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Top of The Progs: Asia - Heat Of The Moment

The inside story of classic prog hit singles

John Wetton remembers how Heat Of The Moment was actually an apology to his then girlfriend!

Heat Of The Moment b/w Ride Easy

(Geffen, 1982)

Highest UK Chart Position: No. 46 (No.4 in America)

Last in. First out. Heat Of The Moment was the final song Asia recorded for their self-titled, debut album. But it was the first single put out. The video for it was directed by Godley & Creme, who were also behind the cameras for the clip accompanying second single Only Time Will Tell. In America, Heat Of The Moment was Asia's highest charting single, reaching number four. Just how much it has become part of culture over there is evidenced by the fact it was sampled by EDM artist Jimmy Rotten in 2013 for the song The Trouble With Facebook. On Asia's first ever tour, this was the song that closed the set.

Where did the inspiration for Heat Of The Moment come from?

“The lyric is an apology. I had never come across that in an anthemic rock song before - ever! In fact, the whole first Asia album marked a conscious departure from art rock to personal lyrics. This song's just me saying I fucked up. I held my hand up and admitted I was wrong. I never meant it to be like that. And so I'm sorry. It was written for my girlfriend Jill, who later became my wife. I started writing this in 1980, when I was with Wishbone Ash. We were doing the Number The Brave album at Criteria Studios in Miami. I'd stay behind every night after we'd finished recording, and worked on song ideas, and this was one of them.”

(Pic: Getty)

What was the reaction to the song?

“The reaction from the public and radio to the song was phenomenal. Everybody seemed to love it, and we got a huge response from MTV in America, who played the video constantly.”

 

**Did having such a big hot make you feel like pop stars? **

“Like pop stars? Yes, and no. We were in our 30s, and we’d all been around the block before, but that amount of exposure brings a certain caché. Most ordinary people were aware of the song, if not the band who performed it. Later on, the song was used in the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin. I loved the scene where the main character, played by Steve Carell, is accused of being gay by a couple of his mates, because he has an Asia poster on his wall!”

Was having a hit a blessing or curse, and in what way?

“Having a Top 40 hit was great for album sales; most people were buying this, as the single was included on it. There was no down side. I’ll still play the song today, I’m proud of it, and everyone knows Heat Of The Moment.”

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