in 1991 and was replaced by John Payne. The band would also add guitarist John Pitrelli at this time. This lineup released Aqua in 1992 and although several singles were released, all of them failed to chart. The band, now only featuring one original member in Downes, released Aria in 1994 and Arena in 1996, with neither selling well nor having any hit singles. Downes and Payne released an instrumental album under the Asia name in 1999 as well. Aura was released in 2001, again featuring Downes and Payne and even Howe on a few songs but sales were small. The last album featuring Payne and Downes, Silent Nation, came out in 2004. All the original members of Asia would reform in 2006 for a world tour. The band released a live DVD titled Fantasia: Live in Tokyo in 2007 and the following year the four would release a new album titled Phoenix. With the reformation of all original members, the album would reach #73 on the charts and would be the first album in 23 years to make the album chart for the band. While Payne now has his own form of Asia touring, the four original members of Asia have continued to tour and will be making their first appearance at Moondance Jam.

Setlists
May 5, 2008 in San Francisco (Featuring debut album Asia in its entirety for the first time)
Daylight
Never Again
In the Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson)
Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles)
Roundabout (Yes)
Fanfare for the Common Man
Clap
Voice of America
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (acoustic)
An Extraordinary Life
The Heat Goes On/Drum Solo
Heat of the Moment
Time Will Tell
Sole Survivor
One Step Closer
Time Again
Wildest Dreams
Without You
Cutting it Fine/Bolero
Here Comes the Feeling
Open Your Eyes

2007 in Tokyo – from Fantasia: Live in Tokyo DVD
1. Time Again
2. Wildest Dreams
3. One Step Closer
4. Roundabout
5. Without You
6. Cutting It Fine
7. Intersection Blues - Steve's Solo
8. Fanfare for the Common Man
9. The Smile has Left Your Eyes
10. Don't Cry
11. In the Court of the Crimson King
12. Here comes the Feeling
13. Video Killed the Radio Star
14. The Heat Goes On -- Drum Solo
15. Only Time Will Tell
16. Ride Easy
17. Heat of the Moment

Did You Know?
Geoff Downes is in the Guinness Book of World Records for most keyboards performed (28) on stage in one performance.
Downes, while with The Buggles, helped write and record “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
The video for that song was the first ever video played on MTV.
Downes also has been a music producer, most notably for The Thompson Twins.
John Wetton is left-handed but plays the bass right-handed.
Wetton won the 2009 Progressive Rock Hall of Fame "Best Progressive Rock Vocalist" award.
Steve Howe also had a gold album with the supergroup GTR.
Howe received “Best Overall Guitarist” from Guitar Player magazine five years in a row from 1977-81.
Carl Palmer had seven gold studio albums and two gold live albums with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
ELP’s first seven albums (five studio and two live) all cracked the top 20 in the album charts.
ELP’s biggest hits were “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning.”
“Heat of the Moment” was featured in the movie The 40-Year Old Virgin.
Billboard named the debut album the Album of the Year in 1982.
The band had 11 Mainstream Rock chart hits in 1982 and 1983.
“Heat of the Moment” and “Don’t Cry” both reached #1 on the chart.
Several live shows from their current tour are available on CD and to download.
The band has also offered USB wristbands with live shows that are available right after concerts.
The 2008 album Phoenix reached #10 on Billboard’s Top Internet Albums.
Asia has released 7 studio albums, 1 EP, and 3 compilation albums that all start and end with the letter A.

My Take
Even though Yes is the tour headliner on the current Yes/Asia tour, I am looking forward to hearing Asia at the jam more than Yes. To me they just have a more powerful sound that I think will be very well received at Moondance Jam. Everyone will know several of their songs and I may be looking forward to hearing “Heat of the Moment” as much as any other song this year. It will be interesting to see how Steve Howe pulls double duty since he is in both Yes and Asia. There is the possibility of more than just Howe performing with both bands so it will be fun to watch how the night turns out. Asia has played Yes’s song “Roundabout” on recent tours so I guess it is possible that song could pop up during either set with members of both bands jamming together. By judging recent setlists, the band will also concentrate on songs from the first three albums and the latest album Phoenix as well as a few songs from band members’ past bands. We may even hear The Buggles’ classic “Video Killed the Radio Star.” I am glad that the band is focusing on their first three albums as they were the most successful and contain the songs the fans will be familiar with. The band has also sold USB wristbands of shows that are available right after the concert or recent tours. I don't know if that will happen at Moondance Jam but that would be a nice bit of memorabilia from this year's jam. While I only have a greatest hits CD by the band I am going to buy more music by the band since I really haven’t heard a song by Asia that I have disliked. I will be purchasing Asia Gold as it contains all the songs from three first albums and a few unreleased songs from that era. Right now I would rank Asia in the top 5 bands I want to see at the jam.

Billboard Top 100 Hits
1982 Heat of the Moment #4
1982 Only Time Will Tell #17
1983 Don’t Cry #10
1983 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes #34
1985 Go #46
1990 Days Like These #64

Billboard Mainstream Rock Top 100 Hits
1982 Heat of the Moment #1
1982 Here Comes the Feeling #40
1982 Only Time Will Tell #8
1982 Soul Survivor #10
1982 Time Again #43
1982 Wildest Dreams #28
1983 Don’t Cry #1
1983 True Colors #20
1983 The Heat Goes On #5
1983 Daylight #24
1983 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes #25
1985 Go #7
1986 Too Late #30
1990 Days Like These #2

Moondance Jam Connections
Yes (Moondance Jam 1998 and 2009) and Asia will be touring together all summer.
John Wetton was at one time a member of Wishbone Ash, who played Moondance Jam 14 in 2005.
Steve Lukather, from Toto (Moondance Jam 2007), was a guitarist for the band on the new songs from Then & Now in 1990.
Simon Phillips, also from Toto, has also played with Asia.
Even though Steve Howe was not a member of Yes at the time, Yes performed at Moondance Jam 1998.
Asia and The Outfield (Moondance Jam 1999) both have songs on the compilation Rock of the 80’s: Volume 14.
Asia and 12 other past Moondance Jam performers have songs on the Classic Rock 80’s collection.

Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUf_2vf4OCs – “Heat of the Moment” live in Tokyo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94uCiI-J ... re=related – “Wildest Dreams” live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7bJU_av ... re=related – “Time Again” live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s5BUwPJ ... re=related – “Don’t Cry” live acoustic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQCYUr65 ... re=related – “Court of the King Crimson” live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2wcS461 ... re=related – “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Wx-8A8 ... re=related – “Soul Survivor” live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlsDzPKU2wE – “Only Time Will Tell” live
The music brought me to Moondance Jam. The people bring me back.
View my profiles of this years' bands at: viewforum.php?f=38
View profiles of past bands at: viewforum.php?f=7
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Chris
 
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Location: Kansas City

Re: Asia

Postby IanR » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:28 pm

Did you also know that In the Court of the Crimson King was the first album I ever bought !!!!!
You've been to the hallowed grounds, seen the festival, now read the book about it's history

https://ianroutledge.selz.com/item/53fda9f5b798720540dd9fdc
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Durham, England


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