defend the indefensible: ASIA

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"it was the HEAT OF THE MOMENT"

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 10 June 2004 04:13 (fifteen years ago) link

still the dumbest album cover i've ever seen in my life

http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf000/f065/f06528ubbno.jpg

i do kinda like "heat of the moment," though. some cute chicks in high school liked it, you know.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 10 June 2004 04:14 (fifteen years ago) link

I was going to say...BRILLIANT record covers.

I'm not sure I really know what Asia sound like, though.

AdamL :') (nordicskilla), Thursday, 10 June 2004 04:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I've got a soft spot for their singles: Tuneful corporate po(m)p rock sell-out certainly beats Tales From Topographic Oceans. And you sure can't question their pedigrees. Only thing that bothers me is the pseudo-fanfare synth intro. Reminds me too much of Europe's "The Final Countdown", possibly my most-loathed single of the 1980s.

And hey: I've never seen the Roger Dean cover that I didn't love! Cool shade of purple on that "Astra" cover.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Thursday, 10 June 2004 05:22 (fifteen years ago) link

TS: Asia v Europe

Morley Timmons (Donna Brown), Thursday, 10 June 2004 06:19 (fifteen years ago) link

And the winner is, AMERICA!

Pleasant Plains (Pleasant Plains), Thursday, 10 June 2004 06:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I've given it a good deal of thought, but I must admit that defending Asia is beyond me. Sorry.

John Bullabaugh (John Bullabaugh), Thursday, 10 June 2004 21:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I enjoy their first album as a sorely guilty pleasure, if only for the singles and "Soul Survivor".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:00 (fifteen years ago) link

"The brightest ring around the moon, WILL DARKEN WHEN I DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I like some shit, but I don't like THIS shit.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:12 (fifteen years ago) link

trivia fact: Asia are coming back in 2004 with a new album

look at their ridiculous white suits and naff logo
http://www.insideout.de/indexx.php?arg=AgcECgRLQVJUew

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

"Heat of the Moment" sorta sounds like the Buggles!! It's real good!!

chuck, Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:20 (fifteen years ago) link

My best friend said I should reevaluate Heat Of The Moment because he thought the drum part was really neat. Man, did that earn a raspberry.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Has this thread of genius already been forgotten?

How Much Money Would It Take For You To Listen To All These Asia Albums?

Elvis T and I are still anxious to pony up the cash so Dave Q can review all them albums.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 10 June 2004 22:51 (fifteen years ago) link

"Do you remember how we used to dance?"

sundar subramanian (sundar), Thursday, 10 June 2004 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

The cadence of the verses on "Heat of the Moment" is awesome -- really forced in a cool sounding way, and deliciously strident. Great song!

Clarke B. (Clarke B.), Thursday, 10 June 2004 23:25 (fifteen years ago) link

TS: "Do you remember how we used to dance?" vs. "Remember laughter?"

Clarke B. (Clarke B.), Thursday, 10 June 2004 23:25 (fifteen years ago) link

First album was good, but their best album was Alpha, the second one. "Don't Cry" is excellent. "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and "My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want)" are classic melodrama numbers. "Midnight Sun" is probably their best song period (even if it sounds somewhat reminiscent of Godspell's "Day By Day"), and has a spine-tingling Steve Howe solo.

'Don't give me that same ol' pack of LIIIEES...'

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 June 2004 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Time for me to finally say that I did have those first three albums and Joe is actually right that Alpha is the winner.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 11 June 2004 00:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh please.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 00:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I saw them at the Paradise in Boston, MA back in 1993, with Howe as a special guest. Without a doubt one of the most fun 'so bad it's good' concerts I've been to. Opened up with "Go" from Astra, one of the only good songs on that album. Geoff Downes with sweatbands, shorts, and leather jacket to make the chicks swoon, still at that point was doing his solo spot with an obligatory nod to "Video Killed the Radio Star"/vocoder. The lead singer/bassist (John Payne) wore this ridiculous top hat with decorations on it, his 'trademark', I guess. Apparently, nobody had told him about Slash. They played material from the very sucky Aqua album.

