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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Asia

Don’t Cry – 12-inch Single (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

For years Music Street Journal avoided covering items that were out of print. Well, with the way the Internet has changed things, allowing people to buy used copies of out of print items at decent prices, that seems a senseless requirement. So, I’ve decided to start catching up on reviewing a few of the more unusual vinyl items I’ve gotten over the years. This twelve-inch single is one of those. I don’t know if I’d necessarily call the title track progressive rock (it and the final number come from the Alpha album), it has elements of prog. Additionally the other two songs land a lot closer. Besides, with the lineup of prog musicians here (Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton), the classification works. However you slice it, though, this is pretty cool stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side A
Don't Cry
Geoff Downes’ keyboards start this in bright tones. Steve Howe’s guitar dances across on the introduction. It drops down after a time to the song proper. It’s very much an AOR oriented pop rock tune in that section. The chorus hook is very catchy. This is classic Asia.
Side B
Daylight
This track wasn’t on the Alpha album, making it a rarity. It, too, starts with keyboards. They are in an organ voicing and the cut works out there in a dramatic fashion. This is much more of a progressive rock tune. There are hints of both the Beatles and the Buggles, though. It’s got a driving, bouncy rhythm section and is quite a strong tune. There are some great melodic moments. I really like this one a lot.
True Colors
In keeping with the tradition, keyboards also start this one. It’s quite a dramatic, more ballad-like song. It is a power ballad, though, getting more oomph on the chorus. Both Steve Howe and Geoff Downes get the opportunity to shine here. It’s another cut that’s quite strong. It’s also very much trademark early Asia. There are some moments that are quite Yes-like and this is definitely a progressive rock piece, too. Sure, it’s on the pop end of that spectrum, but there’s nothing wrong with that in my book.
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