|· Metal4Life Guidelines · Portal||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
|Welcome to Metal4Life. We hope you enjoy your visit.|
You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.
Join our community!
If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:
If this is your first visit to Metal4Life, please go to the Portal. This is the best place to catch up on all the latest news and headlines.
Wondering why you can't see all the pictures? You have to register. Just do it. A minimum of information required - and we don't send mass mailouts or sell your email address.
Posted: Mar 11 2010, 01:41 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 27-October 05
Asia, the acclaimed British rock super group featuring prominent members of Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer and The Buggles, will release ‘Omega’, their highly anticipated new album of original material, on Frontiers Records, distributed by Cargo, on April 26th.
When John Wetton (vocals and bass), Steve Howe (guitar), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Carl Palmer (drums), the four original band members, reformed in 2006 for the first time in 23 years, no one in the group knew how long the reformation would last. They were committed to a tour, but nothing after that was etched in stone.
The reunion, originally purely to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, morphed into an ongoing endeavour and in 2008 Asia returned with their first new album for a quarter of a century, ‘Phoenix’, predominantly influenced by their earlier classic AOR sound.
Now, nearly 5 years on, the band’s second album since the reunion, ‘Omega’, a stunning blend of the classic Asia sound, with a number of compelling and innovative new musical ideas, is about to be unveiled.
"We were looking to create something different with Omega," states Geoff Downes, continuing, "Of course, the sound of the 4 band members of Asia will always have a certain hallmark when we play together. That's a given. But we approached the song writing with a mind to getting a degree of variety into these compositions. Hence, you will hear areas of textures where arguably we have never gone before."
John Wetton comments that "It's a collection of songs, but from the rocky, strident opening of 'Finger on the Trigger' to the wistful 'Thank You.' As for our audience.... in 'Don't Wanna Lose You Now', it's talking to you, the listener. ‘Omega’ gives you a sequence of real stories, that actually happened. The stories are set in a fairly lush, sophisticated production of what Asia is known for, concise, mature rock songs without the gratuitous meanderings of our Alma Mater."
Steve Howe adds that "the whole recording process has been inspiring and rewarding, and I'm very excited about the result". "I would say these are all strong individual songs" says drummer Carl Palmer. "It was a very smooth experience, and arguably one of our best records."
For the first time since their debut album, Asia worked with an outside producer, Mike Paxman (Uriah Heep, Status Quo). "It was very different for me," says Wetton. "...Not in the writing, or construction, of the songs, or even in the method of recording, but for the fact that as well as the band, there was a producer, and a hands-on record company making suggestions about musical direction. This has never been the case before, and made the band take a more aggressive attitude toward the final selection of material."
As with the most popular of Asia releases, the cover art was specifically designed for the project by acclaimed artist Roger Dean. The concept of the title ‘Omega’, and the 'Year of the Tiger' referencing of the cover art underline the fact that this is real Asia. John Wetton explains: "The title 'Omega', 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."
Formed at the dawn of the MTV era by ex-members of Yes, ELP, King Crimson and The Buggles, Asia were the logical successor to their collective mega bands of the 70’s. Asia’s eponymous debut album was the biggest-selling album in the world in the year of its release (1982) and spawned the US top ten singles ‘Heat Of The Moment’, ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and ‘Sole Survivor’. The follow-up, ‘Alpha’, produced the top ten singles ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Smile Has Left Your Eyes’ and also went multi- platinum,
Videos for the singles, made by the ground breaking Godley & Creme team, were a staple part of MTV’s initial programming, contributing to ‘Asia’ selling over 6 million copies in the US alone, staying at the top of the Billboard Chart for an incredible nine weeks. But after the release of the multi platinum follow-up ‘Alpha’ in 1983, the four musicians went their own various ways.
Then in early 2006, the original line-up announced their reformation and a December UK tour. Classic Rock Magazine reviewed Asia’s sold out tour at London Shepherds Bush Empire gig on December 3rd 2006. Dave Ling enthused “Reunited to celebrate the quarter-century anniversary of their multi-platinum, self-titled debut, Asia play all of its nine songs tonight, plus ‘The Smile Has Left Her Eyes’ ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Heat Goes On’ from successor ‘Alpha’. Combining the guilty indulgence of top quality pomp rock with soaring pop sensibilities, all sound absolutely glorious, reminding us why Asia were called a supergroup when they formed. The grins on stage and off tell us that the chemistry between these four exceptional musicians remains undimmed.”
Asia then recorded ‘Phoenix’, released in April 2008 on Frontiers. Record Collector’s Ian Abrahams stated “Regrouping for their first studio album since 1983, the original Asia line-up has produced a really pleasing twist on their early AOR sound. ‘Phoenix’ is a smart mixture of Epic rockers, power ballads and touching intimacy. At its core reside thoughtful reflections on love, vulnerability and mortality, while its exterior glistens with an unexpected contemporary sheen. Bassist and vocalist John Wetton recently underwent emergency heart surgery, which, in its turn, seems to have fuelled his passion for the work. The closing track, ‘An Extraordinary Life’, is his summing up of this and other health battles and resonates with the joy of four musicians rediscovering their passion for creating music together. A well described resurrection from the ashes.” (Record Collector, June 2008).
The original members of Asia - who have now been together longer than when they originally burst onto the music scene at the beginning of the 80’s!!! – head out on the road through Europe in April / May, Japan in June, and the USA in the late summer of 2010.
‘Omega’, crammed with exquisitely performed, “Accessible, melodic, anthemic songs luxuriating in a bed of lush orchestration, with lyrics that strike a sympathetic chord in even the most cynical heart” (Wetton) more than marks a new renaissance and joie-de-vivre for Asia.