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    Asia are an English rock supergroup formed in London in 1981. The most commercially successful line-up was its original, which consisted of four members of different progressive rock bands that had enjoyed great success in the 1970s: lead vocalist and bassist John Wetton of King Crimson and U.K., guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and The Buggles, and drummer Carl ...

  2. When they appeared in the early '80s, Asia seemed to be a holdover from the '70s, when supergroups and self-important progressive rockers reigned supreme. Featuring members of such seminal art rock bands as King Crimson (John Wetton), Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Carl Palmer), and Yes (), as well as Geoff Downes from the Buggles, Asia did feature stretches of indulgent instrumentals on their records.

  3. › wiki › AsiaAsia | Yes | Fandom

    Asia is a band consisting of different musicians from many different bands, including Yes. Many musicians participated through the years, especially during the 1990s, when the band consisted essentially of Geoff Downes and John Payne plus an ever-changing set of guests. The current reunited original lineup is highlighted in bold.

  4. Apr 02, 2019 · The original line-up of ASIA reformed in 2006. It was the first time the four original members had worked together in 23 years. After Howe’s departure, the band regrouped in 2013, with guitarist Sam Coulson and a new studio album, Gravitas, followed. Tragedy struck in January 2017, when John Wetton lost a valiant battle against cancer, just ...

  5. Jul 03, 2020 · Asia’s third album titled “Arcadia” before a change to “Astra” was released in November 1985 which performed worse than “Alpha” and “Asia” and resulted in the label cancelling the subsequent tour. The band went through a period of being more off than on, with line-up changes occurring frequently.

    • Formation
    • Music videos
    • Significance
    • Commercial performance
    • Recording
    • Reviews
    • Later career
    • Background
    • Tours
    • Critical reception
    • Promotion
    • Aftermath

    Asias debut album exploded onto the music scene in March 1982 with several Top 10 singles and sales exceeding 7 million copies. This supergroup, featuring bassist/vocalist John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and guitarist Steve Howe, was the logical successor to their collective bands of the 70s Yes, ELP, King Crimson, and The Buggles. The group came together in the spring of 1981. John Wettons acclaimed progressive rock band UK had collapsed a few years earlier. With the help of manager Brian Lane, he wanted to form a new group with guitarist Steve Howe, best known for his work with British Prog superstars, Yes. Drummer Carl Palmer came into the fold next, having just completed a decade of platinum releases and sold out tours with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Keyboardist Geoff Downes, who replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes for the Drama album, had previously been half of the pop duo The Buggles. They stormed the charts in 1979 with the timeless classic Video Killed The Radio Star. The band sort of came together naturally, says Carl Palmer. It wasnt something which was forced. We all wanted to play together. We had a great time doing it. The band was signed in the summer of 1981 by Geffen Records A&R whiz John Kalodner, fresh out of a long affiliation at Atlantic Records.

    Fortunately for the band, a new music media outlet called MTV premiered on cable channels in 1981 throughout the US and in over 50 million households. (Downes hit song with The Buggles Video Killed The Radio Star was the first song ever played on the exciting new channel). Asia, aware the networks impact on the industry, began shooting videos as soon as the album was finished. The result was a rocknroll marriage made in heaven.

    Asia became one of the most played acts on MTV in 1982. Since most people were intrigued with the new concept, viewership often reached several hours a day. Youre looking at a parallel success here, says Wetton. MTV and Asia were successful at the same time of course, MTV was instrumental in Asias success, but then, Asia was also instrumental in MTVs success.

    Throughout most of 82, Asia ruled the radio airwaves and MTV; sold out every date on its tour; and the LP, Asia, crushed all the competition at record stores around the world. The music industry had been in a major slump that year, and less than 15% of releases in 1982 made a profit. Asia was one of the years big exceptions. By the time the band released its second album, the debut album had sold over 6 million copies worldwide and was the best seller of 1982. It had stayed at the #1 spot for an incredible 9 weeks!

    The success, however, was too much, too soon. By the time they assembled to begin their second album in the winter of 1983, cracks had already begun to appear in the foundation. Creative tensions and egos not to mention the pressure of having to top the best selling album of the previous year made the second albums recording sessions far less enjoyable than the first. Recording the album outside of their native England (in Morin Heights, Quebec) added to the difficulties. Shortly after the show in Russia, the band took another break. Palmer had the chance to reform Emerson, Lake & Palmer and did so in late 1991 with the Black Moon album. Wetton launched his long-awaited solo career, recording the critically acclaimed Battle Lines. Geoff Downes decided to carry on with Asia, reforming the band around him. In 1992, he enlisted newcomer John Payne on bass and vocals and recorded the Aqua album. The two men would record together for several years, working with various other musicians.

    The second album, Alpha, did ship platinum and contained the hits Dont Cry and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, but Geffens hands-on pressure to score undeniable radio pop hits was starting to show. We had a precious success, remembers Wetton. We came in at the top, but it was an illusion to think wed stay there. The band was still finding its feet as a musical entity.

