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“Fantasia Live In Tokyo” [Blu-ray] by Asia

Artist: Asia
Title: “Fantasia Live In Tokyo” [Blu-ray]
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 3/31/2009
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

The standard edition of this video came out back in 2007 and it was a great one that presented to the world’s Progressive Rock fans the mighty Asia reunited and stronger than ever. Since that time the advancements in video technology have given us a higher definition format to enjoy these kinds of releases and in 2009 we saw this film upgraded to the Blu-ray format. In 2010 this format is slowly becoming the dominant version and now laptops, PC’s and gaming systems are letting you enjoy them with brighter colors and incredible audio sonic quality. Having reviewed this with its initial release and finding no real difference in the content presented, I have slightly edited my original narrative and present it to you with thoughts about the Blu-ray version.

Even though the history books will note this as fact I still refuse to believe that it has been more than twenty five years since I first purchased my original vinyl copy of the debut by Asia – the blockbuster album that was simply entitled “Asia”. Twenty five years old and this album when played today still sounds as fresh and exciting as it used to and reminds me of the Progressive Rock promise that it held for all the fans of the individual players who made up the group. For those who might be too young to remember this album and group let me bring you up to speed a little; Asia was essentially a super group when such a term was not as commonly used and that included members that were true legends from their genres. In Asia we found John Wetton (King Crimson), Steve Howe (Yes), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Geoff Downes (The Buggles) all working together to create a masterpiece of Melodic Progressive Rock. Their efforts were a resounding success and yes it was geared more for a wider audience than some of the more stoic Progressive Rock fans would have liked but in the end it worked out like gangbusters with Asia achieving a #1 position on the Billboard album charts and offering up six charting singles. Not bad for an album that only had nine songs to begin with. Sadly this super-combination of Rockers would not remain together in this incarnation past the second album and this release “Alpha” was not too well-received as it delved deeper into the commercial aspect of the first one. Fast forwarding twenty five years into the future we find the original and founding members of the lineup reunited for a world tour to celebrate the anniversary of their initial formation and this breakthrough album. The Blu-ray DVD film “Fantasia – Live In Tokyo” of course finds the band performing in Japan in front of a sold out crowd as they celebrated one of the many evenings on this very well-received reunion. Since I was unable to attend any of the shows that came around my area I was very pleased to see this released for the home viewing audience and thanks to Eagle Vision Entertainment who have once again brought the event right into our homes. Given this was done for the anniversary of the album “Asia” itself, the set list for the concert features the performance of the entire album but instead of doing it straight through as some bands who would be doing such a presentation would likely do, Asia mixes it up across the course of the evening. The hits from the debut release and interlaced with songs from the individual members original bands and even some music from the bands follow up release.
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“Fantasia Live In Tokyo” [DVD] by Asia

Artist: Asia
Title: “Fantasia Live In Tokyo”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 10/2/2007
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

Even though the history books will note this as fact I still refuse to believe that it has been twenty five years since I first purchased my original vinyl copy of the debut by Asia – the blockbuster album that was simply entitled “Asia”. Twenty five years old and this album when played today still sounds as fresh and exciting as it used to and reminds me of the Progressive Rock promise that it held for all the fans of the individual players who made up the group. For those who might be too young to remember this album and group let me bring you up to speed a little; Asia was essentially a super group when such a term was not as commonly used and that included members that were true legends from their genres. In Asia we found John Wetton (King Crimson), Steve Howe (Yes), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Geoff Downes (The Buggles) all working together to create a masterpiece of Melodic Progressive Rock. Their efforts were a resounding success and yes it was geared more for a wider audience than some of the more stoic Progressive Rock fans would have liked but in the end it worked out like gangbusters with Asia achieving a #1 position on the Billboard album charts and offering up six charting singles. Not bad for an album that only had nine songs to begin with.
Continue reading “Fantasia Live In Tokyo” [DVD] by Asia

“Fantasia – Live In Tokyo” by Asia

Artist: Asia
Title: “Fantasia – Live In Tokyo”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 6/26/2007
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

Twenty five years ago four Progressive Rock luminaries released an album that was nothing less than incredible. The bands name was Asia and their debut recording would use the same name and as soon as you heard it you realized that it didn’t need any sort of fancy title whatsoever based on what was in its grooves. “Heat Of The Moment” was the recordings signature track and it would find more airplay than any of the other songs these musicians had ever recorded before and the album as a whole was loaded with Arena Rock classics that all still stand strong in today’s music environment. Classy in it’s day, and classic now without a doubt. The core personnel of John Wetton, Geoffrey Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer proved that the musicianship involved was nothing short of exemplary and what would you expect from former members of Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and The Buggles. The bands original lineup would not pass their second recording “Alpha” but the name would still continue on with a rotating cast of musicians for decades. Fast forward to 2006 where the original lineup decided to once again perform together and celebrate the amazing music that they created while members of Asia. This CD brings the listener to one of the reunion shows that were held in Japan and as far as concert recordings go you will find that this is a very good one. It’s clean in sound and has a pretty tight production and as far as the band interaction during the show it seems as though no real time has passed when in fact it has been some twenty years if not more.
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