About the Song:
When Asia formed in 1981, they had a pedigree even other supergroups would envy. Singer and bassist John Wetton had been in King Crimson; Steve Howe was the guitarist with Yes; keyboardist Geoff Downes had been in Yes and the Buggles; Carl Palmer was the drummer with Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Of course, the problem with supergroups is that they rarely live up to the hype. In the case of Asia, however, they exceeded expectations, at least commercially, when their self-titled 1982 debut spent nine weeks atop the Billboard album chart and racked up four million in sales. “Heat of the Moment” was a top-5 hit and “Only Time Will Tell” reached the top 20.
One of the other assumptions with supergroups is that they won’t last. Asia retained its original lineup for one more album, 1983’s Alpha. While it didn’t do as well as its predecessor, it did sell a million copies and reach the top 10. The album’s lead single, “Don’t Cry,” gave the band another top-10 hit and its follow-up, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes,” reached the top 40.
“Don’t Cry” was “a song of passionate devotion and commitment.” SF Downes said it was the last song written for the album. “We actually wrote it in a bit of a hurry, because we felt we didn’t have the right track to kick the album off with. I had an idea, John had another idea, and we cemented them together.” SF
Asia would release another album, Astra, in 1985 but without Howe. It came nowhere near the success of the other two albums, peaking at a lowly #68. Another studio effort wouldn’t emerge until 1992 and while Asia continued to release product for the next fifteen years, it was largely in name only as Downes was the only consistent original member. However, the original lineup came back together in 2007 and released three albums together.
First posted 12/27/2022.
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