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New Music Review: ASIA “Axis XXX Live in San Francisco MMXII”

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CD 1:
1. Introduction
2. Only Time Will Tell
3. Wildest Dreams
4. Face On The Bridge
5. Time Again
6. Tomorrow The World
7. Ride Easy
8. Pyramidology
9. The Golden Mean
10. I Know How You Feel
11. Don’t Cry
12. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

CD 2:
1. Cutting It Fine
2. Holy War/Drum Solo
3. An Extraordinary Life
4. Here Comes The Feeling
5. Open Your Eyes
6. Sole Survivor
7. Heat Of The Moment

Review-I remember being 13 years old and having to race down to the store and buy the vinyl or cassette to Asia’s debut record. The radio was blasting “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell”. Asia was the first band I can remember that had the moniker “Supergroup”. You had bassist John Wetton from King Crimson, Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Steve Howe from Yes and Geoff Downes who became a name from Yes and also being in the band The Buggles who had the first video on MTV with Video Killed the Radio Star. In 2012, we got the reunion record from Asia which was entitled XXX. The record I feel I loved more for the nostalgia factor than the actual record because I am such a diehard of not only the band but their history before it, (I have made no secret what a huge Yes fan I am, and King Crimson’s Red was actually the first album I bought with my own money) that there are always going to be songs I wish they would have added to make it longer. That being said, Axis is a journey thru their history which is mostly the first two records and some of the newer songs. I am upset, where is Soul Survivor off the debut record? Where is Go off of Astra? I mean, you guys did a video for Go, why not include it? I was just listening to the John Wetton Anthology box that was sent to me, and I said it then in my review and now, there is no other John Wetton’s on this planet. The man has a vocal delivery that is so incredible and knows how to make the most out of the musicians he works with.

Asia’s debut set the music world on fire; I think it was number one on Billboard for what 2 months plus change? This Asia record while it is their 5th live release since the reforming was so short lived. I feel though that the problems that existed in High Voltage have been corrected and the energy is a little more focused and contagious as you listen. This is a release for the diehards only; I mean you have all the songs that got them on the radio like Heat of the Moment, Wildest Dreams and all the other staples of their live sets. The issues I have with this cd are that the solo’s like the drums do not feel like they belong. I mean if you are live, they would mean something but on a cd it just does not fit. Asia though has always had an uphill battle. When the debut record came out they had to compete with other classics like Escape-Journey, Bella Donna-Stevie Nicks, Abacab-Genesis, Foreigner-4, a cd that I know like my bible Billy Squier-Don’t Say No, Ghost in the Machine-The Police, and so many more I think you get it. To have a number one album with these classics and add Ozzy-Diary, Van Halen-Fair Warning, Rush-Moving Pictures and so many more is so unreal, to have one for over 2 months speaks volumes for the legacy of this band. And I did not even mention the debut from Joan Jett, Judas Priest-Point of Entry, Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones and April Wine, Blue Oyster Cult ….this could go on all night, but you get the point. I have really let this review just go in any direction…if you are an Asia fan, buy the cd and get the dvd. If not, go buy the first two records and discover what greatness is all about.

8 out of 10

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