Asia (band)

English rock band / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Asia are an English rock supergroup formed in London in 1981. The most commercially successful line-up was its original, which consisted of four members of different progressive rock bands who had enjoyed great success in the 1970s: lead vocalist and bassist John Wetton (King Crimson and U.K.), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes and the Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Their debut album, Asia, released in 1982, remains their bestselling album and went to number one in several countries. Billboard listed it as the top album in the U.S. in 1982. The lead single from the album, "Heat of the Moment", remains their top charting and best-known song, reaching the top 40 in over a dozen markets. It peaked at #4 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Quick facts: Asia, Background information, Origin, Genres,...
Original lineup in 1982(clockwise from bottom left): John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe
Original lineup in 1982
(clockwise from bottom left): John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active
  • 1981–1986
  • 1989–present
Spinoff of
Past members

The band underwent multiple line-up changes before the original four members reunited in 2006. As a result, a band called Asia Featuring John Payne exists as a continuation of John Payne's career as Asia's frontman from 1991 until Wetton's return in 2006.[2] In 2013, the original line-up was broken once again when Howe retired from the band and was replaced by guitarist Sam Coulson.[3] After a few years of inactivity, Billy Sherwood (of Yes, World Trade and Circa:) replaced an ailing Wetton (who died shortly thereafter) in Asia for a summer 2017 tour with Journey.[4][5] Following the end of the tour, the band went on hiatus again, re-emerging in 2019 with Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal replacing both Sherwood on vocals and Coulson on guitar.[6] In 2022, Marc Bonilla joined the group as guitarist and vocalist in place of Thal.[7]