Asia are a British progressive rock band. The band was formed in 1981 as a supergroup of four members from different progressive rock bands: John Wetton (former bassist/vocalist of bands including King Crimson, Family, Rozy Music, Uriah Heep, UK and Wishbone Ash), Steve Howe (guitarist of Yes),Geoff Downes(keyboardist of Yes and The Buggles and drummer Carl Palmer (of Emerson,Lake & Palmer, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Atomic Rooster). With their debut album Asia from 1982 reaching No. 1 in several countries, Asia ranks as one of the most popular progressive rock bands in history.
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon
The eagerly awaited follow-up to the supergroup's debut, Alpha landed with a resounding thud a year later. The album still managed to be a platinum-selling Top Ten hit, as did the leadoff single "Don't Cry," but where Asia managed to make old sounds fresh, Alpha fails miserably. Nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band's debut. Instead, much of the record is lightweight both lyrically and musically, leaning heavier on keyboard-laden ballads like "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes," which managed to scrape into the Top 40, and "My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want)." The only real meat on the record comes during the last cut, "Open Your Eyes" (and only at the end of the song). Rumored creative differences, the album's lukewarm reception, and flagging ticket sales for the ensuing tour led to lead singer John Wetton leaving the band before the year was out. Alpha is sorely disappointing, especially coming on the heels of a promising debut.