Formed at the dawn of the MTV era, ASIA was the first super group of the 1980s, featuring members from Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and The Buggles. Videos made for the band's first two albums, Asia and Alpha, were a staple part of the historic music channel's initial programming.
Asia's eponymous first release was the best selling album in the world in 1982, number 1 in the USA for 9 weeks. The second Asia album was also a big seller worldwide and enjoyed several hit singles. Unfortunately, since then the band went through several incarnations which in some ways spoiled the original concept launched by the debut album.
However Geoffrey Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton, the four original members reunited in 2006, twenty-three years after all four had last played together. The much publicised reunion resulted in two highly successful world tours in 2006 and 2007; an acclaimed double live LP and DVD, (entitled Fantasia: Live In Tokyo); and an overwhelming response from fans and the media, which continues today.
Starting from the summer 2007, Geoff, Steve, Carl and John have been busy in the studio recording their brand new CD "Phoenix", the first studio album from the band's members since 1983. Eagerly anticipated by fans all over the world, "Phoenix" contains an eclectic selection of songs bound by the unique Asia trade mark.
"Phoenix" has been influenced by the same fusion of talents and heritages which so excited the world in 1982 and has a very poignant underlying theme placed at the intersection of love, discovery and reflection, no doubt due, at least partly, to Wetton's unexpected triple by-pass heart surgery which forced the cancellation of ASIA's 2007 West Coast North American tour and an eagerly anticipated tour of the United Kingdom. Based on such personal events John was inspired to write "An Extraordinary Life", which have made the concept of Carpe Diem dramatically pertinent.
The new record include rockers such as "Never Again" and "Nothing's Forever", power ballads such as "Heroine" and "I Will Remember You" and two mini-epics too, among a dozen new songs which presents all themes the band is very well known for.
"1982 feels only like yesterday," comments keyboardist Geoff Downes about the first time the original members of ASIA made their landmark debut album. "Four guys in the studio, making music together - John, Steve, Carl and me."
Continuing his thought, Downes is reflective on the creative success of the early albums: "What we set out to achieve way back then- Timeless music that only sounds like the four who created it-, is what we attempted to bring to Phoenix. Still, it remains contemporary and refreshing to us all. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the ASIA story, and it remains the same today - so listen on, and enjoy".
The cover art was exclusively designed for Phoenix by the legendary designer Roger Dean (the man who created the covers for the band's first two records) and will be released in two versions, a regular jewel box and a slipcase edition which will include also a beautiful acoustic rendition of "An Extraordinary Life".
The cd will also include an EPK playable on all computers, featuring video footage with interviews and live recordings.