ASIA – REFLECTING ON THIER 1982 PROGRESSIVE ROCK ALBUM DEBUT


ASIA – in March of 1982, the debut and self-titled album of this Progressive Rock supergroup was released unto the world… with a little help from Geffen Records. Being a sophomore in high school in ’82, I had my musical tastes ranging from Judas Priest to The Electric Light Orchestra with Cheap Trick, AC/DC and Foreigner in between. KISS of course, ruled my teenage planet. So when I first heard ASIA being played on my favorite FM radio stations, I instantly took a major liking to their sound. My infatuation with ELO and The Moody Blues made it very easy for me to embrace ASIA as a young teen… I can thank my late sister Christine for getting me “into” the Moody Blues.

Learning very quickly, that YES guitar great Steve Howe was in ASIA, just gave me the hint that this supergroup was to be reckoned with. I knew of some YES songs, thanks of course to FM once again. I did not own a YES album at all, back in ’82… yes, I do look back in disbelief over that one. It seemed as if everyone else I knew, had at least one YES album to boast of back then. With Carl Palmer on drums, I was familiar with his name being equated to the legendary Progressive Rock band – Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Once again though, I did not own a single Emerson, Lake and Palmer album in 1982 either.

When I learned that bass guitarist John Wetton was formerly with the incredibly diverse King Crimson, it was once again, a Rock Music history lesson for me. What took the Rock and Roll cake for me, upon learning quickly about the members of ASIA, was that Geoff Downes was half part of the New Wave sensation called – The Buggles! Just about every kid I knew, back in 1980, had heard the song – Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. Heck, Video Killed The Radio Star was actually the very first music video that MTV aired on August 1, 1981! Now, if that isn’t Rock and Roll history… then I don’t know what is!

Well, with all of the ASIA band history aside, it was actually very fun for this sixteen year old in 1982, in becoming more informed about other great Rock bands, that were an indirect part of the formation of ASIA. For the life of me however, I just could not believe how astoundingly textured, layered and inspirational the songs sounded on this very first ASIA album. The bonus was that this debut ASIA album Rocked my ears off of this sixteen year old too! I singled out the song – Sole Survivor very quickly. I must have dropped the turntable needle onto that Sole Survivor song… more times than I could ever imagine! That section of vinyl that Sole Survivor represented on the album, was for certain, the most worn!

Despite the FM airplay that Sole Survivor, Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell received back in 1982 and into the years ahead, I never wavered away from playing them, in their entirety, on my turntable. As it stands to this very day in 2010, my favorite song from this ASIA album is Wildest Dreams. I like to reminisce about the ultra Classic Rock albums of the past, especially the one’s that made the biggest impact on my music loving life. ASIA is an ultra Classic Rock album for me. I can remember losing my thoughts, amidst the Progressive Rock brilliance of this amazing album. As I look back upon this ASIA album now, it was like music therapy for me as a sixteen year old.

Why I feel this ASIA album has stood the test of Rock Music time, is simply two words: quality musicianship. Once the quality is instilled, the rest seems to always fall into place, regardless of what project is being discussed. The songs on this ASIA album soothed, inspired and yes, as I stated before, Rocked me. I did realize at the time, back in 1982, what a profound Rock Music family tree that ASIA embodied. What I did not realize back in 1982, was that I would carry the same ecstatic feelings and emotions for this ASIA album so many years later into my life… and then be writing about it for the whole world to read in 2010, in an unbelievably vast place called the world wide web.

LONG LIVE ASIA!

Stone.

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8 Responses to “ASIA – REFLECTING ON THIER 1982 PROGRESSIVE ROCK ALBUM DEBUT”

  1. I adore this album, beginning to end. I just had a conversation about it over dinner on Sunday.

  2. the production and arrangements are very high quality and catchy, which is something that is VERY hard to do while maintaining integrity.

    *I love that 80’s synth/pop sound with the guitars.

    Esp. love that simple as hell drum beat/fill on the break of “Heat of the Moment”….you know the one that goes:

    boom, boom-boom… pow (snare + lots of verb) repeat

    BTW King Crimson rules and I would rather listen to ASIA all day long VS Bon Jovi crapola.

    My mom even diggs on ASIA and also Europe!

    Kinger
    Demolish hQ

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I do like the album “Have A Nice Day” by Bon Jovi. “New Jersey” is not too shabby either. However, I do know what you mean! Based on everybody’s reviews on that “new” Bon Jovi album, I did not touch it… that saved me $$$.

      It’s apparent that these guys just “clicked” when they formed ASIA. So many “supergroups” have been assembled over the decades… this band stands out among them.

      Now I have that drum beat/fill “stuck in my head”! It just keeps repeating… it includes the keys at the onset too… I’ll have to play some Cannibal Corpse to stop it!

      Are we ASIAHEADS?

      Your mom knows cool music. I still get “kinda” semi-psyched when I hear “The Final Countdown”. (:

  3. Nah, I would not go as far as saying I am an “ASIA-head”…..maybe ELO-head!

    sorry to get that drum beat stuck in yer head m8te!

    perhaps the new RATT cd was able to rinse it out?

    Yeah my mom is a rocker! some Metal too.

    Kinger
    Demolish Haven

  4. It is funny how time changes one view points and opinions. When I was kid and 100% metalhead I hated this band. I didnot care for it, of course it did not help that I had made up my mind before I heard a single note!!!

    Now that I am older if not wiser, I feel this debut is a class act that features some great songs and still serves as a blue print for alot of the newer melodic rock acts.

    Great album and I am glad I gave it a second chance, even if it only took me centuries to give it a second chance!

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Despite my loyalty for Heavy Metal over the years, ASIA was and will always be a favorite of mine. I embrace the “whole scene” of Progressive Rock from the ’70’s… Yes, ELO, The Moody Blues and too many more to list. Especially ELO though.

      I understand your point too… when we were young, well, you just pre-determine what is/what’s not cool before knowing the truth. I was always a music nut, so regardless of what my Metalhead buddies would say to me back then, I just smirked at them. Hey, as long as I wasn’t listening to ABBA, then it was all good! :)

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