Yesterday was not only the Ides of March, but also the 35th anniversary of the release of pop rock supergroup Asia's self-titled debut album. Asia was comprised of a bunch of former prog rockers: lead singer/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes, The Buggles), and drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer).
One might have assumed that with all of this prog-rocking progeny, Asia would have followed suit, but instead, they made more radio-friendly AOR rock, with wild success. Their debut album spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard album charts, and has gone quadruple platinum in the U.S. It was the #1 album on Billboard's year-end chart for 1982, and ranked #95 on the Billboard 200 All-Time Album Chart.
I was surprised to see that the band has released 13 studio albums, and their most recent album was released in 2014. Their biggest success, however, came in the early '80s, as they had four Top 40 songs in the US from 1982 to 1983. Their biggest hit was their first single and their most well-known song, "Heat of the Moment," which hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and was Top 10 in five other countries. It's also a song appropriate for today, as the NCAA Tournament's first round starts. Things are going to get intense.