Live in Moscow (1990)

1. Time Again 2. Sole Survivor 3. Don't Cry 4. Geoff Downes Keyboard Solo 5. Only Time Will Tell 6. Rock and Roll Dream 7. Starless 8. Book of Saturday 9. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes Parts I and II 10.The Heat Goes On 11.Go 12.Heat of the Moment 13.Open Your Eyes 14.Kari-Anne


I really didn't think anyone was still listening to Asia by 1990, but I guess some people were - at least in Russia. From what I gather about Russia before communism fell is that any rock and roll band that toured the continent would be treated as royalty, as such indulgences were mighty rare. Pat Thrall joins the band on guitar replacing Mandy Meyer, who replaced Steve Howe. Howe was really the only "true" guitarist for Asia, so that already leaves this album with at least one strike against it.

The musicianship on this record is pretty decent, although somewhat doctored. I'm not a musician, so when people complain that a live album has too many overdubs and isn't authentic enough, my ears usually can't tell the difference. What I do notice about this record is that one area that sounds obviously canned is the crowd noise itself. Someone did an incredibly awful job mixing the crowd noise with the actual music here, and the end result makes one wonder if there was actually a real audience at all. Particularly annoying is the crowd noise during the soft music interlude in Open Your Eyes, which was the set encore. Sorry, but audiences don't react that way during a song. Yes, it's that bad.

Other than that, you get what you might expect here. A few solo pieces, some John Wetton solo material (they only had three albums, remember) and a new studio cut at the end called Kari-Anne. At least I think it's a studio cut. The distinction on this record is so poor, that I'm not even 100% sure. Yes, it's that bad.

Even with all the bad stuff here, it's still an o.k. record if you're an Asia fan. Nothing earth shattering, and one always questions a live recording when there's really not much material to choose from, but they mostly do what is expected. And the audience seems to really like it - whether it's a real audience or not.

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