The rock phenomenon of the 80s captured live
Asia have consistently peddled intelligent, melodic, rock since the eighties and this compilation follows the band in live performance from a 1990 TV broadcast
with John Wetton and Pat Thrall, to a more recent outing at a New Jersey classic rock festival. Hidden amongst the classics, including 'Sole Survivor' and 'Heat Of the Moment',
is lesser known material like 'Kari-Anne' and 'Prayin For A Miracle' evidenced by rare promo clips recorded in 1990.
I think it's the latest incarnation of Asia that is perhaps the most compelling. Debate will range about John Payne and how he compares to Wetton but there is no doubting his talents and
he co-wrote most of the recent tunes. The addition of Guthrie Govan, as frenetic a player as Pat Thrall, gives the band the necessary forward thrust also propelled by Chris Slade's powerful
drumming. 'Wherever You Are' is the perfect example of a pop rock ballad that in the right place and at the right time would have been a monster hit. The earlier 'Who Will Stop The Rain'
is another example of the band's ability to produce catchy, commercial tunes. The one common denominator appearing in all iterations of the band is the great Geoff Downes who supplies a
cultured pop sensitivity with lush synth stylings, and ear for the symphonic chorus.
If you have the currently available DVDs 'Asia Live In The USA', 'Live In Nottingham' and 'Live In Moscow' you will already own many of these tracks, but for those approaching Asia for the first time, who relish some visuals, this is an excellent
introduction and whets the appetite for the next CD.
Review by David Randall
Related>>Asia Live In The USA (DVD)