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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Asia (1982)

Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

Take some prog-rockers from the '70s, form a supergroup, get the producer of Queen and Journey on the boards, tell the band not to noodle and to write pop-rock songs, and this is the result. Put a Roger Dean picture on the cover, package it, and sell it to millions. The album was #1 for most of May - July 1982 and was the best selling album of the year, so I guess somebody liked the formula (me included). To me, the only things that are prog-rock about this album are the album cover, the coda of Cutting It Fine, and the Middle Earth lyrics that probably appealed to the teenagers who thought a trip to the local Renaissance Festival was the best day of their lives. I doubt it will ever happen, but this CD could use a new remastered version. The sound on this CD isn't as good as it could be. Maybe they'll release a 30 year deluxe edition with remastered sound and the b-side Ride Easy included.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (9 weeks between May 15 - July 31, 1982)
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #1  (4 consecutive weeks)

Tracks: This album got a lot of playing time in my life during 1982, so I have a difficult time separating the music from the nostalgia. I can't really tell anymore if the songs are any good because I've listened to them so many times. However, my favorites haven't changed in the last 30 years: Heat Of The Moment, Wildest Dreams, and Here Comes The Feeling. Here's a humorous review of the album from the LA Times:

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: In spite of being a New Waver, I became a huge Asia fan in the spring of 1982 when I first heard a cassette tape on a friend's Walkman (having a Walkman was a HUGE deal at that time). Within a week, I had purchased the album, which had yet to hit big. Soon I had a concert poster on my bedroom wall (like the one below) and buttons on my shirts (which I still have). Looking back, I really geeked myself out.

When I finally saw the band in Dallas in 2008, most of the songs from this album were in the setlist (below). That made me happy.
  1. Daylight
  2. Only Time Will Tell
  3. Wildest Dreams
  4. Never Again
  5. Roundabout
  6. Time Again
  7. Steve Howe - Solo
  8. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (acoustic)
  9. Ride Easy (acoustic)
  10. Voice Of America (acoustic)
  11. Open Your Eyes
  12. Fanfare For The Common Man
  13. Without You
  14. An Extraordinary Life
  15. Court Of The Crimson King
  16. Video Killed The Radio Star
  17. The Heat Goes On
  18. Heat Of The Moment
  19. Don't Cry
  20. Sole Survivor

Previously revisited for the blog:
Phoenix (2008)
Fantasia: Live in Tokyo (2007)
Alpha (1983)

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