ASIA - ALPHA with STEVE HOWE - 1983 USA Release 12" Vinyl LP Album

Asia's second album is....well...SIMPLY IRRESISTABLE! The rock is quite a bit lighter than in their first album, but it's still great. I'm usually a pretty subdued guy, but I have to say that the sappy side of me comes out when I listen to this album. The smash hits would be the two opening tracks: 'Don't Cry' and 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes'. But don't stop there. This is great stuff all the way through.


High Resolution Photo ASIA - Alpha

Album Description:

Asia, the supergroup formed in 1981, released their second studio album, "Alpha", in the United States in 1983. Featuring renowned guitarist Steve Howe, the album showcased the band's signature progressive rock sound and cemented their status as one of the most influential acts of the era. With a tracklisting that includes memorable songs like "Don't Cry", "The Smile has Left Your Eyes", and "Open Your Eyes", "Alpha" remains a testament to Asia's musical prowess and artistic vision.

Asia was considered a supergroup due to the accomplished musicians who comprised the band. The members of Asia had established themselves as prominent figures in the rock music scene prior to forming the band. Let's take a closer look at the backgrounds of the members:

John Wetton (vocals, bass): John Wetton had previously been a member of King Crimson, a highly influential progressive rock band. He had also worked with bands such as Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, and U.K., showcasing his versatility as a musician.

Steve Howe (guitar): Steve Howe gained recognition as the guitarist for the progressive rock band Yes, known for their intricate compositions and virtuosic playing. Howe's distinctive guitar style and technical prowess made him a revered figure in the rock community.

Carl Palmer (drums): Carl Palmer had established himself as a powerhouse drummer through his work with Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), another influential progressive rock band. Palmer's dynamic drumming and innovative techniques contributed to his reputation as one of rock's premier drummers.

Geoff Downes (keyboards): Geoff Downes had previously been a member of the progressive rock band Yes, playing keyboards on their album "Drama". He also co-founded The Buggles, known for their hit single "Video Killed the Radio Star".

With each member bringing their wealth of experience and musicality to the table, Asia's formation was highly anticipated and generated significant buzz. Their collective pedigree and success in their respective previous projects made Asia a supergroup, as they represented a merging of talent from well-established bands.

The term "supergroup" is typically used to describe a band whose members are already well-known and respected in the music industry, either as successful solo artists or as members of other influential bands. Asia's status as a supergroup brought high expectations from both fans and critics alike, and their music lived up to the hype, solidifying their reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock music.

Side One of the album begins with the captivating track "Don't Cry". It sets the tone for the rest of the album with its dynamic melodies and powerful vocals. The song captures Asia's ability to blend melodic rock with elements of progressive music, creating a unique sonic landscape. Following "Don't Cry" is "The Smile has Left Your Eyes", a poignant ballad that showcases the band's softer side. With heartfelt lyrics and evocative instrumentation, this track resonates with listeners on an emotional level.

"Never in a Million Years" is another standout track on Side One, featuring Asia's trademark harmonies and intricate guitar work by Steve Howe. It demonstrates the band's ability to create complex arrangements while maintaining a sense of accessibility. "My Own Time" follows, offering a more upbeat and energetic tempo, showcasing Asia's versatility in crafting diverse songs. The side concludes with "The Heat Goes On", a catchy and anthemic track that showcases the band's ability to create memorable hooks and captivating choruses.

Side Two of the album begins with "Eye to Eye", a high-energy track that perfectly blends progressive rock with a catchy pop sensibility. The band's instrumental prowess shines through, with Howe's guitar solos adding a layer of complexity to the song. "The Last to Know" follows, presenting a softer and introspective tone. It showcases Asia's ability to explore different moods and emotions within their music.

"True Colors" takes the listener on a sonic journey with its lush arrangements and captivating melodies. The track features strong vocal harmonies and showcases Asia's ability to create a grandiose atmosphere. "Midnight Sun" continues the album's exploration of atmospheric sounds, immersing the listener in a mesmerizing musical landscape.

