Alpha (Asia album)
|Studio album by Asia|
|Released||26 July 1983|
|Recorded||February – May 1983|
|Studio||Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec and Manta Sound in Toronto|
|Genre||Progressive rock, pop rock|
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.
Writing and recording
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 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 and Top Five in the UK Albums Chart. It was certified Platinum in the United States by the RIAA on 11 October 1983 and Silver in Britain by the BPI on 5 September 1983. 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.
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.
|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|
|6.||"Eye to Eye"||3:14|
|7.||"The Last to Know"||4:40|
|10.||"Open Your Eyes"||6:26|
- "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.
|US||26 July 1983|
|UK||12 August 1983|
- Demalon, Tom. "Alpha review". Allmusic.
- "Alpha chart position in the US". Billboard.
- "Asia chart positions in the UK". The Official Charts Company.
- "RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program searchable database". RIAA.
- "BPI's certified awards search". BPI.
- "Asia (2) – Alpha (Cassette, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.
- "The Official Carl Palmer Global Web Site -> Discography".