Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by gojikranz, Feb 8, 2022.
Bumblefoot announced that he wants to cut back doing live shows, supposedly due to covid concerns.
John Payne made five strong albums with Asia so I don't think your comparison is altogether fair.
Billy Sherwood co-wrote and produced John Wetton's last solo album so he's been "family" for a while.
Kinda like The Temptations. For a while there was a Temptations in every town
Thought it was Sons Of Apollo commitments that took Bumblefoot out of the picture. It's a shame really because I thought his Asia covers EP was very nice indeed.
Honestly I'd rather see Payne's band do some stuff from his era of the band than Palmer/Downes + 2 fill-ins playing the same stuff they've been playing since 2006. I like those first two albums but saw the 2006 reunion, so I'm kinda set there. The Payne-era stuff is uneven, and his vocal delivery gets a bit old after awhile, but there's some interesting material there that I wouldn't mind hearing at a show.
True, but Payne's Asia made almost no impact in America. I saw their one US tour, and they couldn't fill a small club despite Steve Howe being there. So it does seem odd to see him undertaking a high profile Asia tour, particularly one largely built around the first album.
He is coheadlining with Lou Gramm though, so at least there will be one original singer there.
Unfortunately, not in the Wet(ton) spot . . .
Well, the tour is built on the thirtieth anniversary of John's first Asia album too. If people are mainly going for the Wetton album, it might just give them a chance to reappraise the Payne era. It produced some high quality music.
Thanks for sharing, as I'd never heard that song, or any other song off any Asia album post-Astra.
That said, I consider every song on the debut album, and at least 8 of the songs off "Alpha" to be better than that. A lot better.
Just my opinion.
Sometime around Silent Nation in 2004 (?), John Payne and Geoff Downes appeared at the old Borders bookstore in Downtown Crossing in Boston, doing a free lunchtime performance. I happened to walk in on my lunch hour to browse the music magazines, and they were there playing. I'm not exaggerating when I say there was a handful of maybe six people watching them.
Asia was a complete non-entity in the US after 1983, resurfacing 22 years later to be the butt of jokes in The 40 Year Old Virgin.
I like the later albums that Asia did since the reunion of the original guys, but for me it was starting to blur the line between Asia songs and Wetton/Downes Icon songs. Not a huge surprise given the songwriting credits.
I enjoy the Icon albums because I’m a big fan of Wetton in particular. However, that’s another reason I’m kind of hopeful Bonilla sticks around and records an album with Palmer/Downes under the Asia banner... I’d like to hear what changes might happen with Bonilla as part of the songwriting process. (And Bonilla worked with Glenn Hughes. Sure... why not... let’s throw Glenn into the band as the bass player, and share vocal and songwriting duties. )
Not that I think the world needs a new Asia album, but it’s unlikely they wouldn’t take advantage of the name recognition if they had a record company offer to record new music.
Well, they would've had seven if they'd even promoted it. I'm relatively well connected and I heard nothing about that even happening.
Yeah, rarely has a band arrived with so much out-of-the-box fanfare, and success, and then fizzled out so soon. In the summer of 1982, Asia was the biggest band in the USA. Just 18 months later, when "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" fell off the charts, that was basically the last most people ever heard of them.
I admit I was somewhat of an exception - I liked the "Go" single released in 1985, by the band without Steve Howe. But not many seemed to dig that like I did.
I like "Go" quite a bit. But that album needed to be a major rebound and it was just...some decent moments but mostly meh.
Asia... it's too big for just one band.
The burning question that must be asked: Was Geoff struttin' his stuff on an accordion, or did the local Best Buy furnish a Casio CTK-593 for him to rock the signature chords to "Only Time Will Tell"?
You're not wrong!
The best song on Astra is "After the War," but they buried it at the end of Side B. Oh, well.
I seem to recall it was something closer to the latter.
I'm a big Yes fan, but was never an Asia fan. Still, had I known about the event, I'd probably have gone specifically to see Geoff Downes play, instead of just stumbling upon it. I literally walked in during their last song. The one thing I distinctly remember about the incident was that when they were finished performing, Geoff walked by me, looking understandably uncomfortable, and I made a mental note of his gut sagging over his big, studded leather belt. If there was any question who the aging rock star was in the store that day, one needed to look no further than that.
I agree, but I also think the ground had kind of shifted. Between summer 1983 (Alpha) and late 1985 (Astra), the rock music scene had changed significantly. Summer of 1983, bands like Journey and Styx still ruled the AOR roost. It was still kind of the "early 80s" in terms of mainstream rock music, and Asia was built for that era.
But by late 1985, these acts were being replaced by younger acts. mid-80s teens were tired of bands that had members old enough to be their dads. There was a turn towards heavier acts like Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Ratt, Iron Maiden and others that were closer in age to the rock fan base.
Granted, Genesis, whose members were contemporaries of the Asia guys, was having huge success around that same time. But they did so by moving in a pure-pop direction, IMO. Asia wasn't entirely built for that either. No older act that didn't have a pop-genius like Phil Collins was.
So IMO, "Astra" would have struggled to find a commercial foothold even if the songs had been stronger.
That's probably true. They had the right kind of guitarist to follow the heavier trend. Obviously they wouldn't have been "hair metal" or given Iron Maiden any serious competition in the heaviness department, but they could've found a way to evolve with the times had they been an actual, functioning band, I suppose. But it would've required a couple of undeniable singles, like, Desmond Child-level potential hits, to really make an impact, I think. Alternately they could've leaned more pop, like Foreigner, Journey, Toto, etc did around that time. I suppose there wasn't an audience for bands that straddled the line between those two things, at least without being young and pretty enough. But in either case, I think it's pretty clear to most that the songs weren't there, regardless.
They did a similar show at a Borders store downtown in Philadelphia. I guesstimate 25-30 people were actually in attendance.
Around that same time, they did a similar show in nearby South New Jersey at a small movie theater after a late-night monster-double-feature.
They essentially booked small private gigs around the US that year. If you paid $4,000 plus hotel stay, you'd get an acoustic "Asia" show.
Those bands, while still doing well, were also nearing the end of the hits rope.
Meanwhile, Def Leppard was poised to gain a vise-grip in the shape of numerous consecutive hits from their 1987 album, Hysteria, which would gain them cartloads of new fans (and piles of cash money) while alienating those who swore by their first three records, all thanks to "Mutt" Lange's strategy to formulate rock's answer to Thriller.
The same year, Starship (no "Jefferson") also went fluffy with No Protection, and that helped maintain an audience, but eventually strained the integrity of that lineup.
Asia's brand of '70s-flavored AOR wore out its welcome and they got pushed out.
Well, there was an "Asia in Asia" show on MTV.
Why shouldn't there be an "Asia *and* Asia" show somewhere?
Oh wait, never the twain. That's right. My bad. Carry on.
I absolutely think Astra could've been successful had they gone the Heart/Starship route and got in a bunch of outside songs/songwriters. I mean, it would've been artistically bankrupt, but I think it might've bought them a couple more years and albums. Mind you, I'm glad they didn't, but having listened to Astra and the late 80's Wetton-Downes demos, there just wasn't much left there creatively, at least until later on.
I actually think this would've happened, had there been enough desire on the part of either the band or the label to continue after 1985, but it seems like there wasn't much motivation from either side. Poor Mandy Meyer though, he got kinda screwed on the whole thing, didn't even get to play a single show.
Separate names with a comma.