1983 Asia – The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
The supergroup Asia was made up of four veterans of progressive rock groups: Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and John Wetton. Their first album received very positive critical acclaim and sold extremely well, leading to successful tours.
The group’s second album, Alpha, did not fare as well. Much like their first album, the sophomore release boasted two hit singles, but fans seemed to feel the band had become less progressive.
The band released Don’t Cry as the first single from the album. The single topped the US Mainstream Rock chart but peaked at only #10 on the Hot 100 in early 1983.
I liked the second single from the album a lot more, but The Smile Has Left Your Eyes turned out to be too pop-oriented for their core audience. The single stalled at #34 on the Hot 100 and only reached #25 on the US Mainstream Rock chart later in 1983.
The poor response to the second album led to the John leaving the group (or being asked to leave; conflicting stories exist). As a favor to Carl, Greg Lake (of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) took John’s place to continue their tour, but the rest of the tour soon got cancelled because of poor ticket sales.
The group asked John to return for a tour of Japan, but he was only willing to rejoin the group if Steve left. Following a suggestion from their label, the band replaced Steve with Mandy Meyer, a hard-rock guitarist from Krokus.
The band recorded a third album, but the reception was so poor that they cancelled their tour and disbanded in 1986.
Various groups of Asia have been formed and reformed over the years, including the reunion of the original members from 2006 to 2013. They recorded ten more albums between 1992 and 2014, but the band never again achieved the level of success they had with their first album.
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