CD Release (Wild Places - 1995)

includes ASIA (ASI - 1978) and Armed to the Teeth (ASI - 1980)

MP3 sound sample: "Thunder Rider"
MP3 sound sample:
MP3 sound sample: "The Bard"

Order the ASIA CD online here


from GLORY-DAZE e-magazine:

This is a wonderful, lengthy review of both ASIA and Armed to the Teeth, published online in July 2003. Here's an excerpt:

"We're not talking about the English version of this well-known band name. No, this version hails all the way from the unlikely breeding ground of Rapid City South Dakota. The origins of Asia (American version) can be traced back to the group Whitewing who disbanded in 1976. From these proverbial ashes, Asia rose.

By all accounts Whitewing had been the victims of a disastrous marketing ploy by record company ASI who tried to promote them as the next Moody Blues. The heavier reality came somewhat as a shock to the many booking agents and club owners at the time. This being the 1970's my theory is that the record company executives were under the influence of substances somewhat stronger than the odd joint. This can surely be the only rational explanation for such an interesting (for interesting read idiotic) decision!

Asia were formed, to quote band leader and creative driving force Mike Coates, "with the express intent of capitalizing on the successes of Whitewing and learning from their failures."

It's difficult for me to define the band's sound as they don't sound derivative of anyone in particular and I find myself grappling with the many superlatives that spring to mind. A crude analogy I guess would be progressive hard rock with symphonic tendencies. Indeed many of the songs on both albums are lengthy workouts characterised by fantastic lead and harmony vocals from singers Michael English and Larry Galbraith and a virtuoso performance on guitar from Mike Coates. To cap it all, the lyrics are both thought provoking and soul searching at the same time."

Read the review in its entirety here...

Read the review on its original website here...


From STRUTTER'ZINE (Netherlands)

Rating: 8.5 of10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem), November 2002

No, this is not the UK band ASIA that scored massive with wonderful songs like "Heat of the Moment," "Don't Cry" and "Sole Survivor." This ASIA comes from America and was active even years before the British ASIA. They played a mixture of AOR, Progressive Rock and Pomprock, like a mix between RUSH and LE ROUX. In the late 1970s they released 2 records that have now been re-issued onto 1 CD. The CD contains 12 tracks and comes with an extensive story written by guitarist/ keyboardplayer Mike Coates.

Opener "Thunder Rider" is probably the best track on the CD, because this is prime time late 1970s AOR/Pomprock like ROADMASTER, LE ROUX The song has a super strong melodic chorus and in general, a great high class sound that could (and still can) easily compete with the big bands in this genre. Also next track "Xanadu" is a great Progressive AOR/Pomprocker. Not all songs were convincing unfortunately, because a song like "Kamikaze" was a weak rocker. However, mostly this ASIA was a great band with many outstanding songs, such as "Paladin" (great very melodic semi-AOR/Pomp ballad/rocker), "Love may be gone" (another great Prog/Pomprocker) and "The taming of the bull" (lovely epic HUGE Progressive melodic rocker, 9 minutes playing length). ASIA had a sound of it's own, but if you like old RUSH and perhaps HUSH (the UK band with Robert Berry), then you will love this, although also fans of classy 70s Pomprock will love this CD I think. Find the original review here.



"Melody, especially in hard rock, has always been important to me. The reason is memorability. Think of the best: Riot, Thin Lizzy, Winterhawk, Full Moon, the melodies are so searingly deep and catchy that your brain is branded with them. In fact, I read an interview with Riot's Mark Reale wherein he said, 'I can't listen to anything without melody.' Then listen to these 2 records by ASIA (and NOT the crappy pseudo prog group with John 'I ruin every band I join' Wetton). This pair of beauties, which I just heard recently thanks to their CD re-issue by Michael Piper, are the absolute kings of this theory. I hate always using comparisons, but ASIA reminds me of a cross between Full Moon, Ashbury and Winterhawk! OK, how about a mixture of UFO and old Kansas! In fact, the self-titled record is damn good, essential, I must say, but "Armed to the Teeth" is nearly on the Winterhawk level. This is beautiful progressive hard rock that is world class in everything except the level of acclaim it got. The vocals of Michael English and Larry Galbraith are devastating and the guitar work of Mike Coates is beyond comprehension. Listen to 'Thunder Rider' or 'Genghis Khan,' Jesus, how do you top this?! Some people will say, 'Well, it's not that heavy.' Well, go listen to freaking 'Jugulator' then and leave me alone. The original LPs are hopeless big $ [NOTE -- I don't know what "big $" the reviewer is referring to but a limited number are available from me directly for those of you who are into vinyl...Mike Coates] so order both albums on one CD (the info in the booklet rules too!) from The Wild Places -- Michael Piper.

-- "Chad's World" Independent Zine; Fall 1998


And especially for you international readers (translation not available):


"Om elk misverstand ult de weg te ruimen heeft de platenfirma op de hoes een stickertje laten aanbrangen met de waarschuwing dat dit niet hef Asia is van John Wetton en co. Hef gaat hem immers om een voorloper van dat succesvolie groepje dat in 1979 debuteerde met de eipee "Asia" om in 1980 hel tweede "Armed To The Teeth" af te leveren. Beide iepees staan nu op één CD met nog steeds die invloeden van minder gekande goden als Captain Beyond, Flash, Babe Ruth, Be Bop Deluxe en Wishbone Ash. Ontstaan ult de as van de groep Whitewing is de muziek van Asia opgebouwd rond het duellerende gitaarduo Larry Galbraith en Mike Coates die een aangename letwat gedateerde sound laten horen, geborduurd op een dik tapilt van mellotron. Het teitt dat Asia frontman Mike Coates colt nog over klassieke componisten had gestudeerd zal wat niet vreemd zinj san dat gegeven. In "Xanadu" zit zo een stukje ult Bach's "Toccata in D Mineur" verwerkt. "Paladin" werd het singeltje ult de eipee, een nummer dat niet de verhoopte airplay als resultaat gaf maar waar Michael English wel als het kleine broertje van Scorpions' Klaus Meine kon voor doorgaan! Het sprookje voor Asia was voorbij toen in de pers de komst van de Britee supergroep Asia werd aangekondigd. De groep probeerde te bewijzen dat zij als eerste met die naam uitpakten doch het zakeiljk instinct van Brian Lane (manager Yes, Asia, JB) zeite hen op een zijspoor. Hij belooide hen een deal bij een grote platenfirma, verteide hen dat hij hun beide elpees ongeloofiljk knap vond, dat hij van ze supersterren zou maken...indien ze maar naar een andere naam zouden uitzien. Zeifs Carl Palmer zou hun manager worden! Uitelndeiljk zette het Amerikaanse Asia (?) er één punt achter, twee eipees met pulke progressieve rock 'n' roll achterlatend. Zonder twijfele een van de meest schitterende AOR-juweien op de Amerikaanse kroon!

80/100: John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg
Rock Report 37 - Album Reviews; January 1996


Order the ASIA CD online here.

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