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Supergroup #22 or Asia came about when Carl Palmer (formerly of ELP), Steve Howe (of Yes fame), John Wetton (King Crimson alum) and Geoff Downes joined forces. By the early '80s, the supergroup concept was a bit shopworn but these Art-Rockers managed four memorable songs. Two are on their "Asia" debut ("Only Time Will Tell" and "Heat of the Moment") and two are on the follow-up "Alpha" ("Don't Cry" and "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes").

The original line-up didn't hang together all that long. Another ELP vet Greg Lake replaced Wetton but it wasn't two years before Lake was gone and Wetton was back. Steve Howe took off next only to return briefly in the '90s. After awhile, these changes hardly mattered.

Asia Discography

Asia Albums:

1982 Asia
1983 Alpha
1985 Astra
1990 Asia: Then & Now
1992 Aqua
1994 Aria
1996 Arena
1996 Archiva Vol. 1
1996 Archiva Vol. 2
1999 Rare
2001 Aura
2004 Silent Nation
2008 Phoenix
2010 Omega

Asia's self-titled debut is their best. Not only does it contain their two best songs it's also the strongest musically. "Asia: Then and Now" is a greatest hits package plus new (easily forgettable) material. Clever packaging since the group didn't have enough tunes for a legit greatest hits CD. However, four of the first five songs are all that really matter.

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