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  • Writer's picturephotogroupie


Supergroup Asia has released an of 18-track live show from their 2007 world tour. 'Fantasia, Live in Tokyo 2007' will be issued on vinyl for the first time and the set will include a booklet, band photos, and sleeve notes.

The live setlist focuses primarily on their 1982 self-titled debut, their second LP 'Alpha', and one song from each of the band members' previous bands. Fans can also expect some of Asia's classic tracks including 'Soul Survivor' and 'Heat of the Moment'.

The recording features the reformed original line-up of lead vocalist/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson), Steve Howe (guitars, Yes), Geoff Downes (keyboards, Yes and Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The individual members largely stepped away from their progressive roots and moved towards a heavier, AOR radio sound when forming the band. The album was an epic fusion of sounds and styles. And there was no denying the talent of the musicians involved. In a similar vein to Toto, these musos can draw on a wide range of influences, but also managed to have some pop leanings tracks along the way: Toto is more than 'Rosanna' and Asia are more than 'The Heat of The Moment' – but their skill can be heard, even in the most radio-friendly moments. A cover of 'Video Killed The Radio Star' is a case in point. Not only is it a huge crowd-pleaser, but it also shows that this versatile group of musicians have mastery over any genre they turn their hand to. From the tender ballad 'Don't Cry' to the epic 'Wildest Dreams' there's not a beat out of place.

The live arena is where this supergroup shines best. Anybody whose been privileged to see Carl Palmer's drum solos live will tell you that you can only get the full magnitude of his talent up close and personal. This album is the next best thing. We get a hint at one of Palmer's great solo's in 'The Heat Goes On ' and Howe lets rip during 'Fanfare of The Common Man.' All the arrangements epitomise early 80s rock: they are big, bold and awesome man! Even though some of the 80s productions may not have aged as well as others, that doesn't matter here. The record is a reminder of a time when Asia ruled the airwaves with their unique brand of AOR.


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