Album: Phoenix
Artist: Asia
2008 Frontiers Records [Europe] / EMI [USA]
CD: FR CD 370L / EMI 50999 212869 26

Geoff Downes: keyboards
Steve Howe: electric, acoustic and steel guitars; harmony vocals (9)
Carl Palmer: drums, percussion
John Wetton: lead vocal, bass guitar

Hugh McDowell: cello (6, 12)

Produced by Downes/Howe/Palmer/Wetton
Engineered and co-Produced by Steve Rispin

Mixed by Simon Hanhart (1, 3, 12), Curtis Schwartz (5, 8, 9, 11), Steve Rispin (2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13)
Mixed by John X. Volaitis (1) [EMI version]
Mastered by John Dent [Frontiers version] / Evren Göknar [EMI version]

1. Never Again (Wetton/Downes) 4.54
2. Nothing's Forever (Wetton) 5.46
3. Heroine (Wetton/Downes) 4.54
4. Sleeping Giant (Downes)
    No Way Back (Wetton/Downes)
    Reprise (Downes) 8.10
5. Alibis  (Downes/Howe/Palmer/Wetton) 5.40
6. I will Remember You (Wetton/Downes) 5.12
7. Shadow of a Doubt (Wetton/Downes) 4.18
8. Parallel Worlds (Wetton)
    Vortex (Downes)
    Déyà (Wetton) 8.12
9. Wish I'd Known All Along (Howe) 4.06
10. Orchard of Mines (Fayman/Pursey) 5.12
11. Over and Over (Howe) 3.33
12. An Extraordinary Life (Wetton/Downes) 4.59
13. An Extraordinary Life [acoustic] (Wetton/Downes) 4.18

Notes (****): The first studio album from the original line-up since Alpha in 1983, this album has all the hallmarks of the classic band, with the more introspective lyricism of Wetton's recent solo and Icon outings. Three songs date to the eighties: "Déyà", "Over and Over", and "Alibis" (previously known as "Jodie"). The verses on "No Way Back" sound strikingly like those from the Wetton/Downes tune "Walking on Air", now attached to a catchier chorus.  The original version of "Orchard of Mines" is found on an album by Globus entitled Epicon. (Ray Riethmeier, 10 Apr 2008; updated 18 Apr 2008)

Additional notes: (13) is a bonus track on a limited edition version of the release available in Europe. The Japanese release had an alternate bonus track, an acoustic version of "I will Remember You". Work on the new album dates back to at least May 2007, but it was interrupted when John Wetton was diagnosed with advanced coronary disease in Aug that year. He had a triple bypass operation and spent some time convalescing. In terms of the Wetton/Downes co-writes, we know Wetton wrote the lyrics for (3), (6), (4b) and (12). (10) is a cover taken from the 2007 Epicon album, which, as it happens, was conducted and partially orchestrated by Larry Groupé, who worked on Magnification, while the co-writer of "Orchard of Mines", Jeffrey Fayman, drummed in Peter Banks' Empire band many years ago (Empire Mark II, recorded 1977). (Henry Potts, 11 Apr 2008)

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