The band have sold well over ten million albums in a career spanning 20 years, but although the core of their support still comes from those who bought 1982's eponymous multi-Platinum debut, they continue to come up with fresh, interesting and exciting ideas. One listen to 'Aura' - the fourth proper studio album to throw keyboard wizard Geoff Downes together with vocalist / bassist John Payne - is all it takes to understand why ASIA still exist, and why their fans continue to celebrate the fact. Nobody else makes such intricate yet accessible music, which has been the band's blueprint since their inception.
"The musical concept of ASIA has always been to play music that is panoramic, symphonic and Rock at the same time," explains Geoff Downes. "But it's good for the group to try different directions, not just made carbon copies of the previous record, and I'm confident that the fans will like what we've done."
For the uninitiated, ASIA formed in 1981 amid a fanfare of audience expectation and outright press vitriol. A union of former Yes men Steve Howe (guitar) and Geoff Downes (keyboards), ex-King Crimson / Uriah Heep / UK frontman John Wetton and Emerson, Lake & Palmer sticksman Carl Palmer was the last thing the trend-conscious media could stomach.
However, the 'ASIA' debut topped the US charts for ten weeks, selling five million copies in the process and spawning such massive hits as 'Heat Of The Moment', 'Sole Survivor' and 'Only Time Will Tell'. Meanwhile 1983's successor, 'Alpha', also gave the world the Top Ten Hit 'Don't Cry', selling two million along the way.