DVR alert: The original lineup of Asia performs in concert in a broadcast on DirecTV tonight at 9 and midnight EDT.
Asia was a true rock supergroup, bringing together veterans of top progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, Yes, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (and of course we mustn’t forget the Buggles). But they brought their considerable talents to bear not on ambitious prog extravaganzas but instead on accessible, melodic rock music.
Hits such as “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell,” “Don’t Cry,” and “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” are classics of the classic-rock style, combining superb songwriting, instrumental brilliance, and John Wetton’s stunningly passionate and technically strong vocals. Wetton has remained my favorite rock vocalist since his years with King Crimson in the very early 1970s.
Asia has had several different lineups over the years, but the original lineup is definitely the best and most musically and commercially successful.
The band kicks off a tour of North America on August 2. They won’t be appearing anywhere within 500 miles of Karnick Manor, so it looks as if the video concert is the closest I’m going to get.
—S. T. Karnick