Friday, April 23, 2010

Asia’s Omega released

First posted 6/24/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

Omega

Asia


Buy Here:


Released: April 23, 2010


Peak: -- US, 135 UK, -- CN, -- AU


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


Genre: heritage rock


Tracks:

  1. Finger on the Trigger
  2. Through My Veins
  3. Holy War
  4. Ever Yours
  5. Listen, Children
  6. End of the World
  7. Light the Way
  8. Emily
  9. I’m Still the Same
  10. There Was a Time
  11. I Believe
  12. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now


The Players:

  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • Steve Howe (guitar)
  • Carl Palmer (drums)
  • John Wetton (vocals/ bass)

Rating:

3.983 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Quotable:Omega is undeniably – and reliably – Asia being Asia.” – Bret Adams, All Music Guide

About the Album:

When prog-rock superstars John Wetton, Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, and Carl Palmer formed Asia back in 1982, their self-titled debut was a blockbuster, followed quickly the next year by Alpha. That was it for the original lineup, although Downes kept the moniker alive through many incarnations over the years. It wasn’t until 2006 that the original foursome opted to regroup for a reunion tour and the 2008 album Phoenix.

Two years later, yet another album emerges from the original lineup, making their reunion period now longer than their original ride together! The album “is a conscious effort to shake up Asia’s style a bit while remaining true to the band’s DNA of soaring pop songs dazzlingly performed by virtuosos. Wetton’s resonant voice (infinitely layered in chorus harmonies – an Asia trademark) and tastefully effective bass guitar, Howe’s spidery, fluid guitar lines, Downes’ richly versatile keyboard parts, and Palmer’s booming rhythmic bedrock [drums] are still in place, but producer Mike Paxman has stripped the sound down a smidgen in spots.” BA

In regards to the suggestion that the album title of Omega means that this is Asia’s swan song, Wetton said, “The title…as any fan of the band will tell you, is 'very Asia' (as is the album, by the way). It no more means ‘final’ than Alpha means ‘the first’ (which it wasn’t). It’s a great sounding/looking word, and a bookend to Alpha. In many ways, musically and conceptually, the two albums share commonality.” WK

Finger on the Trigger (originally recorded by Wetton and Downes for their Icon project in 2006) and Holy War are spirited hard rock volleys. Through My Veins is slyly catchy. Listen, Children is a cheery feel-good song sparked by uplifting lyrics and Downes and Howe’s smooth tradeoffs at the end.” BA

Light the Way and I Believe both sound huge thanks to the ‘80s production feel wholly appropriate for Asia; in fact, ‘I Believe’ would have fit nicely on either Asia or Alpha.” BA

“The brooding There Was a Time is a highlight, and it’s enhanced by a complex arrangement. Emily, a song about unrequited love for a lesbian, is the unremarkable bonus track included on the digipack first pressing of Omega.” BA

Phoenix has better songs overall than Omega – probably due to the initial excitement and creative surge spawned by the reunion – but Omega satisfies, and longtime fans will enjoy it. Omega is undeniably – and reliably – Asia being Asia.” BA

Resources and Related Links:


Related DMDB Link(s):

100 years ago: “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” hit #1

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Billy Murray & the Haydn Quartet

Writer(s): Edward Madden, Gus Edwards (see lyrics here)


First Charted: April 9, 1910


Peak: 19 US, 13 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)


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

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Edward Madden crafted the words for “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” around Gus Edwards “somewhat dreamy music that lends itself to soft shoe.” RCG Its “moon-June-croon rhymes” are “cliché by today’s standards,” RCG but were representative of the Tin Pan Alley era which dominated music in the early 1900s.

The song first surfaced on stage in a performance by Lillian Lorraine and was also a vaudeville hit by Georgie Price in the School Boys and Girls revue. JA-29 In 1910, three versions of the song charted. The Peerless Quartet and Ada Jones each got to #2, but Billy Murray’s recording with the Haydn Quartet hit #1.

As big as their song was – it spent 9 weeks at the summit – it wasn’t the biggest hit for either Murray or the Haydn Quartet. In 1909, the Haydn Quartet peaked at #1 for eleven weeks with “Put on Your Old Grey Bonnett.” Murray’s biggest hit was just around the corner – just a couple months later, his take on “Casey Jones” with the American Quartet would also spend eleven weeks on top. PM

“Silvery Moon” proved to have stamina beyond that year, however. In 1942, the song enjoyed a revival with Ray Noble’s #12 version PM and the song resurfaced again in 1953 when Doris Day and Gordon MacRae sang it in a film of the same name. The song has also become a glee club and barbershop quartet standard. RCG


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Billy Murray
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Haydn Quartet
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • RCG RimChiGuy.com The Old Songs (1900-1929)
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954 (1986). Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 481.

First posted 4/23/2012; last updated 4/22/2021.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pulitzer Prize

image from pulitzer.org

The Pulitzer is an award best known for honoring excellence in journalism, but they also award excellence in the arts. A dozen musicians have been honored through the years with special awards and citations. Country legend Hank Williams was announced on April 12, 2010 as the most recent music recipient. Here are those individuals and the years in which they received the award:

  • Milton Babbitt (1982)
  • John Coltrane (2007)
  • Bob Dylan (2008)
  • Duke Ellington (1999)
  • George Gerswhin (1998)
  • Oscar Hammerstein II (1944)
  • Scott Joplin (1976)
  • Thelonious Monk (2006)
  • Richard Rodgers (1944)
  • William Schuman (1985)
  • Roger Sessions (1974)
  • Hank Williams (2010)

Resources: