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CD/DVD Releases: Asia Sign To EMI America

Posted on Sunday, March 02 @ 21:13:16 UTC by nightowl

The acclaimed British progressive rock group Asia has announced the April 15 (April 14 internationally) release of Phoenix, its first studio album since 1983. Recorded last August by all four original members, Phoenix will be released on CD and digitally by EMI America Records in North America and by Frontiers Records in the rest of the world. Since 1982, Asia has sold more than 15 million albums globally, and the band has announced a world tour to support the release of Phoenix, with U.S. dates confirmed for April and May.

Phoenix marks a return to the classic Asia 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."

"The recording has gone very well, especially since John is writing, singing and playing great," adds guitarist Steve Howe. "I believe we've all found the teamwork creatively rewarding and we 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. One track in particular, 'Extraordinary Life,' is among the best tracks we've ever recorded, and I believe could go on to be another Asia classic.?

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 United Kingdom. "It kind of knocked me sideways on another level," said Wetton of his recent surgery and physical rehabilitation, in an interview with journalist Jeb Wright. "You tend to become very aware of your mortality and your vulnerability." Fortunately for his fans, Wetton has recovered fully and his band mates say he is singing and playing better than ever.

"John is a survivor," adds 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."

Says Carl Palmer: "The last few years since we reunited have been a very natural process. The recording started and ended on a big high with the sense that Asia now was truly reborn and ready to move forward once again - onto the global stage where we all feel it justly belongs."

Coinciding with the release of Phoenix, Asia will return to the stage for an extensive World Tour that kicks off March 1 in Falmouth, UK. It will be the first show by the band since Wetton was sidelined last August.

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. 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. 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.

"1982 feels like only yesterday," comments keyboardist Geoff Downes about recording Asia's landmark debut album as compared to Phoenix. "Four guys in the studio, making music together - John, Steve, Carl and me. Fast forward to 2008. Once again, here we are: The same four guys doing the same things. Maybe we're all a bit older now, but nothing's really changed that much over the years - that's the beauty of Asia."

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."

Asia: Phoenix (CD & Digital Album)

01. Never Again
02. Nothing's Forever
03. Heroine
04. Sleeping Giant / No Way Back / Reprise
05. Alibis
06. I Will Remember You
07. Shadow Of A Doubt
08. Parallel Worlds / Vortex / Deya
09. Wish I'd Known All Along
10. Orchard Of Mines
11. Over And Over
12. An Extraordinary Life

[Source: EMI North America via Asia's website, including promo photo -ed.

Posted in Album Release News