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167 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 10, 1982
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Editorial Reviews

Prog-rock pasts gave way to pop fame as Asia debuted with this 1982 #1 smash. Wetton/Howe/Downes/Palmer eclipsed the success of Yes, ELP and King Crimson as they scored smashes with Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell . An '80s rock-supergroup classic!

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 10, 1982)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000000OMB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 65 people found the following review helpful By ProperGander News (Dr. Emil Shuffhausen) on September 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you want 10-minute suites with lengthy instrumental noodling, this is not the album for you...despite its amazing pedigree featuring members of Yes, ELP, and UK (and, by extension, Tomorrow, Bodast, Atomic Rooster, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, King Crimson, Roxy Music, and, of course, the Buggles). These instrumental virtuosos strip everything down to a tight, melodic core and simply play these songs like a house on fire. It's got plenty of proggy elements, but it's all fairly concise. All of the tracks here are radio-friendly powerhouses, and the album sold by the ton, standing tall at #1 on the album charts for an astounding 9 straight weeks. The critics, of course, hated it. But it still holds up, more than 20 years later. "Heat of the Moment" is where English flash and drama meet the Spector-ish "Wall of Sound," and it makes for a fantastic single. Gotta love the riffage from Steve Howe! On "Only Time Will Tell," soaring harmonies and a memorable melody powered this track into the Top 10 as well. Geoff Downes proves that he is by no means a "second tier" keyboardist with his wonderfully dexterous playing and nuanced sonic textures. A tennis match was allegedly the inspiration for "Sole Survivor," and it jumps back and forth appropriately with a hard-hitting edge. The stately "One Step Closer" and the rocking "Time Again" also feature soaring harmonies and strong lead vocals from belter John Wetton. Carl Palmer steps to the fore with the tricky percussive showcase, "Wildest Dreams," before the band cools down with the majestic "Without You"--Wetton really shines vocally here. The album closes on a rocking note with "Here Comes the Feeling." Prog purists gagged on this album, but Asia captured a spark and sound that riveted listeners in the early 1980s. Sadly, they were not able to maintain this standard as consistently and brilliantly throughout the rest of their career, but for a few brief, shining moments, Asia ruled the music world.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Prog Nerd on August 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you're into all kinds of music, especially classic rock, and love hooks and melodies without real concern for lyrics, or you don't get hung up on small things (of any sort), and are perhaps under the age of 35, chances are, you'll love this album. If you're over 35, cranky, egotistical, and demand only the most virtuoso Math-rock from your musicians (early Yes, King Crimson), you might not like this album.

You see, Asia was all about having fun. The lyrics were sappy, the playing short, tight, consise and very poppy. So don't expect to hear anything like King Crimson, ELP, or Yes. You'll hear ever-so-slight influences of the band member's previous groups, but nothing substantial.

Speaking of the band...Wetton never sounded better than on Asia's debut. With King Crimson, his voice always sounded hollow and grainy to me. He got better as time went on. Steve Howe's guitar playing was still excellent, and coupled with Geoff Downes on keyboards (who was in the previous Yes line-up with Howe) there are some moments that recall their Drama album from 1980. Carl Palmer on drums sounded excellent as well.

"Heat of the Moment" sets the tone for the record by kicking things off with a bang. This was a huge radio and MTV hit in 1982, and you'll likely hear this on classic rock radio today. Listen to this song five times and I dare you to get that chorus out of your head. It can't be done. The middle instrumental section is breathtaking.

"Only Time Will Tell" is perhaps the best song on here. The keyboards and piano are beautiful, and I love the production on Wetton's voice. The quiet build-up to that first chorus, and the "whoooosh" of Palmer's drum that sounds like a tidal wave is what hooked me to this.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Gorham on September 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
THE BAND: John Wetton (lead vocals, bass), Geoff Downes (keyboards), Steve Howe (guitars), Carl Palmer (drums & percussion).

THE DISC: (1982) 9 tracks clocking in at approximately 44 minutes. Included with the disc is a minimal 2-page fold out including song titles/credits/times, and musicians. All songs written by Asia members. Album cover art by Roger Dean. Recorded at Townhouse Studio, London, England. Label - Geffen.

COMMENTS: I had mixed feelings about Asia's debut album when it first came out in '82. One of the first true supergroups that I can recall - Wetton (most notably from King Crimson and UK), Howe (Yes), Palmer (ELP), and Downes (Buggles and Yes). Steve Howe and Carl Palmer were ungodly superstars in their perspective bands during the 70's. I remember buying the vinyl based on the strength of "Sole Survivor". I remember thinking with these progressive musicians at the helm, there'd have to be some 10-12 minute spacey head trips. That's where the mixed feelings came in. All the songs were in the 4 to 5 minute range ("Here Comes The Feeling" is the longest track at 5:42). Wetton and Downes were the main writers here... and Downes prior catalog with the Buggles was "pop" to the max. In retrospect, I now know why Asia had that pop feel - it was Geoff Downes all along. Not that it's a bad thing... Asia's sound just wasn't what I was expecting. This album is heavy on keyboards. Steve Howe's guitar remains mostly in the background outside of a few shining guitar solos. The bass work is great. Carl Palmer's drumming is steady, but it's nothing flashy like his days with ELP. Wetton's vocals are top notch. It's the songs that eventually made me come around, as it did for so many listeners (and radio stations). Asia's debut spent 9 weeks at #1 on the U.S. album chart.
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