Set for release on June 10th is the deluxe box set Asia In Asia: Live At The Budokan, Tokyo, 1983. With co-founding bassist John Wetton splitting from the band just before hitting the road, drummer Carl Palmer enlisted his Emerson, Lake, & Palmer bandmate Greg Lake to step in and despite a short period for Lake to learn the songs, the Japanese gigs were hailed a great success.
The second of three shows at the Budokan arena on December 6th, 1983, would make history as first live broadcast between Japan and MTV, and featured are some of Asia’s most enduring hits: “Heat Of The Moment,” “Time Again,” “Only Time Will Tell,” “Sole Survivor, and “Wildest Dreams.”
Carl Palmer recalled in the new set’s announcement: “Greg Lake did a great job jumping into John’s shoes. So many songs to sing, he did it so well.”
Keyboardist Geoff Downes said the new live set proves Asia’s incredible resilience: “It deserves its place in the Asia catalogue. It demonstrates the level of professionalism that we have always striven to bring to the Asia name.”
The massive package includes a double-LP on color vinyl, two-CD’s — MTV satellite broadcast concert and previous night, remixed audio, unreleased tracks, Blu-ray video, The Road To Budokan documentary, a 40-page book with rare and unseen photos, memorabilia and extensive new liner notes.
SOURCE: Press release
- King Crimson bassist John Wetton formed Asia in 1981 with Emerson, Lake, & Palmer drummer Carl Palmer, Yes guitarist Steve Howe, and Buggles and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes.
- Asia’s self-titled debut album was released in March 1982 and spent nine weeks on top of the Billboard 200 charts. The album spawned two hit singles, both of which were massive video hits on MTV — “Heat Of the Moment” (#4) and “Only Time Will Tell” (#17).
- The band’s original run with its founding members only lasted two albums, with 1983’s Alpha peaking at Number Six and featuring the Top Ten hit, “Don’t Cry.”
- Various lineup changes ensued with John Wetton pursuing other projects and later teaming up with Geoff Downes to form Icon.
- The original lineup of Asia — John Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and Geoff Downes — released the band’s third Asia album featuring the co-founders in 2007 with Fantasia: Live In Tokyo, and followed that up with the 2008 studio set Phoenix.
- In 2010 the band released the Omega album. 2012 brought XXX, with 2014 seeing Asia’s last release, Gravitas, featuring Steve Howe’s replacement, Sam Coulson.
- John Wetton died of cancer on January 31st, 2017 at age 67.
CHECK IT OUT: The unboxing video for ‘Asia In Asia: Live At The Budokan, Tokyo, Japan, 1983’: