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Asia

Classic Rock Legends DVD

Review by Greg Olma

Asia has had many line-ups throughout their long career as part of having more than two-dozen musicians pass through their ranks.  The one constant throughout has always been the great, catchy, melodic and slightly proggy songs.  This particular concert was promoting their most recent effort Then & Now, which was a sort of greatest hits release along with a couple of new tracks.  A new line-up was presented for this tour with Pat Thrall taking over for Steve Howe.  He joined the other three original members and brought a decided harder rock edge to the tunes.  I always like his playing in the Pat Travers Band, and the Hughes-Thrall record is a monster.  Although this collaboration worked well live, sadly, they never made it into the studio to record new material, so we will just have to enjoy the material offered here.

As mentioned, this concert was recorded in the 1990-1991 timeframe based on Thrall’s involvement.  Unfortunately, there is no mention of the date, but after doing a little bit of research (which I should not have to!), the concert was presumably recorded in Nottingham, England on June 23, 1990.  The visuals are very good, and the performance was recorded using the best technology of the time.  The lighting and stage presentation are stripped down a little from their glory days of the first record, but the material is what matters and here they have no shortage of great tracks to showcase.  Aside from the two new tracks on Then & Now that make an appearance here, the set really focuses on the first two records.  Naturally, that is where most of the popular hits reside, and it should be no surprise that those are the ones that get the best reaction from the crowd. 

Bonus material is a bit light with only two added videos to round off this release and my only other complaint is with quality control.  Aside for the lack of information as to when the main concert was recorded, the good folks at Classic Rock Legends Ltd keep misspelling the song “"Prayin' 4 A Miracle" as “Praying For A Miracle."  My other complaint is if this was, in fact, the Nottingham concert I researched, then they left off two songs that were performed that night.  All of that being said, I whole heartedly recommend this DVD to any Asia fan.  I thought Pat Thrall was a great fit, but for whatever reason, this live document is the only release featuring that line-up.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

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