GHS 2008 Asia
Produced by Mike Stone
Released on April 1982
Find it at GEMM
GHS 2008 cover*
[high resolution scan]

I was in high school when Asia came out, which somehow seemed to make a bad thing worse. Now that I’m not surrounded by people in black t-shirts with Roger Dean artwork badly ironed on, I can appreciate Asia’s debut as a landmark in arena rock, however dubious a distinction that may be. By bringing together members of Yes and ELP (plus the Lake-like John Wetton on bass/vocals), Asia was expected to fill the void left by those bands, but they took it a few steps further by delivering progressive rock’s epic sound in the context of mainstream rock songs. The result isn’t so far removed from Greg Lake’s earlier tales of romance, at least in spirit, but where Lake’s songs were pretty Wetton’s are powerful; teenage boys who may have liked “Still…You Turn Me On” but were waiting for someone else to admit they liked it first had no trouble publicly pledging their allegiance to songs like “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell.” While this record almost single-handedly established the profitability of arena rock, it’s worth noting that upon its release some progressive rock fans were less than pleased. It’s true that Asia invites comparison to ELP (“Time Again”) and Yes (in Steve Howe’s guitar work) some of the time, but many of those band’s principles seem to have been thrown out the window along the way. Because those groups themselves had waned in recent years, the change was subtle for some, and in fairness it’s unlikely that the four members actively sought to sell out so much as find a common ground for their musical talents. If the material wasn’t up to past successes, it’s some of the best work any of them have done since. “One Step Closer,” one of Howe’s catchiest melodies yet, “Cutting It Fine” and “Here Comes the Feeling” are all good tracks. “Sole Survivor” and “Wildest Dreams” are a little overwrought (ELP did a better job of addressing love and war on the same album), but it’s apparently part of Wetton’s lyrical vision. A discussion of the band’s debut would be incomplete without citing how much better this album is than any of Asia’s subsequent efforts. Was it the beneficiary of stockpiled songs, a creative union destined to implode after one record, an idiot savant of an album created in a blissful vacuum of expectations? Whatever the reasons, the album struck a chord with millions (nine, to be exact), and remains an indelible part of the ‘80s. (*Thanks to Vadim Taratov for the front and back cover scans.)

GHS 2008 back cover GHS 2008 inner sleeve
GHS 2008 back cover GHS 2008 inner sleeve


  1. HEAT OF THE MOMENT    (John Wetton/Geoff Downes)    3:50
  2. ONLY TIME WILL TELL    (John Wetton/Geoff Downes)    4:44
  3. SOLE SURVIVOR    (John Wetton/Geoff Downes)    4:48
  4. ONE STEP CLOSER    (John Wetton/Steve Howe)    4:16
  5. TIME AGAIN    (Geoff Downes/Steve Howe/Carl Palmer/John Wetton)    4:45
  6. WILDEST DREAMS    (John Wetton/Geoff Downes)    5:10
  7. WITHOUT YOU    (John Wetton/Steve Howe)    5:04
  8. CUTTING IT FINE    (John Wetton/Geoff Downes/Steve Howe)    5:35
  9. HERE COMES THE FEELING    (John Wetton/Steve Howe)    5:42


GEOFFREY DOWNES -- keyboards and vocals
STEVE HOWE -- guitars and vocals
CARL PALMER -- drums and percussion
JOHN WETTON -- lead vocals and bass guitar
Mike Stone -- engineer
Roger Dean -- artwork

return to ASIA discography

UK/NET April 1982 Geffen LP/CS GEF 85577 inner sleeve
US April 1982 Geffen LP/CS GHS 2008 inner sleeve
CAN April 1982 Geffen LP/CS XGHS 2008  
UK June 1994 Bullet Proof CD 4859  
JPN   Geffen CD UICY-9123  
US 1997 Geffen CD/CS 2008  


For more discographies visit...

© 2007 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.