Howe was only with them because he was planning his own solo tour and scouting out what were viable venues...he showed up about halfway through, did a solo spot, then joined the rest of the band to have a go at the old warhorses, like "Heat of the Moment", which rocked.

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 June 2004 00:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Just checked out their official site. Apparently Chris Slade (ex of Spirit, the Firm and -- briefly -- AC/DC) is now on drums, which is a bit tragic. It also says that Aziz Ibrahim was briefly a guitarist....didn't that guy fill in for the departed John Squire towards the end of the Stone Roses?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 00:40 (fifteen years ago) link

i DID say that i liked "heat of the moment" -- carl palmer's drumming WAS ace.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:13 (fifteen years ago) link

and alex, i don't think that mr. slade drummed for spirit. that must've been another slaphead drummer.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I dunno, man....who'd he drum for before the Firm? I'm going to Allmusic.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Ah, you may be right. It says, though, that he drummed for Uriah Heap and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. So, y'know....close enough. Bahahaha.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:22 (fifteen years ago) link

he'd be perfect for spirit if they reunited, though!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Agreed.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I had the first three albums as a kid and Astra was my favorite by far, but Alpha had its moments.

I played Astra until I wore out the tape, though, mostly when jumping ramps in front of my house on a skateboard or bicycle. That guitar riff in the middle of "Go" was perfect for catching air.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Ooh, shit. I just dl'ed "Go" off of slsk. There's no defense for this. Perfect for 11 year olds and no one else!

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Friday, 11 June 2004 01:44 (fifteen years ago) link

just d/l'd "heat of the moment" from slsk, and i'll second mr. eddy's post:

"Heat of the Moment" sorta sounds like the Buggles!! It's real good!!

except that it sorta sounds A LOT like the Buggles!!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 11 June 2004 02:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I know that Downes was in the band, but "Heat of the Moment" doesn't sound like the Buggles. i'm sorry. It doesn't.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 02:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Alex OTM. The Buggles?! Not even close.

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 June 2004 02:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I mean, one is straight-up AOR, the other is "Miss Robot, I Love You"

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 June 2004 02:40 (fifteen years ago) link

"Heat of the Moment" sorta sounds like the Buggles!!

or not at all. i have a real soft spot for the song, though.

lauren (laurenp), Friday, 11 June 2004 03:47 (fifteen years ago) link

i don't think i know a single asia song

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 11 June 2004 03:53 (fifteen years ago) link

You'd know one if ya heard it. And there'd probably be a lot of grimacing involved.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 03:54 (fifteen years ago) link

interestingly, my ears work the same as mr. eddy's on the "does 'heat of the moment' sound like the buggles" question. or maybe it's just my general ignorance of prog. i can't explain it -- i can just hear the buggles in the song, is all.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 11 June 2004 03:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, "Heat of the Moment" doesn't really sound like prog. It sounds like pop. The Buggles too sound like pop. However, not all pop sounds like the Buggles. Here endeth the lesson.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 04:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I kind of like their first couple of albums, which were at least hinting at going slightly beyond pure AOR. After all those 70s prog bands reformed, Asia lost so many key members they should have called it a day though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 11 June 2004 10:15 (fifteen years ago) link

look at their ridiculous white suits and naff logo

Looks like the guitarist of Faith No More on the right?

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 June 2004 10:28 (fifteen years ago) link

You can actually buy your own autographed print of that naff logo if you goto a gallery on Mercer street between Grand and Canal, but it ends today. You can also buy the Yes logo (signed by Roger Dean as well) in a variety of nifty colors. Why do I know this? My wife threatened to get me one for Father's Day.....until I talked her out of it.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 11 June 2004 15:39 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

ha, i don't know this song (palmer really phoning it in)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQv6YblNEf8

gershy, Sunday, 1 July 2007 05:06 (twelve years ago) link

three years pass...

