Alpha (Asia album)

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Alpha
Studio album by Asia
Released 26 July 1983
Recorded February–May 1983 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec and Manta Sound in Toronto
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 42:16
Label Geffen
Producer Mike Stone
Asia chronology
Asia
(1982)
Alpha
(1983)
Astra
(1985)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Alpha is the second studio album by British rock band Asia, released in 1983. It was certified Platinum in the United States, eventually selling close to two million copies.

Released one year before the departure of guitarist Steve Howe, it was the last album with the band's original line-up until 2008's Phoenix, after the original members reunited in 2006, and the last album with Howe until Aqua in 1992.

Writing and recording[edit]

Alpha is dominated by the songwriting tandem of John Wetton and Geoff Downes. All the tracks on the album are written by Wetton/Downes, except for "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes", by Wetton only. Steve Howe, guitarist and a key songwriting contributor on the debut album, was left out due to reasons not entirely clear. His only songwriting credit was for "Lyin' to Yourself" (Wetton/Howe), the B-side of the single "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes".

Alpha was recorded during the spring of 1983 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec and Manta Sound in Toronto.

Reception[edit]

Alpha focused more on mainstream Pop/Rock sounds, and is less characterized by progressive rock elements than its predecessor. The album reached #6 on the Billboard album chart[2] and Top Five in the UK Albums Chart.[3] It was certified Platinum in the United States by the RIAA on 11 October 1983[4] and Silver in Britain by the BPI on 5 September 1983.[5] The lead single, "Don't Cry", was another Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and returned the band to #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.[2]

Although Alpha achieved commercial success, it did not meet music industry expectations after the band's enormously successful debut album. Tom Demalon of Allmusic compared these two albums and concluded that "where Asia managed to make old sounds fresh, Alpha fails miserably. Nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band's debut".

The album's more moderate reception from the public (in comparison to the reaction to the band's debut) was cited as one factor, of many, why it was thought a change was afoot – lead singer/bassist John Wetton leaving the band, in the fall of 1983.[1]

Cover artwork[edit]

The cover artwork was created by Roger Dean, known for his work with Yes (which guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard player Geoff Downes had previously been members of) and Uriah Heep.

Track listing[edit]

All songs are written by Wetton/Downes except "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" by Wetton.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Don't Cry"   3:41
2. "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes"   3:13
3. "Never in a Million Years"   3:46
4. "My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want)"   4:49
5. "The Heat Goes On"   5:00
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Eye to Eye"   3:14
7. "The Last to Know"   4:40
8. "True Colors"   3:53
9. "Midnight Sun"   3:48
10. "Open Your Eyes"   6:26
Total length:
42:16

B-sides[edit]

  • "Daylight" (Wetton/Downes) – 3:32
  • "Lyin' to Yourself" (Wetton/Howe) – 3:54

"Daylight" was also included on the cassette tape version of the album as a bonus track.[6]

Credits[edit]

Asia[edit]

Production[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date
US 26 July 1983[7]
UK 12 August 1983[5]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1983 Billboard 200[2] 6
UK Albums Chart[3] 5

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Don't Cry" Billboard Hot 100[2] 10
"The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" 34
"Don't Cry" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[2] 1
"The Heat Goes On" 5
"The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" 25
"True Colors" 20
"Don't Cry" UK Singles Chart[3] 33

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Sales
US RIAA Platinum[4]
UK BPI Silver[5]

References[edit]