A lot of bands that are named after places are named after the place where they’re from. Think Kansas, Chicago, Boston — you can even throw America in there. On the other hand, none of the members of Asia are from Asia. But do I care? Nope!
Regrettably, I never got the chance to see them, so I can’t vouch for their live performance. But that first self-titled album of theirs took progressive rock to new heights. Originally made up of Steve Howe from Yes, Geoff Downes from The Buggles (with their distinction of having the first video ever to air on MTV), the unbelievable Carl Palmer on drums, and on lead vocals, King Crimson’s John Wetton.
The album Asia is absolutely amazing, though a friend of mine at the time remarked that it was so good that they had nowhere to go from there, which turned out to be kind of true.
The biggest hit from that album is “Heat of the Moment”, but there were a few other smaller hits — “Only Time Will Tell”, “Sole Survivor”, “Here Comes the Feeling”. And album rock radio was fond of playing “Wildest Dreams”. But really, every song on that album is a winner. “Time Again” has unstoppable syncopation. And “Cutting It Fine” has an instrumental part at the end that seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the song, but is great anyway!
Despite the fact that their subsequent albums didn’t make much of a splash, they might be worth owning just because of the excellent cover art! It was done by Roger Dean, who also did some work with Yes.
Getting back to the fact that I’ve never seem them live, they’re going to be right here in Aurora in July! And it’s not just Asia. Check back here tomorrow around this time for my blog post about that show!