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: http://yesmuseum.org/AsiaPomp1982.txt
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.
- Only Time Will Tell
- Wildest Dreams
- Never Again
- Time Again
- Steve Howe - Solo
- The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (acoustic)
- Ride Easy (acoustic)
- Voice Of America (acoustic)
- Open Your Eyes
- Fanfare For The Common Man
- Without You
- An Extraordinary Life
- Court Of The Crimson King
- Video Killed The Radio Star
- The Heat Goes On
- Heat Of The Moment
- Don't Cry
- Sole Survivor
Previously revisited for the blog:
Fantasia: Live in Tokyo (2007)