Tuesday, May 31, 1994

Asia released Aria



Released: May 1994

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Anytime (5/94, --)
  2. Are You Big Enough?
  3. Desire
  4. Summer (1994, --)
  5. Sad Situation
  6. Don’t Cut the Wire
  7. Feels Like Love (1994, --)
  8. Remembrance Day
  9. Enough’s Enough
  10. Military Man (1994, --)
  11. Aria

The Players:

  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • John Payne (vocals/ bass)
  • Al Pitrelli (guitar)
  • Michael Sturgis (drums)


3.003 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

About the Album:

When Asia released Aqua in 1992, it was a surprise return for a band who’s last studio album had been released seven years prior. Instead of being a one-off attempt to recapture glory days, however, the album actually signaled a more permanent band than anyone would have guessed.

“What could easily have been an isolated one-shot experience” AMG turned into a long-term return. The “new Asia” didn’t have the pedigree of the original band – only keyboardist Geoff Downes remains on 1994’s Aria, with the band’s remaining original lineup of rock superstars Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and John Wetton replaced by far less than household names. Still, the changes weren’t entirely jarring. Vocalist John Payne had already assumed vocal duties on Aqua and Al Pitrelli had already become the primary guitarist on that same album, with Steve Howe serving only in a guest capacity.

“The album does start off with a few weaknesses, but as the music flows and you move deeper into the tracks, melodies become richer and more intricate, and the lyrics more interesting. The fourth track, Summer, is a great song; Sad Situation is a marvel; and Don’t Cut the Wire a work of art.” AMG There’s also “the romantic Feels Like LoveAMG and “the symphonic Aria, which makes for a great finale.” AMG

Notes: The song “Reality” was added to later editions as a bonus track.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 4/19/2008; updated 8/6/2021.

Saturday, May 21, 1994

All-4-One “I Swear” hit #1

I Swear

John Michael Montgomery

Writer(s): Gary Baker, Frank J. Meyers (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 18, 1993

Peak: 42 BB, 14 CW, 13 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 50.16 video, 58.34 streaming

I Swear


Released: April 22, 1994

First Charted: April 15, 1994

Peak: 111 BB, 19 BA, 16 CB, 15 GR, 123 CN, 15 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.5 US, 0.6 UK, 2.88 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.30 video, 210.15 streaming

Awards (Montgomery):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (All-4-One):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“I Swear” was the first collaboration between Gary Baker, who’d written hits for Alabama and others, and Frank J. Meyers, best known for “You and I” by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle. They wrote the “ballad in which the narrator promises his significant other that he will always love her.” WK Baker called Meyers with the idea for the song title and Meyers came up with a chorus while making the three-hour drive to Baker’s house where they planned to work on the song. FB

They wrote it in 1987 RC and shopped it for five years with no luck. They recorded a new demo in 1992 RC and John Michael Montgomery picked it up. The country artist, born in Kentucky in 1965, was coming off his 1992 debut album, Life’s a Dance, which went triple platinum and spawned the #1 country hit “I Love the Way You Love Me.” “I Swear” was the first of three #1 country songs from Montgomery’s 1994 quadruple-platinum, sophomore album, Kickin’ It Up.

Montgomery was signed to Atlantic and Doug Morris, the company’s head honcho, FB saw potential for a pop version of the song. He gave it to All-4-One, an interracial vocal group from California that “capitalized on the success of Boyz II Men by scoring big on the charts with melodic, doo-wop flavored romantic ballads that harkened back to a more innocent time.” SS

They were coming off a top-5 cover of “So Much in Love,” a song which the American soul vocal group the Tymes took to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. They had gone back to the studio to record songs for an album, which was already complete, when Morris gave them “I Swear.” The legendary producer David Foster got the job done in two days. FB The group turned in “a classic harmony ballad performance conveying deep romantic devotion” SS that spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


First posted 1/21/2024.