Asia - Fantasia - Live In Tokyo

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Eagle Records/Pias
Catalog Number: EDGCD359
Format: CD
Total Time: 105:06:00

Believe it or not, although several record collections are snowed under with live recordings by Asia, this new double Fantasia - Live In Tokyo is the very first official live release by the original line-up. Twenty five years after this supergroup released their self titled debut album, the founders Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton got back together for a full blown world tour in celebration of this unique anniversary. Knowing that the band?s 1982 debut album went on to sell in excess of 15 million copies for sure a lot of people would be interested to see this band live. Recorded during the Japanese leg of the tour in March 2007, Fantasia contains eighteen tracks pulled from the impressive Asia back catalogue as well as highlights from the respective bands these musicians have been associated with over the years. So next to Asia standards also expect music made famous by the likes of Yes, ELP, King Crimson and even ? The Buggles!

This 2CD set is in fact a forerunner for the DVD which is set for a September release. Including the famous hits "Heat Of The Moment," "Only Time Will Tell" and "Sole Survivor," no doubt Fantasia is perfect proof of the sheer diversity and quality these guys have come up with over the years. You can witness the technical brilliance of the foursome from the comfort of your lazy chair and as always the Japanese audience is full of respect so they reserve their applause and enthusiasm for when the songs are finished so as not to disturb the music. Needless to say, the unique voice of John Wetton still rules after all this time. Together with Paul Rodgers, Wetton has one of the best voices in rock. Although known to have a full blown symphonic sound, the recordings here are rather intimate with Geoff Downes adding choir and strings to turn the arrangements towards a more symphonic whole.

The current Asia in fact delivers the best of both worlds. First of all they have a wealth of original material to choose from yet they stick to those albums they were originally involved in, and secondly they all have such a fantastic pedigree that they can add well known classics, progressive rock standards if you like, to turn the event into something even more magnificent and unforgettable. Loud cheers welcome the band?s version of "Roundabout" with Wetton doing his very best to sound just like Chris Squire and Downes doing his Rick Wakeman routine. Audience participation is granted during Steve Howe's acoustic guitar solo "Intersection Blues." The Aaron Copland classic "Fanfare For The Common Man" as made famous by ELP gets more of a rock approach 65 years after it was initially written. Great bass solo and original harmonica turn this into a surprising arrangement. Extra applause when Wetton speaks a couple of Japanese words prior to "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes."

For sure one of prog's absolute highlights "In The Court Of The Crimson King" receives high praise as is the surprise inclusion of "Video Killed The Radio Star," even sporting treated vocals courtesy of John Wetton. Great songs, great craftsmanship, great atmosphere, that's how we can describe Fantasia - Live In Tokyo. Now all we have to do is wait and hope they have used a good software programme to airbrush out all of the wrinkles in order to witness Asia live on DVD.

Disc One: Time Again / Wildest Dreams / One Step Closer / Roundabout / Without You / Cutting It Fine / Intersection Blues / Fanfare For The Common Man / The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Disc Two: Don't Cry / In The Court Of The Crimson King / Here Comes The Feeling / Video Killed The Radio Star / The Heat Goes On / Only Time Will Tell / Sole Survivor / Ride Easy / Heat Of The Moment

Geoff Downes - keyboards
Steve Howe - guitars
John Wetton - vocals, bass
Carl Palmer - drums

Alpha (1983)
Astra (1985)
Then & Now (1990)
Live in Moscow (1991)
Aqua (1992)
Aria (1994)
Arena (1996)
Archiva I (1996)
Archiva II (1996)
Live In Nottingham (1997)
Live In Osaka (1997)
Live in Köln (1997)
Asia Live In Philadelphia (1997)
Live At The Town & Country Club (1999)
Live Acoustic (1999)
Rare (1999)
Anthology (1999)
Axioms (1999)
Archives - The Best Of Asia 1988-1997 (2000)
Heat Of The Moment: The Very Best Of Asia 1982-1990 (2000)
The Collection (2000)
Aura (2000/2001)
Enso Kai (Live In Tokyo 1983) (2001)
Alive In Hallowed Halls (2001)
America - Live In The USA (2002)
Anthologia: 20th Anniversary Geffen Years Collection 1982-1990 (2002)
Dragon Attack (2003)
Live In Buffalo (2003)
Live In Hyogo (2003)
Live In Massachusetts '83 (2004)
Silent Nation (2004)
Gold (2005)
Definitive Collection (2006)
Live In Nottingham (2007)
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (2007)
Extended Versions (2007)
Phoenix (2008)
Omega (2010)
Live Around The World (2010)
Resonance (The Omega Tour 2010) (2012)
XXX (2012)

Asia In Asia (VHS) (1984)
Classic Rock Legends (DVD) (2001)
Live In Moscow 1990 (DVD) (2003)
America: Live In The USA (DVD) (2003)
Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (2007)
Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour - Live In Cambridge 2009 (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: July 2nd 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1321
Language: english


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