Released: March 18, 1982
Charted: April 3, 1982
Peak: 19 US, 11 UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.1 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: mainstream progressive rock
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Songs by John Wettton and Geoff Downes unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 44:22
3.655 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
The debut album from Asia was “the success story of 1982” TD logging 9 weeks atop the Billboard chart and being named the magazine’s album of the year. The album has sold an estimated 10 million copies worldwide.
Produced by Mike Stone, Asia’s strengths were the powerful vocals of John Wetton, the nimble, classically tinged guitar work of Steve Howe, Geoffrey Downes’ majestic keyboard playing, and anchoring the band, Carl Palmer’s propulsive drumming.” TD They made for a supergroup “with impressive pedigrees” TDJohn Wetton had been with King Crimson; Carl Palmer with Emerson, Lake & Palmer; and Steve Howe and Geoff Downes had just worked together on the 1980 Yes album Drama.
With backgrounds in progressive rock, they were definitely “going against the grain of the new wave styling of the day,” TD but they also adopted a more commercially savvy pop-rock sound. The group’s formula was “a precarious balance between arty rock ambition and bombastic pop appeal.” GG They definitely had their detractors: “the lyrics are overwrought at moments” TD and, as critic Robert Christgau said, the album is “pompous – schlock in the grand manner.” RC
Still, “there’s no denying the epic grandeur of the music, which provided some much-needed muscle to radio at the time, and did so with style.” TD Billboard magazine said “the caliber of the [band’s] playing is superb and the music sounds fresh and perfect fare for AOR.” WK
The lead single, Heat of the Moment, was a perfect introduction to the band. It was a #1 song on album rock and a top five pop hit. The follow-up, “the sweeping Only Time Will Tell,” TD was a top ten album rock hit and top-twenty pop song. Sole Survivor also hit the top ten on the album rock chart.
Notes: The B-side “Ride Easy” was added to later editions of the album.
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First posted 7/12/2010; updated 7/25/2021.