Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Asia - Alpha (1983)
Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD.
A prime example of a sophomore jinx. Not much prog-rock here; the band sticks pretty much to a pop-rock formula. The music has the same sound as the band's 1982 debut album, but the writing isn't good and guitarist Steve Howe is practically a no-show (maybe those are related?). Even if the band hadn't split after this release, I'm not sure I would have bought any subsequent releases. I had the cassette version which contained a bonus track, Daylight, which wasn't on the LP and also, curiously, not on this CD. What's up with that? It's a shame because Daylight was one of the better tracks on the tape.
Interesting side note: as of today, the CD can be purchased for $2.82 from Amazon while the mp3 download for this music is $7.38. Hmmm...
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #6
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #5
Tracks: To be honest, it's hard to be objective because I listened to this album so often after it was first released. The better tracks are Don't Cry, The Last To Know, Midnight Sun (with it's mellow verses in 7/4), and the closer, Open Your Eyes, which is about as prog-rock as this album gets. Music that I thought was awesome at the time, but hasn't aged well: Never In A Million Years and My Own Time. True Colors was skip-worthy back in 1983 and remains so today.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This came out in late July, 1983 and I'm sure I bought it immediately. It reminds me of driving the Markmobile (sans a/c) to summer band practices in August of that year. Admittedly, I may be remembering it wrong, but I seem to remember having practice 5 mornings and 1 night each week for the 3 weeks prior to school. If many of my friends hadn't been in band, I'm not sure I would have endured that. And how different would my life be if I hadn't endured those practices and quit the school band?!?
Previously revisited for the blog:
Fantasia: Live in Tokyo (2007)