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4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B000000OXH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Don't Cry
2. Smile Has Left Your Eyes
3. Never in a Million Years
4. My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want)
5. Heat Goes On
6. Eye to Eye
7. Last to Know
8. True Colors
9. Midnight Sun
10. Open Your Eyes

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was actually introduced to this record live. They stared their tour for this album in Canada. I don't know if the show I saw at Canada's Wonderland (just outside Toronto) was the first show of the tour or not. Anyway the album was not out until a week or so after the show. I remember how good Asia sounds live and the songs were very much in the same style as that amazing debut sorry writer of 40 Year Old Virgin I would love to have that framed Asia poster on my wall) but it didn't grab you right away. I picked up the vinyl when it was released and the first thing I noticed was Steve Howe did not get a single writing credit. He was the original reason I bought the first record because I was a big yes fan. I remember listening to it, staring at the amazing Roger Dean painting on the front for hours and the record did grow on me. 25 years later I bought the album on CD and it didn't hold up for me. It's not the horrible record some people make it out to be. If this was their first release I think it still would have been a hit but to me it almost feels like a b- sides record. If you loved the first record you will probably like this. I think by this point the infighting started and the record suffered for it. I guess the Smile Had Left Their Eyes (I know, that's a really bad pun).
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By A Customer on April 12 2004
Format: Audio CD
Alpha was the first cassette I ever bought with my own money (and, later, the first CD). It must have spoiled me, because some 20 years and roughly 300 CDs later, I still have never heard its equal, top-to-bottom. (In fact, only Asia's first album and Midnight Oil's Blue Sky Mining even come close).
One of the raps on early Asia was that they sounded too commercial, too much like other early/mid 80's bands. I've always found this incredible; I've never heard any other band that sounded like Asia. They bridge the gap from progressive to pop in a unique way, with rich instrumentation and accessible lyrics, intricate vocal harmonies and amazing, soaring music. This album, in particular, seems to perfectly balance the keyboard sorcery of Geoff Downes and the penetrating riffs from Steve Howe. Howe morphs from subtle, complex supporting lines to jaw-dropping "how can a guitar do that?" scalar ballet. Combined with John Wetton's clear vocals and Carl Palmer's precise drumming, the resulting combination produces panoramic-sounding songs that reach near perfection, to this listener's ears.
No weak songs here. I always felt like "Eye to Eye" was my least favorite, but the older I get, the more I appreciate it. Every song has something different to offer: "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" is Wetton's vocal tour de force; "The Heat Goes On" showcases Palmer's versatile work with the sticks; "Midnight Sun" features incredible fingerwork from Howe (and a symphonic overlay); "Don't Cry", in addition to being the most pop-sounding track, is rich with Downes' layered keyboards; and "Open Your Eyes" brings it all together for a finale that leaves you gasping for more.
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Format: Audio CD
While the debut album was brilliant, it had a real clunker of a song (One Step Closer) which sounded like Steve Howe (a great guitarist, but at best a background singer) tried to sing it, but was overdubbed by John Wetton. ALPHA is more consistent. Every song is a keeper. The best tracks are: Midnight Sun, My Own Time, The Heat Goes On and best of all, Open Your Eyes - an art-rock tear-jerker that would make Justin Hayward proud!
While the opening track (Don't Cry) is an upbeat pop-song the album becomes angrier and sadder with each song except for Midnight Sun.
What's even sadder is the fact that just a few months after ALPHA was released, singer/ bassist John Wetton was fired from the group by manager Brian Lane. Apparently, guitarist Steve Howe (like Lane, a YES-man) resented the fact that while Asia was at first considered Howe's band, it was John Wetton who was the star of the show: Wetton, not Howe was invited to host on MTV, radio interviews, etc. Even when Wetton returned in 1984 (and repaid Howe by sacking him), the magic was gone. A textbook example of "Jumping the shark".
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Format: Audio CD
Alpha is my favorite album from one of my favorite bands. It will always rank in my top 10 albums of all time. It is just about as perfect as an album can be. It is not appreciated as much as Asia's debut smash album; but, in my opinion, it is more solid than their self-titled release. The eponymous debut had a tendency of overdoing songs, especially "Wildest Dreams." Alpha does not do that. The tracks are wonderful without an superfluous orchestration. "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes," one of the singles, is actually the weakest track on Alpha. The rest are simply amazing. "My Own Time," "Eye to Eye," "Midnight Sun," and the other single "Don't Cry" are some of the best songs I've ever heard. It is one album I can play straight through and never be disappointed. And John Wetton has one of the best voices in music. If you like their hits "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell," this album is definitely for you, as these songs are just as accessible and catchy. Try to find a copy with the extra track, "Daylight," as it is great too. I cannot praise this album enough so Buy It Now!
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