TS: ASIA (band) vs. EUROPE (band) vs. AMERICA (band) vs. AFRICA (song by Toto) vs. AUSTRALIA (song by Manic Street Preachers) vs. SOUTH AMERICA (continent)

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\||||||( *__* )||||||/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ (res), Friday, 7 January 2011 05:21 (nine years ago) link

I think ANTARCTICA (song by Men Without Hats) would have something to say about that.

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 7 January 2011 05:45 (nine years ago) link

AFRICA (song by Toto)

Number of times we heard that in actual Africa was inexcusable, oh my god.

"Smurfette's Smurfy Adventsmurf" (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 7 January 2011 06:28 (nine years ago) link

'You are from the west!! Listen to this song again and again and again and again'

"Smurfette's Smurfy Adventsmurf" (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 7 January 2011 06:29 (nine years ago) link

Anyway, that.

"Smurfette's Smurfy Adventsmurf" (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 7 January 2011 06:29 (nine years ago) link

I'm not understanding what you're saying. Are you saying you heard it a lot or not enough?

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\||||||( *__* )||||||/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ (res), Friday, 7 January 2011 06:31 (nine years ago) link

All the fucking time, I mean it's not like they're devoid of western culture what with KFC and the English language and DStv and everything.

"Smurfette's Smurfy Adventsmurf" (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 7 January 2011 06:34 (nine years ago) link

Live DVD from their reunion tour is pretty fun. They still sound great (yeah, I love those first two albums).

A happenstance discovery of asynchronous lesbians (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 10 January 2011 02:50 (nine years ago) link

The piano-sounding keyboard part that comes in in the second verse of "Heat of the Moment" - that's really Bugglesian.

timellison, Friday, 14 January 2011 04:44 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

Really like "Finger on the Trigger," the leadoff track on their last album, Omega.

timellison, Wednesday, 2 March 2011 03:18 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BnTSkqNG_o

buzza, Saturday, 19 May 2012 20:42 (eight years ago) link

New studio album XXX (pronounced “Triple X”) will be released via Frontiers Records on June 29 in Europe and July 3 in North America. Produced by Mike Paxman (Uriah Heep, Status Quo), the album will be released as a CD, collector’s edition CD/DVD featuring new music videos and behind the scenes footage, and on a limited edition Europe-only vinyl pressing.

buzza, Saturday, 19 May 2012 20:48 (eight years ago) link

*LIKE*

timellison, Saturday, 19 May 2012 21:45 (eight years ago) link

Bump. This song rules!

timellison, Monday, 21 May 2012 05:34 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Another new song, "Al Gatto Nero" here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01jt98q/Ken_Bruce_19_06_2012/

Comes in at the 38 minute mark.

timellison, Thursday, 21 June 2012 03:34 (seven years ago) link

Has anyone ever noticed that Wetton (a great singer, btw) lisps through the chorus of "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes"?

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 22 June 2012 01:42 (seven years ago) link

He lisped a lot in King Crimson too! But I never listened to Crimson for the singing anyways.

Race Against Rockism (Myonga Vön Bontee), Friday, 22 June 2012 02:36 (seven years ago) link

He did? On what? Book of Thaturday? Eathee Money? The Great Detheever? I've actually never noticed.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 22 June 2012 11:34 (seven years ago) link

thigarettes, ithe cream, figurineth

undermikey: bidness (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 22 June 2012 12:51 (seven years ago) link

I always used to say that Wetton sounded like his teeth were too big for his mouth

akm, Friday, 22 June 2012 13:58 (seven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Sad news - youngest daughter of Geoff Downes passed away:

http://originalasia.com/message-from-geoffrey-downes/

timellison, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 04:08 (seven years ago) link

In defense, I saw the original lineup in a gorgeous little theater in Portland a few years ago. Great time.

