Monday, May 21, 2012

SONGS I LIKE: Through My Veins (Asia)

You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins

Asia is still around as a group, something I did not realize. I thought they'd put out one eponymous album then fell apart like GTR did. Back in the late 80s, Asia formed out of several other groups, mostly progressive rock guys who had some more mainstream pop ideas they wanted to do but couldn't in their groups. Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer), Steve Howe (Yes), John Wetton (King Crimson, Roxy Music, and other bands), and Jeff Downes (Yes, the Buggles) formed this group.

Asia was hailed as a supergroup, a powerhouse that would surely rock the foundations of modern music with so much talent. I waited eagerly for that first album and like most people was... disappointed. It wasn't that Asia was bad its that it was so underwhelming. With that kind of musical firepower I expected something awesome, not something merely pretty good.

That said, I did like Asia's first album, and while it's not up to the quality that the different members of the band had done in the past, it was a good disc with music that was enjoyable and memorable. The album sold very, very well (10 million sold worldwide) and had several top ten hits which is probably what they were trying to do to begin with. Soon after, Steve Howe left the band and helped form GTR with Steve Hackett from Genesis, and I figured Asia was done.

I was wrong. They put out 14 albums, and are working on a new one with Steve Howe back in the band and the full original Asia lineup. And off the latest album Omega I heard this song on Youtube while just browsing from song to song one night instead of going to sleep like I should. Through My Veins is about someone who you have lost, either through death or estrangement or time, perhaps just distance, and yet they are still a part of you.

Inevitably, as we age, we find this happens. It is impossible to keep all those we care about close and readily accessible. Death claims us all, and even when it does not, circumstances and personalities can cause separations. Loves we have lost and friends we don't have around any longer still are within us, in a sense, running through us like blood through our bodies.

This is not an unusual theme for a song - lost loves, missing someone you care about (A previous Song I Like "In The Living Years" was along these lines, for example) but its rarely been done so well. Its instantly recognizable as Asia, and its every bit as good as that first disc.

Invisible sun cast your shadow over me
As wind cuts like a knife
Catapulting me from life with you
Waiting on an empty street, hiding from the sun

And in one place or another
All my memories still remain
You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins

Down corridors of rocks and sand
It's littered and it's torn
The wear and tear from dusk till dawn
Waiting on an empty street, hiding from the sun

And in one place or another
All my memories still remain
You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins
You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins

This treasure can be anyone's
To believe in only one
It's not a foolish thing, there's no comparison
Waiting on an empty street, hiding from the sun

And in one place or another
All my memories still remain
You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins

You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins
You've been taken from my eyes
But you're running through my veins

Through my veins, through my veins
Through my veins, through my veins
Through my veins, through my veins
Through my veins


This is part of the Songs I Like series.

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