Asia: The John Payne years

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Musician95616, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    I will buy the CD.
    Odd name, though.
     
  2. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    It's a shame that Payne continued to play the Wetton-era "classics" even after the rename to GPS. I personally found the proggier approach on the Payne albums to be better than the straightforward AOR of the original line up, and thought that the albums are overall better lasting in my listening tastes.

    Look forward to the Dukes Of The Orient album, thankfully Payne has stopped using the Asia name which only caused confusion. Having said that, the Recollections album of prog cover versions wasn't bad, except for Barclay James Harvest's Rock & Roll Star which really couldn't cope with Paynes OTT vocal stylings (which I usually like).
     
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  3. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    Location:
    London, England
    Out of interest, did Wetton ever comment on the Payne-era material? My guess is that there was no love lost between the two frontmen, but I don’t know their history well enough to know for sure.
     
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  4. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    I once saw a really obnoxious interview in Classic Rock when the original line up was reforming where Wetton (from what I could remember) had never listened to Payne, never met him and knew nothing abut him, but he was sure that he didn't like him and saw no reason why he should. Whether Wetton was genuinely angry about JP, or if this was during his drinking years I don't know, but I found it a very nasty thing to read.

    I also remember in the same feature a side bar interview with Payne saying that Downes had assured him that the reunion wouldn't happen because he was happy doing the current material, then one day he walked in and "cleared his desk" and that was that. The lure of the big bucks clearly...........
     
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  5. gojikranz

    gojikranz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sacramento
    don't have any specific quotes but I recall some pretty acrimonious things I think maybe on a interview on one of his solo dvds.
     
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  6. Dr Mike

    Dr Mike Forum Resident

    As I recall, Carl Palmer didn't much care for Payne either.
     
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  7. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident


    You are correct. Wetton never met Payne, but openly showed disdain for him. Even in recent years, if you simply mentioned Payne on the forum at Wetton’s website, you’d risk either getting banned or having your post deleted. It was very strange. You’d think Payne stole his wife from him. And, yes, according to guitarist Guthrie Govan also- Downes just left without telling anybody in the band at the time.

    It’s a shame because Downes and Payne seemingly had a close relationship before that. When there were rumors of an Asia/Wetton reunion in the late 90s, Downes insisted that Payne (who legally owned a big chunk of the name rights at that point) should be involved- but Wetton would not accept those terms. This is probably where things really soured for Wetton. Payne didn’t want to simply walk away and give up his stake in the band, all for the possibility of a small venue pseudo-reunion tour. Keep in mind, this was around 1999, when acts like Limp Biskit ruled.
     
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  8. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    I don’t think that this is correct- but ya never know.

    Anyway, here is a nice juicy article (from many years ago) with the bitter Wetton quotes.

    DAVE LING - rock journalist and devout Crystal Palace fan
     
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  9. gojikranz

    gojikranz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sacramento
    I do wonder if Payne has broached the subject of reuniting with Downes, If Wetton's earlier anger then reconciliation shows anything it is that these sorts of things are possible. I know Sherwood filled the post on their opening stint for journey but I heard fairly mixed reviews of him and can't help but think a reunion with Payne is the most sensible thing for continuing Asia on (presuming Geoff wants to).
     
  10. squonkduke

    squonkduke Forum Resident

    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    When Downes recruited Payne to continue making music, he should have changed name to the group.
    Clearly, Downes/Payne 'Asia' had nothing to do with the original Asia. John Wetton was Asia.
    Having appreciated Asia since the first album, i still bought the Downes/Payne 'Asia' records, until Aura, but i never liked them enough.
    In the last period of that line-up they were obviously having big difficulties not only selling records, but also finding some place to play.
    Back in 2002 or so they reduced themselves playing house concerts asking their few fans left on their website forum to make publicity for the events around their hometown. Pathetic.
    I guess it was with a big releif that Downes accepted the proposal of the 2006 reunion with the original line-up of the band, at least he returned to play to 2000-3000 capacity venues for long periods each year. I perfectly understand his sudden escape from a situation that had really become embarassing.
    Then, Asia even returned to the US chart (ok, only for a week with Phoenix and then for another week with XXX), but at least its name generated again some interest.
    In the end, to me Downes/Payne 'Asia' only shared the same name with the real Asia.
     