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 04:12 (seven years ago) link

A little bummed that Howe has left again, but I still haven't listened to the two albums they made prior to the latest one (which I like a lot), so I'll look forward to that.

timellison, Wednesday, 20 February 2013 02:11 (seven years ago) link

I actually like "Face on the Bridge"! Maybe I should give this band more of a chance.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 20 February 2013 03:07 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

valkyrie!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIpmYEYC2rU#t=23

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 01:43 (six years ago) link

Gorgeous. Asia is quite possibly my favorite band.

timellison, Tuesday, 25 February 2014 04:56 (six years ago) link

Song about mortality. Their songwriting is the real deal.

timellison, Thursday, 27 February 2014 05:54 (six years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSIcKpOVm9g

timellison, Thursday, 27 February 2014 06:04 (six years ago) link

sort of feel like "nothing to lose" is the first asia song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPsQPd4kgm8

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 27 February 2014 21:35 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

Best bit of Heat of the Moment is Steve Howe's guitar solo from about 2.45 onward, where he tries to channel Neal Schon but ends up channeling Greg Ginn instead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDpPoytXVvo

zoom séance goes tits up (Matt #2), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:34 (two weeks ago) link

It is entirely predictable that the execrable John Kalodner put this “band” together.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 12:29 (one week ago) link

You can put band in quotes, but people did that to the Monkees, too. They apparently thought they were a real enough band to play together for six and a half years from 2006-2013

timellison, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 05:30 (one week ago) link

They must like all those Asia live albums somewhere. Maybe Asia has adopted the band as one of their own.

earlnash, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 11:42 (one week ago) link

xp they did so a lot more than that. They toured every year from 1986-1989, then again in 1996-1997. I have a wife who is a Monkees mega-fan and she's attended many of their concerts (as have I).

Bougy! Bougie! Bougé! (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 13:51 (one week ago) link

heat of the moment is great

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:08 (one week ago) link

they did so a lot more than that. They toured every year from 1986-1989, then again in 1996-1997.

Sorry I was unclear. I was talking about the reunion of the original Asia four-piece, which lasted for three albums and six and a half years.

timellison, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 22:16 (one week ago) link

I'm unclear what the criticism of Kalodner is, too. I think they wanted to do a project with Wetton.

timellison, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 22:19 (one week ago) link

Is the Greg Ginn comparison about the rhythmic feel and phrasing in that solo?

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 22:21 (one week ago) link

I was being facetious with the Ginn comparison, but making the point that Steve Howe was poorly suited to this style of music. It needs session-man slickness. Not that it stopped him (and Steve Hackett) trying it again with the horrible GTR a few years later.

some infected evening (Matt #2), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 23:09 (one week ago) link

So you're saying the heart really does rule the mind.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 May 2020 00:10 (one week ago) link

I thought that GTR album was great at age 13. I don't think I've listened to it since then.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 28 May 2020 03:48 (one week ago) link

Ha, I was trying to hear the Ginn thing and it made the whole thing fascinating. It mostly just sounds to me like Howe was playing a more compact, restrained version of his own style there. I don't really hear it as inappropriate or less interesting than something Schon would do. I don't even think Howe's session chops are anything to sneeze at!

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 28 May 2020 04:20 (one week ago) link

I'm unclear what the criticism of Kalodner is, too. I think they wanted to do a project with Wetton.


A gazillion years ago I somehow caught a documentary about Aerosmith (recording Get a Grip, I think) and after having it on the background for about an hour, I realized that during the whole movie there was this really strange dude in what seemed like every scene who seemed to be involved in every aspect of the album. I was like, “What is the deal with this fucking guy? He’s telling the band what to play, how to play it, what kind of songs they should be doing. He looks like a high school shop teacher – and he’s not even the producer. Who is this dude and why don’t they tell him to fuck off?”

It turned out to be John Kalodner, who Geffen thought was Mr. Wonderful for some reason became this weird Svengali to these veteran bands he was assigned to.

