Lisa Velez grew up in New York City, and would go on to become Lisa Lisa. She, along with her band Cult Jam, would go on to become one of the first freestyle groups – a genre that would emerge in the ’80s.
Here are a few of their hit songs that you may recognize:
It may be hard to believe for some of us, but this year marks the 30th anniversary of Asia’s self-titled debut album. This prog-rock supergroup was formed in 1981. The orginal lineup consists of bassist/vocalist John Wetton (formerly in Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash), guitarist Steve Howe (formerly, and subsequently in Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (of Yes and The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (formerly in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster and Emerson, Lake & Palmer).
The album Asia was released in March 1982, and was very successful. It spent nine weeks at number one in the U.S. album chart and selling over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album sold over 10 million worldwide.
The band has gone through several lineup changes through the years. Although their debut was the most successful of all their albums, they have remained consistently good.
With that, let’s Return to 1982, and listen to Asia’s classic debut album:
1. Heat of the Moment
“Heat of the Moment” is the first single released from the album. It got tons of airplay on MTV, and I loved this song. It would go on to become the most popular song on the album, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and #4 on the Billboard Top Singles chart.
2. Only Time Will Tell
“Only Time Will Tell” is my favorite song on the album. While “Heat of the Moment” got me interested in this new band, “Only Time Will Tell” blew me away. I listened to the song over and over, and never got sick of it. This was the band’s second top ten hit on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number 8. It also peaked at number 17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. It reached number 54 On the U.K. Top 100 Singles chart.
3. Sole Survivor
Yet another hit song for Asia! “Sole Survivor” was the third single that reached the Top Ten on the U.S Mainstream Rock Charts. The single also peaked at #75 in Germany and #91 in the UK.
4. One Step Closer
This is a pretty good song that you may not have heard if you don’t own the album. I like the chorus.
5. Time Again
Pretty good fusion here. The guitar is awesome in this song. And there are a couple of small parts that almost sound like Jazz.
6. Wildest Dreams
Another hit song for Asia. It only peaked at #28 on the U.S. charts, which isn’t high compared to their other songs from this album. But it’s still a very good song.
7. Without You
8. Cutting It Fine
I like this song. It actually sounds like it could be a Styx song.
9. Here Comes the Feeling
Great song to close out the album. This song has the classic Asia sound.
On Friday, we lost a man who played one of the most iconic characters of the ’80s. Larry Hagman, best known to us as Dallas‘ J.R. Ewing, passed away at the age of 81 of complications from cancer.
Hagman who had previously been known for playing Major Tony Nelson on the 1965-1970 sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie”. In 1978, he then played far against type with his role as J.R. on the new prime-time soap, Dallas. J.R. Ewing was the character that most people loved to hate. In 1980, the show skyrocketed in popularity with the cliffhanger “Who Shot J.R.?” On November 21, 1980, more than 350 million viewers tuned in around the world to find out Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.’s wife, shot him. It remains one of the most watched television episodes in history.
This year, Larry Hagman reprised his role as J.R. on the reboot of Dallas. The show was a big success, and season 2 is being shot right now. 6 episodes had been filmed before Hagman passed. The show has done a great job introducing a new young cast alongside original cast members Hagman, Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby). I have really gotten into this show. But, like the original, J.R. is the best part of the show. So he will be dearly missed.
Larry Hagman is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.