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XXX Deluxe Edition, CD+DVD
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Featuring John Wetton (bass, lead vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Carl Palmer (drums), and Geoff Downes (keyboards), ASIA was the
logical successor to the member s collective bands of the 70s - Yes, ELP, King Crimson, UK and The Buggles.
Thirty years after their eponymous debut ascended to the top of the BILLBOARD TOP 100 chart (where it remained number one for nine
consecutive weeks), the legendary British rock band returns with a brand new studio album aptly titled "XXX".
The new album, which is being hailed as ASIA s best album since its classic early 80s releases, will be released as a CD and collector s
edition CD/DVD (featuring new music videos, including one for first single Face On The Bridge , and behind the scenes footage).
Original artwork for XXX album courtesy of famed artist Roger Dean.
Top Customer Reviews
It was thirty years ago when four of progressive rock's most accomplished musicians came together to form Asia. Even before the band's self-titled debut arrived in record bins, there was a great deal of anticipation, and while some prog rock purists dismissed Asia as overly commercial, fans embraced the band's spectacular debut.
In July the quintessential lineup of Asia; Wetton, Howe, Downes and Palmer, will release XXX. The title acknowledges the bands thirtieth anniversary, and is this lineups third album of original material since they reformed in 2006.
Their last album, "Omega," was tremendous and somehow the band has managed to outdo themselves with "XXX." Fans of Asia have come to expect catchy songs, but this collection really exceeds all expectations.
What is unusual about "XXX," is that the truly great songs are on the second half of the album. If this were a two sided album the second side would be the better of the two. The opening songs, like "Tomorrow the World," and "Faithful," are great songs, but the album's set is constructed in a way that each song keeps getting better until the closing song, "Ghost of a Chance," which is the best song this lineup has ever recorded. I say that as a fan who saw this band on their first US tour and also as the owner of the entire Wetton era catalog.
One other thing that seems different is the tandem of Wetton and Palmer on bass and drums. They just seem to be playing together better than they ever have, this is especially noticeable on "Al Gatto Nero," a song that is incredibly catchy.
What really makes "XXX" work is that Asia does not sound like a supergroup, they sound like a band of friends who enjoy performing together.Read more ›
There are great instrumental sections in every song-- 'poppier-seeming' productions, courtesy of Mike Paxman, in relation to the previous two 'reunion' albums-- especially the outros to Bury Me In Willow and Face On The Bridge ... reminding everyone one of the four individual talents comprising this band. John Wetton's voice sounds as strong as ever and his bass-playing seems to be a little more prominent these days-- I like his work on Astra the most though, being the most active. Steve Howe also seems a little more engaged in the mix this time around as well--still not as strong as on the debut album-- and all of his solos are top notch, absolutely delightful. Carl Palmer only has a few places to really showcase his chops-- Tomorrow The World, Bury Me In Willow and Faithful-- in keeping tradition with the recent past, but his sensibilities are in tune with this 'poppier' direction of 2012. Geoff Downes' keys are still the mainstay in every song-- driving the melodies to and fro, AND home-- and his parts dovetail very seamlessly with those of the guitar-- again, check out Bury Me In Willow!
Highly recommended ... and second in the pantheon of Wetton-fronted albums, IMO, trailing the debut by only by a few points and slightly ahead of Astra, Alpha, Omega, and Phoenix-- in that order. Enjoy!
'XXX' is usually the label used for hard core porn -- but there's none of that here. XXX is also Roman numerals for 30; as in ASIA has been around for 30 years. True, but still hard to believe, since this album sounds as fresh and energetic as their first two (Self-titled 'ASIA', and the follow up 'ALPHA').
In terms of song writing, XXX is a good balance of what was on 'Phoenix' (a progressive-sounding 'come-back' album) or 'Omega' (a strong rock album, which many fans feared was their last, given the title). All four ASIA members boast impressive progressive rock reumes (Yes, King Crimson, U.K., Emerson Lake & Palmer, and ... The Buggles), so maybe it's not all that surprising that they can improve with age.
Several aspects of XXX stick to ASIA's 'formula': the early 1980's 'sound', flawless engineering & production, sophisticated musical compositions, and Roger Dean cover art -- a reason to get the LP version in additon to the CD/DVD. In other words, all the things fans like about ASIA are still present -- and none of it seems 'dated'.
John Wetton and Geoff Downes are still the main song-writers, but with Steve Howe and Carl Palmer there to collaborate, pop-songs are transformed into strong, memrorable compositions. After 30 years, John Wetton has lost none of his vocal strength and agility. Songs like the "No Religion" (a classic ASIA rocker) and "Faithful" (a Dramatic prog-rock foray) may spark some discussions -- they seem respectful and contemptuous of religion and faith at the same time -- a masterful ambiguity for listrners.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of this and the previous two "reunion" albums from Asia, this is the best one and I think that what touches me the most about it is how personal many of the lyrics seem and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by SixOfOneATL
If you liked the original Asia from '82-'85, you'll like this album. John Wetton is the man.Published 11 months ago by Cathy J. Buske
Each of the newer releases by the original lineup is better than the previous release. Not bad at all. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Hirschel Litzenbaum
This is a solid ~4-star effort from the extremely talented original four member of Asia, who formed this supergroup in 1981. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Chris X. Moloney
Here is another solid release by Asia: their 12th studio album XXX (Special Edition). The disc starts out with the upbeat Tomorrow The World. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ivan Howe The Great