Great Rock Albums of 1982: Asia

Asia_-_Asia_(1982)_front_cover

When I returned from my second deployment in June of 1982, this debut album from Asia was there to greet me. It would be the first new album I would hear on my return. I did get a preview of what was to come when someone played the first single “Heat of the Moment” on the juke of a local bar (not the Driftwood) and that persuaded me to check out the rest of the album to which I was delighted to have done for this was a good album. On a totally unrelated note, this is the only album I know of that my sister and my ex wife both own, but don’t tell either of them.

For me, Asia gave the sign that the progressive rock which defined the 1970s, would carry on strong into the following decade. The opening song and previously mentioned big single signifies that Asia were a good tight band who joined together to make great music. It starts with a cool attention grabbing guitar riff before being overpowered by some sublime keyboard work. The guitars don’t totally go away but come back to begin each verse. The next couple of songs are keyboard lead but done very well and a guitar solo emerges on the track “One Step Closer” and goes on to take the song to its conclusion. A similar guitar riff starts “Time Again” but like some of the great progressive bands that went before such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer or Yes, there is some exciting intricate keyboard work laced throughout the song. However, the one song that certainly highlights the quality musicianship of the members of Asia is “Without You.” I got to hear a little of everything here with the keyboards, electric guitar and even an acoustic guitar bit, all very well done. My verdict: Asia’s self titled album reminds me of the day when musicians actually cared about the quality of the music they played.

Track Listing:

1. Heat of the Moment

2. Only Time Will Tell

3. Sole Survivor

4. One Step Closer

5. Time Again

6. Wildest Dreams

7. Without You

8. Cutting it Fine

9. Here Comes That Feeling

asia

Geoff Downes- keyboards, vocals

Steve Howe- guitars, vocals

Carl Palmer- drums, percussion

John Wetton- bass, lead vocals

Very shortly after this album, what we know as progressive rock would disintegrate into what would become synth pop. For us who grew up with progressive rock, it would become sad times and I could remember seeing many a person from my era force feeding quarter into a juke box when they spotted a song from the olden times. Asia reminds me that in 1982, those sad times weren’t upon us yet and there were still some out there who wanted to play some serious rock.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- Good Trouble

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1982: Asia”

  1. Excellent write-up on a (dare I say it?) perfect album. They never came close to this level of awesomeness again, but that doesn’t matter when we have this collection of songs to enjoy. I’ve never gotten tired of hearing it, and when they reunited in the mid-’00s I got to see them play the whole thing in concert.

    There was plenty of great prog being created by a new wave of neo-prog bands in the ’80s, led by Marillion (plus IQ, Pallas, Twelfth Night, Pendragon, etc). Prog was harder to find and didn’t hit the charts often, but it was there for us adventurous prog-seekers.

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    • Thanks and you mention some really great bands there. I think I was guilty of the fact that by the mid 80s, I was so caught up in metal that prog rock kind of slipped off my radar for a short while. That concert must have been awesome!

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  2. That opening riff of Heat Of The Moment is gold!

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