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Heat of the Moment by Asia
Album: AsiaReleased: 1982Charted:
Asia featured an all-star lineup: John Wetton from King Crimson, Steve Howe from Yes, Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Geoff Downes from the Buggles and Yes. Wetton and Downes wrote this song, which describes an intense relationship between a young couple, and questions what will happen when they get older.
Saying sorry in song became commonplace in the hair metal era, but in 1982 you rarely heard a rocker apologize, as it was considered wimpy. This song, however, begins with contrition, as Wetton sings: "I never meant to be so bad to you."
"The whole song is just an apology," Wetton said in our interview
. "It's just saying I f--ked up. I hold my hand out and I got it wrong. I never meant it to be like that. I didn't want it to be like that. And so I'm sorry."
There was a specific person John Wetton was singing about on this track: his girlfriend Jill, who would later become his wife. The couple divorced after 10 years of marriage.
John Wetton wasn't concerned about macho posturing when he wrote this song; he was trying to bare his soul in the manner of one of his songwriting idols: Joni Mitchell. This first-person, emotive style was typical of Mitchell and a big influence on this and the other songs on the first Asia album.
This is the group's biggest hit. Asia scored another US Top 10 on their next album with "Don't Cry
, but disbanded in the late '80s and never returned to the Top 40 upon their return. Later Asia material was more true to their progressive rock roots and not likely to chart.
This song was featured in the movie The 40 year old Virgin. The main character in the film (played by Steve Carell) has an Asia poster on his wall, which helps explain why he's a 40 year old virgin.
John Wetton of Asia told us that he's a big fan of the film and loved the scene where Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen accuse Carell of being gay because of his poster.
This was featured in an episode of the TV show South Park where Cartman is talking to Congress about stem cell research after his friend Kenny dies. He starts singing this song, and the entire congress joins in.
This song was featured in the video game Guitar Hero Rocks the '80s
, allowing people to play along with this song with a virtual guitar.
John Wetton started writing this song in 1980 when he was a member of the band Wishbone Ash, which were recording their album Number the Brave at Criteria Studios in Miami. When sessions would end around 6pm, Wetton would stay late in the studio and come up with ideas, many of which made their way onto the first Asia album. "I couldn't waste a studio like that with the best time in it," he told us.
This was the last song the band recorded for the album, but it ended up being the first single. The same thing happened on the next two Asia albums, as the final songs recorded were the first singles: "Don't Cry" on Alpha (1983) and "Go" on Astra (1985). Wetton thinks this is because the band tended to be very focused by the last song.
The video was directed by the team of Godley & Creme, who had their own band called 10cc. Their clips did very well on MTV, since they offered high production value and striking images. The "Heat of the Moment" video used a grid look, with the boxes constantly changing. It was a great way to show fleeting, memorable images (like the flaming cymbal) and also get in plenty of footage of the band. Godley & Creme also directed the "Only Time Will Tell