Alpha is the second studio album by Britishrock 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, Alpha 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.
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".
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.