The album concludes with "Open Your Eyes", a powerful and anthemic track that encapsulates Asia's musical style and message. With its soaring chorus and uplifting lyrics, the song serves as a fitting finale for "Alpha", leaving the listener with a sense of optimism and inspiration.

Music Genre:

  Prog Rock 

Album Production Information:

The album: "Alpha W/Steve Howe" was produced by: Mike Stone

Mike Stone (Full-name: Michael Richard Seth Stone, 1951-2002) an American record producer and engineer who has worked with a wide range of rock and metal bands. He was born on 21 December 1951, in New York City.

Stone began his career as an engineer at Record Plant Studios in New York, where he worked on albums by artists such as KISS, Blue Öyster Cult, and Aerosmith. He later moved to Los Angeles and worked at Cherokee Studios, where he became known for his work with bands such as Queen, Van Halen, and Journey. He has produced all of Demon's records since 1981, many of Discharge's albums as well as producing several other bands.


Stone is perhaps best known for his work with Queen on their albums "News of the World" and "The Game," which included hits such as "We Will Rock You," "We Are the Champions," and "Another One Bites the Dust." He also worked with Journey on their album "Escape," which included the hit singles "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Open Arms."

In addition to his work as a producer and engineer, Stone has also served as a mixer, remixer, and mastering engineer on numerous albums. He has received several Grammy nominations for his work and has been recognized for his contributions to the field of audio engineering.


Record Label Information:

  GEFFEN GHS 4008  

Media Format:

  12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

  1983 Made in USA
Band Members and Musicians on: Alpha W/Steve Howe
  • Geoff Downes - keyboards
  • Steve Howe - guitars
  • Carl Palmer - drums
  • John Wetton - vocals and bass
Track Listing of: "Alpha W/Steve Howe"

The Songs/tracks on "Alpha W/Steve Howe" are

    Side One:
  1. Don't Cry
  2. The Smile has Left Your Eyes
  3. Never in a Million Years
  4. My Own Time
  5. The Heat Goes On
    Side Two:
  1. Eye to eye
  2. The last to know
  3. True colors
  4. Midnight Sun
  5. Open Your Eyes
Album cover photos of : Alpha W/Steve Howe

High Resolution Photo ASIA - Alpha


High Resolution Photo ASIA - Alpha


High Resolution Photo ASIA - Alpha


High Resolution Photo ASIA - Alpha  

Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.

Index of ASIA band Vinyl Album Discography and Album Cover Gallery

ASIA - Alpha With Steve Howe
Thumbnail Of  ASIA - Alpha With Steve Howe album front cover

GEFFEN GHS 4008   , 1983 , USA

Asia's second studio album "Alpha" was released in 1983 and featured a more pop-oriented sound compared to their debut album. The album included hit singles such as "Don't Cry" and "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and featured production by Mike Stone.

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ASIA - Asia ( self-titled )
Thumbnail Of  ASIA - Asia ( self-titled ) album front cover

Geffen 902 008  , 1982 , Germany

Released in 1982, Asia's self-titled debut album quickly became a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The album featured the hit singles "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell" and was produced by Mike Stone.


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ASIA - Astra Promo
Thumbnail Of  ASIA - Astra Promo album front cover

Geffen GEF 26413 , 1985 , The Netherlands

ASTRA is an album that showcases Asia's versatility as a band, with a mix of hard rockers and ballads that showcase their ability to craft catchy melodies and emotionally resonant lyrics. While the album received mixed reviews upon its release, it remains a notable entry in Asia's discography and has influenced many bands in the years since.

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ASIA - Only Time Will Tell
Thumbnail Of  ASIA - Only Time Will Tell album front cover

This 7" vinyl single "Only Time Will Tell" by the British rock band Asia was released in 1982. It was the first single from their self-titled debut album, which was a massive commercial success, selling over 10 million copies worldwide.

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