Exposé Online banner

Asia Featuring John Payne — Scandinavia (AKA Extended Versions)
(Devgel DEVGEL1CD, 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

Scandinavia (AKA Extended Versions) Cover art

Among the finite number of prog fans who are Asia fans there is a subset that enjoys the lineup with singer/bassist John Payne (i.e., the non-original Asia that’s been on tour recently). This disc captures that group, which also includes original member Geoff Downes on keyboards, drummer Jay Schellen and guitar player Guthrie Govan, during their European tour supporting Silent Nation. The odd thing about the disk is that seven of the ten songs are from the first album which tells me that Payne, who is managing this release now that Downes has thrown his lot in with Howe, Wetton and Palmer, knows that crowds came to see the older material. No doubt he’d rather feature more songs from his tenure with Asia, but as the man said, give the people what they want. As for the songs, there’s no need to detail the relative merits of “Wildest Dreams,” “Sole Survivor,” and “Heat of the Moment.” You either like this stuff or you don’t. Of the newer songs all I can say is that, while Payne’s vocals are more naturally suited to them, there’s a reason people prefer the older songs. Govan’s guitar work – like Howe on the old Asia songs – is the best thing about the album, though his playing is limited by the rote rock/metal styling he conforms to that never touches Steve Howe’s gift for the unexpected and eclectic, despite his best efforts on songs like “Cutting It Fine.” Recommended for a select few.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Asia, Geoff Downes

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Osanna - Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona (Milano Calibro 9) – This album represents the intersection of a number of trends going on in Italy at the time it was made. One was for rock bands to adopt Classical forms, sometimes even involving actual orchestras (New...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues