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Asia's debut album exploded onto the music scene in March 1982 with several Top 10 singles and sales exceeding 7 million copies. This "supergroup", featuring bassist/vocalist John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and guitarist Steve Howe, was the logical successor to their collective bands of the 70s - Yes, ELP, King Crimson, and The Buggles.
The group came together in the spring of 1981. John Wetton's acclaimed progressive rock band UK had collapsed a few years earlier. With the help of manager Brian Lane, he wanted to form a new group with guitarist Steve Howe, best known for his work with British Prog superstars, Yes. Drummer Carl Palmer came into the fold next, having just completed a decade of platinum releases and sold out tours with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Keyboardist Geoff Downes, who replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes for the Drama album, had previously been half of the pop duo The Buggles. They stormed the charts in 1979 with the timeless classic "Video Killed The Radio Star". Fortunately for the band, a new music media outlet called MTV premiered on cable channels in 1981 throughout the US and in over 50 million households. (Downes' hit song with The Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star" was the first song ever played on the exciting new channel). Asia, aware the network's impact on the industry, began shooting videos as soon as the album was finished.
The result was a rock'n'roll marriage made in heaven. The band toured non-stop and continued to see the huge success they had initiated grow even larger. They won almost every BEST NEW ACT award the industry had to offer in 1982. The band announced plans for a world tour to begin on June 11th, 1999. After the tour, they had hoped to record a new album, with Downes and Wetton already writing songs again. Unfortunately, it was never to be. Almost as quickly as the whole project had begun, it dissolved. The event which so many had hoped for would have to wait for another day... But as the old saying goes, patience is a virtue... Like a bolt from the blue, the stars aligned once again in early 2006.
In April, all four original members of Asia confirmed that they would be reuniting for a world tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band's creation and debut album. An American tour was confirmed for Aug/Sept, along with a UK leg in Nov/Dec. Media and concert promoter interest is overwhelming, indicative of the clout the four men carry within the industry. The 2006/2007 World Tour will see Asia regain their rightful spot as a part of rock and roll royalty. The heat goes on, indeed! Written by Bruce Pilato and Dave Gallant. July 2006