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  11. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    Ouch. Dated '01 too.. From my understanding of the timeline, that's knee deep in the worst of Wetton's drinking (I don't think he got sober until around or after Rock of Faith in '03). Here's hoping he eventually let go of whatever issue he had with Payne. Not like the guy ever wronged him...
     
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  12. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I generally dislike most Wetton era Asia outside of the initial release. Prefer the earlier Payne era material (Aqua, Aria, Arena).

    But I also like Batman v Superman and Chinese Democracy. I prefer more recent vintage Opeth. So what do I know.
     
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  13. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    But guess who can still play? It’s not Steve....
     
  14. Endymion

    Endymion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Guess who's 70 years old? It's not Trevor.
    Okay, let's not derail the thread. It's about Asia feat. John Payne.
     
  15. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Forum Resident

    If Frontiers gets a hold of the new album it will be destroyed with limiting and compression and terrible mixing.
     
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  16. Scottb

    Scottb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nanuet, NY, USA
    I'm not aware of a new Asia CD did I miss something?
     
  17. gojikranz

    gojikranz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sacramento
    asia featuring john payne in all but name. album coming out as the dukes of the orient.
     
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  18. Endymion

    Endymion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Well, John Payne said " The album was mixed on a traditional analog console to preserve and enhance the natural depth, clarity and soul of the tracks with great care taken to avoid over-compression, extreme equalization and distortion " so I hope he won't let them squish the dynamic range in mastering.
     
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  19. Endymion

    Endymion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Read my posts #48 and #49, Scott.
     
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  20. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Forum Resident

    I hope so too. Can’t remember the last Frontiers released album that I thought had good mastering or whatever.
     
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  21. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    Yes, that's the one....................

    "I don't have to like John Payne and I've never met him. He's nothing to me. And he's a crap singer, too"
    John Wetton


    Quite sad really.
     
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  22. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN

    You're not wrong, but a new band making that kind of music in 1992 wouldn't have even gotten a record deal. Using the Asia name, and getting Howe on a few tracks (and a picture of Carl Palmer in the booklet, even though I can't discern anything on the record that sounds like him) at least meant they could get the album out and attempt to tour. I get it, even though in hindsight it probably wasn't the right thing to do.

    Also, I think the 2006 reunion only really happens because of The 40-Year Old Virgin. That extra bump of publicity inadvertently set the stage for a reunion to actually get a bit of attention, which I'm not sure it would've otherwise.
     
  23. Rufus rag

    Rufus rag Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Aqua is a damn fine album and easily the best of that era! The others just have too many clunkers! Archiva Vol. 1 is a solid release, love The Boy from NYC
     
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  25. squonkduke

    squonkduke Forum Resident

    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    Yes, i completely agree on the fact that The 40-Year Old Virgin movie gave them momentum and led to a rushed reunion, to not let that momentum dissolve.
    I also understand all your reasoning behind the 1992 facts that led to the Aqua album, i'm quite sure Downes did all that for the very same reasons you explain above.
    What i do remember from that period is a younger me entering my local record shop and noticing a new Asia album on the shelf: i couldn't believe it, i thought they had disbanded. I turned it around and saw the line-up: Wetton was sadly absent, but there were Downes, Howe and Palmer, i thought they just changed the vocalist, it had already happened before. So i bought the album straight away.
    Then i listened to it.... i felt betrayed.
    As you say, Howe is there on just a couple of tracks, while Palmer got the credit because his drumming had been sampled from something else he did actually played on, and then put on another couple of tracks there.
    The songs lacked heart and soul (not to tell of the writing skills) and the album sounded like it had been made by a third-rate AOR/metal band.
    Such was my affection to the old Asia that i continued buying the subsequent new 'Asia' albums, hoping that a miracle could make them sound good once again, but each time i felt disappointed. The last one i bought was Aura, and i have to say it is the best of the bunch, but my interest in 'Asia' was now next to zero.
    I also collected some genuine rarities like the 2 and only Armada CDs, a CD-R of demos from november 2003 (Siren Artist Management), a 2CD Acoustic Live Performance from the 2002 american tour (Blastwaves Records) and the promo cd-single Estoy Listo Para Ir A Mi Casa (spanish version of Ready To Go Home).
    The 2006 reunion reignited my interest for Asia, and i have to say they produced some great songs scattered across the 3 post-reunion albums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018

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