    Palmer regrouped in 1987 with Keith Emerson and unknown bassist named Robert Berry to form 3. Wetton started a musical project with his Roxy Music band mate, Phil Manzanera, and Downes did a myriad of projects including working with both Mike Oldfield and Greg Lake, as well as producing Steve Howes new band, GTR. He also released an experimental instrumental solo album called The Light Programme under the moniker, The New Dance Orchestra.

    Palmer had a successful run again with ELP until the fall of 1998, when that band, too, went on hiatus. With John Wetton in-between solo projects and Downes willing to entertain offers for a reunion, suddenly all three men were available again to regroup as Asia. Due to his commitments with the re-formed Yes, Steve Howe was unavailable. However, the three other members all exchanged phone calls, and by Christmas of 1998, a reunion was looking possible. The band announced plans for a world tour to begin on June 11th, 1999. After the tour, they had hoped to record a new album, with Downes and Wetton already writing songs again. Unfortunately, it was never to be. Almost as quickly as the whole project had begun, it dissolved. The event which so many had hoped for would have to wait for another day Shortly thereafter, Carl Palmer and John Wetton reunited in a new band called Qango. Featuring guitarist David Kilminster and keyboard player John Young, the group played a series of showcase dates in the UK in February 2000 which featured classic ELP, ASIA, and King Crimson material, along with some new material. Fate intervened in 2005 when Wetton and Downes found time to work together on new material that would eventually become the ICON album. The duo toured on the heels of the release, revisiting the glory years of Asia with standing ovations every night for the classic tunes. Like a bolt from the blue, the stars aligned once again in early 2006. In April, all four original members of Asia confirmed that they would be reuniting for a world tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the bands creation and debut album.

    This is the REAL ASIA, says guitarist Steve Howe. There have been other versions of the band, but this original line-up is the one that the public truly embraced. Since we only toured for a couple of years, it will be nice, finally, to play for audiences all over the world, many of whom never had a chance to see the group in concert. An American tour was confirmed beginning in August, followed by dates in the UK, Japan, and Latin America. The sold-out Japanese tour yielded a live release, Fantasia: Live in Japan. The setlist for the tour featured the entire debut album, heritage tracks from each band members pre-Asia bands as well as a few choice tracks from Alpha. As a special nod to fans who had stuck with the band over the years, an acoustic version of Ride Easy, a b-side from the debut, was played live for the first time. The tour continued well into 2007 with shows in North America and Europe and the band entered the studio for what would be yet another dream-come-true for fans; the first full studio album from the four original members of Asia since 1983s Alpha, entitled Phoenix. Early 2012 brough the band back together in the studio, once again with Mike Paxman, to record their third post-reunion studio album, XXX, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the band. Once again, fan and critical reaction was exemplary, with many hailing the release as their best since the 1980s. An extensive world tour is scheduled for late 2012 and planning is already actively underway for 2013 and beyond.

    Geoff described the enthusiasm within the band for the new project: Its great finally to give some new music to those Asia fans who have remained with us patiently all these years. Steve emphasised the bands ability to focus and called the new album an enormous test, a challenge worthy of our intent. All the distractions usually evident vapourised, as we focused on collaborating to select and arrange these new songs, all in the style of Asia. Carl pointed to the dynamics within Asia that resulted in Phoenix, indicating the chemistry and energy that comes out when the four of us are working together and the new material reflects this. For his part, John marvelled at how far the band had come from their tumultuous early years in the 1980s: Each one of us is comfortable as a human being, and the sound on the CD Phoenix finally reflects the collective maturity of these four people who are not only eager to explore, but also relaxed enough to luxuriate in the strength of the material.

    Fans and critics world-wide welcomed the new release enthusiastically, and the band hit the road once again through 2008 and 2009 touring in the UK, North America, Japan and Europe. Touring for Phoenix culminated in the summer of 2009 with a number of European festivals and a tour with Yes, featuring Steve Howe performing onstage with both bands. A live video from those shows, Spirit of the Night, was later released in 2010.

    With the touring cycle for Phoenix behind them, Asia returned once again to the recording studio for a follow-up album, Omega, this time joined in the studio by producer Mike Paxman (Status Quo, Uriah Heep). Immediately upon its release they launched their 2010-2011 Omega world tour beginning with dates in Europe and Russia, before heading off to Japan, North America, Central America and South America, along with a second tour leg of Europe, closing off the Omega tour on June 18, 2011 in Malanga, Spain. A third official live release, Resonance, would be recorded in Switzerland for release in the autumn of 2012. With six years of touring and two new studio albums under their collective belts, the four members of Asia decided to take a much-deserved break at the end of the Omega tour, with each returning to their own solo and other non-Asia band projects. 30 years after the Drama album, Geoff Downes accepted an invitation to return to Yes for a tour and the recording of a new album, Fly From Here. Steve Howe, in addition to his duties in Yes, recorded a new solo album, Time. Carl Palmer toured Europe and North America with his solo band, while also releasing the third volume in his Working Live series. John Wetton released and toured in support of his own new solo album, Raised in Captivity, and began to lay the groundwork for a reunion with his former UK bandmates, Eddie Jobson and Terry Bozzio.

  6. Jan 31, 2017 · John Wetton, the bassist and front man for Asia and a former member of King Crimson and U.K., died this morning at the age of 67 after a battle with cancer, the band Asia said on its Facebook page.

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