The San Francisco concert’s first set will include classic tracks from ELP, The Buggles, King Crimson and Yes, plus a selection of acoustic tracks and songs from ASIA's 1983 album, Alpha, and from Phoenix. The second set will present ASIA's first album, 1982's ASIA, from beginning to end, the first time the band has ever performed the album live in its entirety. ASIA was the world's best-selling album in 1982, and it is further distinguished as one of only four albums that have spent nine or more weeks in the coveted #1 position on Billboard's chart.
Next week, QuickTime will launch an exclusive ‘Make Your Own ASIA Video’ contest at www.quicktime.com. Custom ASIA art elements are provided to participants at the site to produce their own music videos for “An Extraordinary Life,” a new track from Phoenix. One grand prize winner will receive a Steve Howe Edition Gibson ES-175 guitar and an Apple MacBook Air, custom laser etched with Roger Dean artwork.
On May 19, XM Satellite Radio will premiere its new “ASIA: Artist Confidential” special. The exclusive performance and interview special is scheduled to air throughout the day (repeats back-to-back) on XMX (Channel 2), XM’s Exclusive Music Series and Originals channel, and at 10pm ET/7pm PT on Fine Tuning (Channel 76).
Released on CD and digitally by EMI America Records in North America and by Frontiers Records internationally, Phoenix’s debut has been accompanied by several high-profile online, radio and retail initiatives with partners including Amazon.com, J&R Music World, Jones Radio Networks, QuickTime, SyncLive.com, VH1Classic.com, and XM Satellite Radio. The album’s #73 debut is ASIA’s highest Billboard chart position in the SoundScan era, and in a recent review of the new album, The Associated Press raved “ASIA is back and better than ever.”
Formed at the dawn of the MTV era, ASIA was the first ‘supergroup’ 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 staples of the historic music channel’s initial programming.
ASIA’s four original members reunited in 2006, 23 years after all four had last played together. The much publicized reunion resulted in two highly successful world tours in 2006 and 2007; an acclaimed double live LP and DVD (Fantasia: Live In Tokyo); and an overwhelming response from fans and the media, which continues today. ASIA has sold more than 15 million albums around the world, and this will be the third world tour for the four accomplished musicians, whose debut album, ASIA, was released 26 years ago in 1982 and remains one of only four albums in history to hold the #1 Billboard album chart position for a staggering nine weeks.
Phoenix marks a return to the band’s classic sound, with some surprising contemporary twists. “Everything that was there 25 years ago is still there, and quite simply, if you liked it then, you'll love it now,” says ASIA’s singer and bassist John Wetton. “It does exactly what it says on the tin.” Adds guitarist Steve Howe, “I believe we've all found the teamwork creatively rewarding and we also look forward to playing some new songs onstage.”
Phoenix is a collection of songs that speak to the millions of core ASIA fans who, like the group, have come a long way since the dawn of the MTV age in 1982. “We’re older now, and our audience has grown up with us,” says drummer Carl Palmer. “I think the lyrical themes on this record are some of the best John has ever developed.”
Phoenix 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 serious health issues (which included open heart surgery), and forced the cancellation of ASIA’s 2007 West Coast North American tour and a sold-out tour of the UK. Fortunately, Wetton has recovered fully and his band mates say he is singing and playing better than ever.
“John is a survivor,” says ASIA keyboardist Geoff Downes. “He has proved that a few times now. There was never any doubt in our minds that he would recover and be better than ever. We all look forward to hitting the road once again.”
For more information, visit ASIA’s official Website: www.originalasia.com.
ASIA: “Phoenix” World Tour (remaining U.S. dates)
April 29 Espanola NM - Big Rock Casino
April 30 Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
May 2 Agoura Hills, CA - Canyon Club
May 3 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
May 4 San Juan Capistrano, CA - The Coach House
May 5 San Francisco, CA - Grand Ballroom at The Regency Center