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Asia - Archiva 1 & 2 (CD)

Asia
Archiva 1 & 2
by Grigoris Chronis at 13 September 2005, 6:49 PM

There's so much stuff in this double-packed special release. Maybe only for the faithful, but who can be the judge of that? I'm sure the diehard fans of this multi-million selling grand AOR band will raise their glasses high to this upcoming 'rarities' gem. The Payne/Downes era in its more obscure form, appropriate for the followers of the Aria (1994) and Arena (1996) faves. The rest of you, consider reading the following review first.
Individually, the two Archiva albums were originally released back in 1996. The reason for this release was - referring to Downes/Payne's statements - water damage (by a pipe burst) in the two musicians' new (back then) Electric Palace studio, in London. A box of old tapes was dug out with '88 - '96 obscure material (B' sides, unreleased stuff, bonus recording, lost versions) and every fan was surely glad to see such a massive presentation of this Asia treasure.
It's obvious that - due to the motive for 'publishing' - this Archiva set sees (and seeks) no 'unity' in its content/scope. Many of these tunes could easily create a brand new album, but there are others so 'unlike' (be it the sound, songwriting, setup) that could be used only for this purpose. Either way, Heart Of Gold, Tears, Dusty Road and A.L.O. (rephrased title from Payne's E.L.O. days) make their mark on Disc 1 while Obsession, Love Like The Video, The Higher You Climb and The Smoke That Thunders teased my ears on Disc 2. Still, it's naive to evaluate on such a limited/deeply interesting album since you have to be a rather dedicated sound follower of this band, keen on exploring the vague songwriting mode of many of these cuts.
The guest musicians - or members of the equivalent era of each track - surely add an extra bonus to this compilation, a Special Edition set with four, in total, bonus tracks, surely necessary for the devoted Asia fans (especially, as previously said, the Downes/Payne era) but rather 'weird' for the average 'studio album' Asia listener.
The package is tempting, though…

0 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disc 1

Heart Of Gold
Tears
Fight Against The Tide
We Fall Apart
The Mariner's Dream
Boys From Diamond City
A.L.O.
Reality
I Can't Wait A Lifetime
Dusty Road
I Believe
Ginger
Bonus tracks (2005 Special Edition):
Anytime (Edit)
Open Your Eyes (Acoustic)

Disc 2

Obsession
Moon Under The Water
Love Like The Video
Don't Come To Me
The Smoke That Thunders
Satellite Blues
Showdown
That Season
Can't Tell These Walls
The Higher You Climb
Right To Cry
Armenia
Bonus tracks (2005 Special Edition):
Little Rich Boy (Edit)
Turn It Around (Ethnic Mix)
Lineup:
Geoff Downes - Keyboards & Drum Programming
John Payne - Vocals, Bass & Guitars

Guests Musicians:
Steve Howe, Al Pitrelli, Scott Gorham, Anthony Glynne, Adrian Dessent, Elliot Randall - Guitars
Michael Sturgis, Nigel Glockler, Carl Palmer, Trevor Thornton, Preston Hayman - Drums
Andy Nye - Keyboards, Drum  Programming
Luis Jardim - Percussion
Record Label: Inside Out
     


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