The two volumes of ‘Archiva' were originally released back in 1996 and
now they have been bought together on this specially priced CD by Snapper
The songs were found after a flood at the recording studios used by
John Payne and Geoff Downes and unlike other rarities/outtakes collection
most of these would easily be worthy of being on a studio album.
There are many gems on these two discs including the Queen-like harmonies on ‘Fight
Against The Tide', the pomp rocking ‘Boys From Diamond City' (another
version can be heard on Max Bacon's album of a few years back) and ‘The
Higher You Climb'.
John Payne very nearly joined ELO Part 2 back in the early 90's and there is the very ELO sounding ‘A.L.O.' on here - apparently
written ready for when Payne may have joined the band. There is also a cover
of ELO's ‘Showdown' that sees less strings more synths than the original
version. Former members Steve Howe and Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy/21 Guns)
also appear on tracks on these albums with Howe in fine form on ‘Ginger'.
If you are an Asia fan and have yet to sample either of these albums then
now is the time to do so as you won't be disappointed and there are many
delights to be heard on the two discs. Just proves what a fine combination
Downes and Payne make.