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.
At one point, this song had a little bit of country in it. In a Songfacts interview with Geoff Downes, he explained: "John [Wetton] had a chorus part that was actually in a different time signature from the one that ended up on the recording. It was like a country song. He just had the chorus part, and I had a verse part, as well. So, we just put the two together one afternoon, we wrote the middle bridge section the following day, and that was it.
The song was really put to bed like that. John wrote all the lyrics, and the rest is history. It was actually the last song we wrote for the album, funny enough. And it became a big hit single."
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.
Suggestion credit: Bert - Pueblo, NM, for above 2
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" video.
David from Hazlet, NjA great song with four elite musicians. It still sounds good today like it did in 1982! The whole album sounds great. If you want to hear a guitar master, listen to Steve Howe on the track "Time Again," amazing guitar playing!
Esskayess from Dallas, TxThis song has a very 'bright,' trebley sound to it, largely because the booth is was recorded in had metal plating on the walls. One group member said he almost passed out from the heat in there after a few takes.
Andy from Birmingham, AlI must agree in many ways with both of you, Dee and Benjamin. "Today's music ain't got the same soul." (Sorry, it's just a Bob Seger moment. Back to Asia now.) I'm not sure which Winchester, if either, I'd agree with -- Sam, Mr. "Back in Time" by Huey Lewis, or Dean, Mr. "Heat of the moment". But Jensen, I take it, is known for rocking every hit. "Heat of the Moment", for one, and "Eye of the Tiger" for another. Long live Asia and long live Jensen Ackles/Dean Winchester! Long live and no more bargains with "crossroads demons".
Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis was also in south Park,The Kenny dies,and when Cartman sings it,Congress joins in.I said,Hey! I remember that song,That's Heat of the Moment by Asia.
Karen from Manchester, NhDid anyone notice:
In the video, in the scene where the man and woman are shouting at each other...watch their lips. The guy says, "well...F*** YOU!" It shocked me the first time I noticed it.
Dan from Clumbus, OhSole Survivor got mucho air time back in the day as well. Yea, wake up people, Asia ROCKS!!!
Dan from Clumbus, OhThe line " and now you find yourself in 82 " is not a reference to the year 1982, but rather a tally kept on groupies the lyricist had sex with on a past tour. This was confirmed during a radio interview with the band on QFM96 in Columbus Ohio.
Kassi from Rosenberg, TxDEAN ROCKS SINGING THIS!!!
Kateri from Albany, Nythis songs was also on south park when cartman is talking to congress and e starts belting it out and everyone else starts doing it too!!!!!!! this song is also on guitar hero rocks the 80's!! I LOVE THIS SONGGG!
Mandy from Homer, IlThis song was also used in the tv show "Supernatural" during the episode in which "Sam" relives the same day over and over again. It opens the show.
Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! It brings back alot of memories from when I was in elementary school!
Sarah from La, Ca♥♥ I LOVE THIS SONG!!! IT WAS ON MY FAVORITE SHOW SUPERNATURAL TO!!!!! JENSEN ACKLES LOOKED SO HOT LIP SINGING THE LYRICS!!! HE IS SO SMOKING HOT!!!! ♥♥
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhI have heard on a local radio station about a year or so ago that Geoff Downes and Steve Howe had reunited to reform Asia, but I have never heard anymore about it since then. So it is unknown who else appears on the lineup other than those two.
Myra from Chicago, IlThis song is awesome, and it was featured on my favorite show, "Supernatural" in the Mystery Spot episode.
Bryan from Morgantown, KyIt makes one question whether the cover artwork by Roger Dean was inspired by the lyrics "Catch a Pearl and ride the Dragon's Wings" or whether the guys used a visual clue from the painting? Roger Dean, care to clue us in?
Eamon from Motherwell, ScotlandClassic super rock track that people cannot help but join in. Brilliant memories of Timber Lake Camp in the early 80's when I was a counsellor. Being from Scotland, this have everlasting memories of my trips to camp. I am really looking forward to seeing them for the first time in Glasgow in December 2007. Eamon.Motherwell.Scotland+
Aash from New York, NySteve Howe's partner in GTR was Steve Hackett, former Genesis guitarist
Brad from Topeka, KsTo Julia in London - How does an Asia poster on someone's wall "help explain why he's a 40 year old virgin"? I believe this would be 'speculation' on your part...not a 'song fact'.
Matthew from East Brunswick, NjSouth Park used this too. In episode "Kenny Dies". Its when Cartman explains in song to aid the cause in stemcell research, and then congress breaks in too.
Randy from Colerain Twp., Oh Umm...Sjoerd, Steve Howe was YES's guitarist at least 10 years BEFORE joining Asia. Also, he did much of back-up vocals for YES. I think 'Only Time Will Tell' is a better song than 'Heat of the Moment'. Does anyone remember the other singer/musician that Steve Howe collaborated with to form the group GTR? I believe it was formed after his tenture with Asia.
Wil from Milwaukee, WiSteve Howe was actually Yes' second guitarist who joined the group for the recording of "The Yes Album" in 1971. He re-joined the group 2 other times. The original Asia is now on tour and may be coming to a city near you. Asia will be in Milwaukee in September.
Jason from Los Angeles, CaTo Clark in Steeltown, I actually like the line about 1982- it puts me right back there when I hear it. Funny thing is, I never understood what he was saying in that part of the song until very recently- now I like the song even more......
Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaP.S. For a rock song, the harmonies are rich, deep, luscious, and perfect.
Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThis may just be the zenith of rock supergroups and "corporate rock" (and I mean that in a good way). When I hear this song come on the radio, the volume goes from 0 to 10 in a millisecond. Its only drawback: a now-dated line about finding yourself "in '82". (And there are days I wouldn't mind being back in '82 again.)
Dave from Cardiff, WalesDespite the relatively low UK chart position, this still gets a lot of airplay on UK radio
Dalton from Columbus, AlI like this song but i had to put this, that dude down there said it was in south park.it was and cartman was singing it to get them to splice cells or something
Mike from Erie, PaWow good eyes Julia from england
Chris from St. Louis, MoThere are a number of serious problems with the "song facts" listed above. John Wetton appeared on 3 full Asia albums. Greg Lake sang one concert "Asia in Asia" for MTV, but never recorded with the band. Wetton returned after the gig. Wetton also sang new material in the early 90s on Then & Now. Asia still tours with a new John, John Payne who I saw in 2005. The "new" Asia cannot compete against Wetton-era music, but have done well for themselves. Wetton and remaining ASIA keyboardist Goeff Downes released a new CD in 2005 that contained a brand new version of this song (Heat of the Moment 2005), among other new ones. The CD is called "Icon" and widely available. Asia had 6 hit songs, two from each of their first 3 CDs that charted well in the US and UK. They had 10 others that appeared on popular rock (AOR) radio in the 80s and 90s--all with Wetton on lead. These 16 songs go far beyond the "two hits" noted above. Asia was considered the first (or only real) SuperGroup of the 1980s. Few bands in history had this kind of amazing musical talent and pedigree. I hope Asia continues to remain in Pop Culture as it was in 2005--they were and remain a great rock band. - Chris Moloney
Matthew Daubert from Mequon, WiThe first fact is incorrect. John Wetton did not depart the group soon after this song or album's release. This song, and its album, was released in 1982, Wetton stayed with the group through the release of Astra in 1985.
Doug from Williamston, MiI've grown up in this era of rap and hip-hop and all this other low talent music you hear on the radio today. Even though I wasn't around when this and other classic and 80's rock songs were released, these are the kinds of songs that I have the most respect for. When "Heat Of The Moment" started playing in the movie "40 Year Old Virgin", me and two of my friends started singing it in the theater, that's how great of a song this is.
Julia from London, EnglandThis song was featured in the movie "The 40 year old Virgin". The main character in the film also had an Asia poster on his wall.
Sjoerd from Groningen, NorwayA classic roch song is what I would call it. Steve How (future YES guitarist) appears on this album as guitarist. He even tries to sing a few notes as well!
Benjamin from Heidelberg, GermanyI agree with you, Dee. Today's music (especially hip hop) makes me wanna throw up. It can't compare in any way to the sound of the 80's, not to speak of the 60's and 70's. But I still hope that someday, when enough people are sick of being audio-raped every day, good music will return, and there will be a new age of rock 'n roll!
Damar from Pittsburgh, PaThe video was directed by Godley and Creme who of course did videos from Duran Duran and Elton John to Yes and Paul Young.
Brett from Auckland, New Zealand"Heat of the Moment" appeared in an episode of "South Park", although the context it was used in eludes me.
Dee from Indianapolis, InAsia, in my opinion, never got the credit they deserved. Their videos reminded me of Duran Duran's of the early 80's. I know alot of people poke fun of them, but they were progressive and had a sound that I still enjoy to this day. Maybe it was growing up hearing them on the radio and MTV that has kept a place in my heart for them. "Days like these" is one of those songs that always makes me feel like I can do anything, and "Don't cry" and "The smile has left your eyes" are great sappy love songs from when I was in my early teens. I wish there still was music like that being produced today in the mist of all the rap crap and hip hop garbage that fills the air ways!!!
Mitchell from Honolulu, HiA couple of things. First, Asia was a "supergroup" by anyone's definition of the term. Carl Palmer was the drummer of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. John Wetton was the lead vocalist of U.K. Geoff Downes was the keyboardist who, with Trevor Horn, formed the backbone of the Buggles (whose hit, "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first video played on MTV), and played briefly with Yes. Steve Howe is one of the world's greatest guitarists and the heart of Yes.
Second, Asia lives even today, mostly as a project propelled by Geoff Downes.
Also, Greg Lake was with the band only for its "Asia in Asia" tour. He left after the tour and John Wetton rejoined the group.
John Wetton still performs Asia songs, and has recorded them on live albums.
Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaThis band was smothered by their own instant success. 'Heat' was a monster hit everywhere, and the record company stepped in with their suggestions so they could have another monster hit. Steve Howe was pushed out the the writing process, John Wetton termed the 'real star', and the second album fell far short of the first, they were trying to write a hit instead of letting it happen. After the second album flopped, the record company changed their minds about promoting the band, Steve Howe departed, and the spark was gone. John Wetton carried on for another album, then departed, and what remained was just the name.
Tigran from Stockholm, SwedenJohn Wetton recorded Asia's biggest hit to date in a beautiful acoustic (unplugged) way. It has been sung also by the new and current vocalist John Payne in a slightly different, operatic way.
Pete from Nowra, Australiaone hit wonder here in Australia, they were billed as a "super group"
James Lo Cascio from Mahwah, NjAre you people kidding me? So what, Asia didn't have too many number ones but the three albums they made with John Wetton are masterful. They are pioneers of Progessive Rock and Roll. I listen to them almost everyday -The Heat Goes On
Shelli from Madison, Wi"Only Time Will Tell" was another hit by Asia. It came out around the time of "Heat of the Moment".