All it took was the sticker on the cellophane wrapper the protected the album. It read- Asia is Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton. I had heard of these guys before. Carl Palmer is the drummer from the Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame. John Wetton was the bassist/vocalist from bands like King Crimson and Uriah Heep. Geoff Downes was known for his key work in Buggles and the Yes Drama album. My main interest was Steve Howe, the guitarist for Yes. In my hands was an album created by a super group! How excited I was!
Besides, I thought the album cover looked cool!
My excitement didn't last long....The first time I played this record was everything short what I expected. Where was the long jams that I got used to from listening to Yes and ELP albums? The choruses? Awfully repetitious...It felt like I was listening to a washed out progressive rock band heavily influenced by the '80's new wave. I quickly shelved the record in dismay.
Then I read a magazine article about them. I don't remember what magazine it was, but does it really matter? Anyways, as I was reading this article, it was saying something about them not having any individual soaking nor hogging the spotlight. More or less bringing balance to the group. They've got a good point.... I remembered hearing ELP's Works Vol.1 and thought it was WAY too indulgent. C'mon, a 20 minute piano solo? Great...but BORING!
That shed a new light on the record....
Shredding away the pompousness, the band decided to keep it simple and to the point. A great idea if you ask me. Less is more sometimes. The more I listened to this album the more I liked it! This album grew onto me! It soon became one of my best albums of the '80's
This album is basically power prog rock that is suitable for arenas. Sort of like Yes meets Boston, Journey, Styx, Foreigner...and so forth. Tunes like "Heat of the Moment", "Wildest Dreams", "Time Again" and "Sole Survivor" are driven, packing a punch! Mellower moments like "Only Time Will Tell" sounds great without being sappy. Throughout this album each member rises to the occasion without going over the top! The solos are there, but trimmed down nice and neatly. Perhaps this this would have been the new direction for prog rock...