Asia: Anthology [Bonus Track]
Quick, how many Asia tunes can you name? If you're like most people, "Heat Of The Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell" will come fairly quickly to mind. If you're a big listener of 80's arena rock, you might also recall "Don't Cry" as well. Only an Asia fanatic is going to be able to recall much more than that; after the band's second album, Alpha, reached #6, the band's commercial fortunes plummeted in spectacular fashion; it's a rare group that debuts with a number 1 album, follows it up with a top-10, and disappears so thoroughly from the map after that. What might come as a surprise to those who tuned out is that Asia has released albums right up through the 00's, still titling them with single words beginning with "A" (a trick borrowed from America, who named their albums with H-words). Not only that, they have released mountains of arcana, from live albums to studio outtakes, a grand total of 26 studio, rarity, and live albums since 1982. The band was already a dinosaur when it was founded; a prog-rock band comprised of veterans of Yes, King Crimson, and ELP, it appeared just when prog-rock had gone out of style. Thus, while many dismissed their albums, they did manage to retain a few prog-rock fans who had relatively few alternatives in the 80's; presumably it is they who are the intended buyers of all their releases. Anthology is a chance for anyone else to catch up with the band; the tracks span most of their career, from 1982-1999, and at 17 tracks, it isn't larded out with filler. Anthology originally appeared in 1999 on Original Masters, the bonus track is a live version of "Time Again".
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