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Asia Biography


Home > Music > A > Asia > Biography


Birth Place: England
Years Active: 1981–1986, 1989–present
Genres: Arena Rock, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock


Asia is a British rock group that formed in 1981 from the ashes of a number of famous bands, such as King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The band came together when vocalist John Wetton, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and drummer Carl Palmer, decided they wanted to play music together. From the moment of incarnation the band have been through several line-up changes but currently consist of their original line-up. Asia came into being after the breakup of some of the most influential progressive rock bands in England at the time. By 1981 after multiple attempts to get another, just as influential, rock band going, Wetton, Howe, Downes and Palmer began to work together and were quickly signed by Geffen Records

The band's debut album, “Asia” appeared in 1982 and was a commercial success, spending nine weeks in the #1 slot on the U.S. Album chart and spawning the hit singles: “Only Time Will Tell,” which peaked at #17 on the Singles chart; and “Heat of the Moment,” peaking at #4, and going on to become the band's most successful selling single and most recognizable song. 1983 saw the band follow up with their second offering, “Alpha,” which did not attain the same success as their debut album. The album produced the top ten hit single, “Don't Cry,” but left the charts fairly quickly. The band went through a number of line-up changes over the next few years with Wetton being fired and Greg Lake replacing him. Howe left shortly after Wetton to be replaced by Mandy Meyer. However, by1985 the band was falling apart, and was officially over by 1986. 1990 saw the band reunite without Wetton and John Payne taking his place, and a number of albums materializing: Aqua (1992), Aria (1994), Arena (1996), Aura (2001), and Silent Nation (2004). 2008 marked Wetton's return to the band for the next album, “Phoenix,” which was released later that year. The band followed up in 2010 with “Omega.” In 2012 the band issued their next album, entitled “XXX.”