So yeah, it’s not remotely surprising he was involved with helping these broken down prog rockers get together and was in the studio—he loved Howe’s opening power chords—when they wrote a super slick corporate pop song unlike anything they had recorded in their career to that point.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 28 May 2020 04:49 (one week ago) link

I don't even think Howe's session chops are anything to sneeze at!

This! He played on everyone from Lou Reed to Propaganda records as a session musician and it's always sounded like Steve Howe - IOW excellent - within more compact boundaries than he had in YES. His Asia playing sounds like this to me as well. I don't think I've ever heard the guy try to emulate late '70s - early '80s AOR gtr dudes like Schon or Ginn or whoever. He's in a class by himself.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 28 May 2020 07:11 (one week ago) link

*everything

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 28 May 2020 07:12 (one week ago) link

Few albums can transport me instantly to the summer of '82 (I was 13) like that first ASIA album. Shit is almost like a weird FM Radio Madeleine. This music was everywhere and , well, it was a perfect soundtrack at that age. Nostalgia aside, it still sounds great and *it shouldn't have worked*.

Re: Howe -- show me any other AOR rock guitarist pulling off a stylistic mishmash as gracefully as Howe's in "Here Comes The Feeling".

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 28 May 2020 07:30 (one week ago) link

this guy has opinions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtjTnAyWGdA

budo jeru, Thursday, 28 May 2020 15:14 (one week ago) link

first asia album is great for what it is; the other 256 albums of theirs are trash.

akm, Thursday, 28 May 2020 15:44 (one week ago) link

Oh wait! Greg GINN? I was thinking KIHN lol. Wow -- doubt whether Howe listened to any SST haha.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 28 May 2020 15:55 (one week ago) link

helping these broken down prog rockers get together

Wetton was 31, Downes was 28.

the other 256 albums of theirs are trash

You've certainly heard all of them! Or maybe just some? Would the three original lineup studio albums they put out between 2008 and 2012 be among those?

timellison, Thursday, 28 May 2020 17:18 (one week ago) link

Here's a taster from 2014's "Gravitas", kudos to the lads for getting a fire/desire rhyme in if nothing else:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIpmYEYC2rU

some infected evening (Matt #2), Thursday, 28 May 2020 17:45 (one week ago) link

I still haven't gotten into that album - Howe had quit by that point. But I always want to hear Wetton's tunes. And that's what *the Asia question* came down to for me - how much do you accept Asia as a genuine manifestation of his artistry. If you look at the overall arc of his career, the Asia records certainly seem like important ones for him.

timellison, Thursday, 28 May 2020 17:50 (one week ago) link

You certainly are defending the indefensible, Tim.

I love Wetton’s voice and bass playing. Outside of a few pretty generic sessions (the ABWH album sounds like it could be anyone), Howe is the guitarist version of “that guy could sing names in the phone book.” And “Only Time Will Tell” is a classic for me. But really, they have four songs.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 28 May 2020 23:16 (one week ago) link

Tim's love of Asia does intrigue me, probably enough to actually listen to a whole album of theirs.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 29 May 2020 00:09 (one week ago) link

And hey: I've never seen the Roger Dean cover that I didn't love! Cool shade of purple on that "Astra" cover.

― Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Thursday, June 10, 2004 12:22 AM (fifteen years ago) bookmarkflaglink

if nothing else, this otm

budo jeru, Friday, 29 May 2020 03:51 (one week ago) link

The idea that they're indefensible is outrageous. I wonder if they hadn't had the Roger Dean covers, if they had found some way to brand themselves in a way that highlighted how down to earth, humble, and genuine they were about their music, whether such claims would be made.

Sund4r, the last album with Howe, XXX - that's an excellent album. I miss John Wetton.

timellison, Friday, 29 May 2020 04:29 (one week ago) link

This is my favorite from XXX. It's quite beautiful how they came up with something so archetypically Asia-sounding on the last record they did together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYBLfM7GCs

timellison, Friday, 29 May 2020 04:38 (one week ago) link


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