Friday, October 19, 2018

"Go" by Asia

Song#:  2562
Date:  12/07/1985
Debut:  86
Peak:  46
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  This supergroup's 1982 self-titled debut was a quad-platinum seller that became a staple of early 80s rock radio. Their second LP, Alpha, didn't perform as well only going platinum, but with five of the LP's tracks hitting the Rock chart, it showed they still had solid support and a third album was called for. However, the band was having some internal issues and lead vocalist/main co-writer John Wetton was let go from the band (or he left, depending on which story you believe). The remaining trio brought in Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) to take Wetton's place, but after a short stint, Lake left. The band then somehow convinced Wetton to return. When he did, Steve Howe was then gone and replace by Mandy Meyer, formerly of Krokus. With personnel changes finally done, the band proceeded to record their next album, Astra. This track was issued out as the first single and it was a hit at Rock getting to #7. The song's associated video was also successful on MTV, but somehow it all didn't translate into a successful crossover to Pop. The single stalled before it could even get into the Top 40. With little to support it, the album halted at a low #67 and couldn't get near gold-level sales. After the failure, the members decided to split, but it wasn't long before various versions of the band would make comeback attempts.

ReduxReview:  Asia's first album hit at the exact right time. Arena rock from the likes of Journey and Foreigner were riding the charts and Asia fit right in with their hooky prog-rock. Yet a mere three years later the musical landscape had changed enough that Asia was going to have a more difficult time selling a rock track at Pop. They needed something very hooky and memorable if they were going to make it. Unfortunately, this track wasn't it. The song is not all that bad. It sounds like it was written to be in a film like Rocky IV and it might have fit well on that soundtrack. However, the production is really dense and they seem to have a heavier sound than before. I just don't think it played well at Pop and it just didn't reel listeners in as well as their first hits. They could have used something a bit more pop-leaning instead of this louder rock track. I bought Asia's first two albums, but I didn't get Astra because this song didn't catch my ear. Apparently I wasn't the only one.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The band had tentatively titled their third LP Arcadia. During the recording process, they found out that Simon Le Bon's Duran Duran off-shoot band had decided to name themselves Arcadia. Not wanting any confusion between the band and their album, Asia then decided to change the title to Astra. This continued their habit of naming their albums with one word that began with the letter "A." They would end up doing four more over the years: Aqua, Aria, Arena, and Aura. They would end the tradition after 2001's Aura.


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