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3.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MCA - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B000002QMB
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Go
2. Voice Of America
3. Hard On Me
4. Wishing
5. Countdown To Zero
6. Love Now Til Eternity
7. Too Late
8. Suspicion
9. Rock And Roll Dream
10. After The War

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Astra is an often overlooked gem. It was the last in a trio of brilliant Asia albums featuring one of the best vocalists of all time, John Wetton. Astra is not as solid as Alpha and does not have the super hits like their self-titled debut, but it is still an excellent album with plenty to offer. It starts with the driving "Go." I did not like "Voice of America" at first because I thought it was a bit sappy but, upon further listens, it is one of my favorites on the album. It is very pleasant. Curiously, it is on the Then and Now 1990 compilation as a "Now" song even though, as far as I can hear, it is the same 1985 version. "Hard on Me" is a very catchy rocker. The verses just makes me want to move my feet, but the chorus is a little awkward. "Wishing" is not very memorable. "Rock and Roll Dream" is a slow, calm song during the verses and then bursts out in tempo during the chorus.
"Countdown to Zero" is a powerful track and is very 1980s Cold War with the spoken verses "Do you realise what's happening in Western Europe? Norway, Finland, Scotland, England. We'll be the first to go." The last spoken lines are kind of silly though: "Don't do it, Don't start the countdown to zero. We want to live. You've got your finger on the trigger. Take it off." "Love Now Till Eternity" is a little sappy and, unlike "Voice of America," I still think it is sappy, but there is nice acoustic guitar at the end. "Too Late" has an addictive rhythm like "Hard on Me." "Suspicion" has a spooky sound and then bursts out with a cool keyboard/guitar piece. It is also very 1980s-sounding (that is a good thing). "After the War" starts out like it is going to be an overdone track like "Wildest Dreams" but then settles down to a very pleasant melody. This album is closer to Alpha than Asia's debut as it keeps the excesses of progressive rock in check. Any fan of Asia's hit singles will enjoy this album, as it is just as accessible and catchy.
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Format: Audio CD
ASTRA could have been a classic cd from Asia. As a matter of fact it has some songs that could almost pass for the classic Asia. GO, ROCK & ROLL DREAM, COUNTDOWN TO ETERNITY, TOO LATE, & AFTER THE WAR, but without axeman Steve Howe, they come off a little bit hollow. Only GO, captures the old Asia feel completely. The above before mentioned songs rock, but at the same time, they really don't rock too. The feel of this cd is wrong for the group, production is good, maybe too good. the other songs fair a little better, WISHING, which does not sound like a Asia song, is actually one the better three. VOICE OF AMERICA is a slower song, that Wetton does a very good vocally on, shows a lot of emotion. and SUSPICION, is very haunting, but neither really sound like an Asia song. GO, WISHING, VOICE OF.., and SUSPICION, hold this cd together, and keep it form being pretty lame. Maybe if the cd sounded more like Asia, it would be better, but it would be a good cd for someone else. Just after two really good cds, ASIA & ALPHA, you expect more.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first time listened to this album, I was really disappointment despite of bad reviews ( for exemple AMG gave this album only 2/5 stars) I don't always belive in critics so waited this album a lot. Boomblaster and Van Halen's Jump oriented song Go is absolutely the best track on this album. Voice of America is almost as good but later recorded version from Then and Now sounds better than this original version. Hard On Me, Fishing and Rock and Roll are songs which are not so easy listening. I started to like these songs in yesterday evening!
Coundown to Zero and Love Now Till Eternity are booring mainstream rock songs that shouldn't not take on this album. Too Late and Suspicion needed also some time until I begin to hear that these tracks are not bad at all. Especially, Too Late song's chorus is great and keyboard solo of Suspicion sounds terrific. Downes can play well and Wetton hasn't lose his voice! After the War is a fine end for this album which was the last classic Asia's studio album( Then and Now is more like collection) You should listen to Astra five times and say your opinion fo after that because you don't find all special things before that. Astra is under rated album allthought is is not a classic album!
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Format: Audio CD
Asia's third album is sadly underappreciated. Their first two records were strong 4-star efforts, but this one gets the full 5 stars. Gone is Steve Howe, which suits me - his replacement Mandy Meyer fits the overall style of the band so much better, and had the added benefit of a relatively small ego.
Of the ten tracks only two have anything wrong with them. "Voice Of America" feels like an "Alpha" outtake with the guitar barely able to be noticed for most of the song, and "Countdown To Zero", which is fine before you get to the "Don't do it" preachy bit.
Beyond those two (very minor) glitches the rest of the album is faultless - every track fulfils it's promise and leaves you wanting more. Absolute highlights are "Go", "Wishing", "Rock And Roll Dream" and "After The War".
Unfortunately this album failed commercially, leading to the death of the Wetton-era line-up. The 90s (and beyond) group with John Payne will never be able to match this album, although admittedly they did come mighty close with 96's "Arena".
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