PROAOR02: WHITE WING-s/t CD
OUT JULY 2017
Released for the very first time on CD, this American Hard/Prog rare LP finally sees the light of day! WHITE WING were the band pre-ASIA (U.S.), formed by the multi-talented Mike Coates, this reissue is being carefully remastered by himself and will fill the gap in many 70s Prog and Hard Rock collectors. Released originally in 1976, we can already see the band into the musical territory that ASIA explored specially on the first album.
(BIO by Mike Coates):
Lead vocalist/bassist Mike English and I had long been members of a Rapid City art rock band called WhiteWing (1968-1976) and had recorded an eponymously titled album with a Minneapolis- based record company called ASI in 1975. ASI released a single entitled, "Hansa," off that album, which received spotty national and international airplay and made the BILLBOARD Top Singles Picks list. Album sales were weak, however, because distribution to the hundreds of small Midwestern towns we typically toured were very poor and difficult to coordinate with airplay. ASI also chose rather foolishly to promote us as "the next Moody Blues," when, in fact, we were much heavier, much to the surprise of many promoters, booking agents, and club owners. After considerable album promotion touring and countless radio interviews, ASI chose not to pick up the contract option for our second album (which was fully composed and in demo form) primarily because they were in the midst of a belt-tightening stage after the mid-Seventies recession. However, company president, Dan Holmes (left), who had produced our album, strongly encouraged me to release the WhiteWing rhythm section, hire guest vocalist Larry Galbraith (from another Rapid City band called FREE FLITE), and to stay in close contact with ASI for future recording projects. I took his advice and made those hard decisions, although leaving WhiteWing and my old friends was very painful and I questioned that move and my motives for many years to come. Those same ex-band members were reluctant to sell the WhiteWing name (which was a corporate holding), so Mike, Larry, manager Mike Chambers, and I set out to form a totally new band and image. After a series of auditions we landed Nebraska- based drummer John Haynes and the new line-up was complete. Larry coined the name ASIA, and, because we all loved the mystical, exotic and expansive implications, the name stuck.
PROGAOR01: ASIA-Armed to the Teeth/Asia CD £10
Out of Rapid City in South Dakota, from the ashes of the defunct band Whitewing (one very rare album much desired in Prog collectors circles), came ASIA, which recorded two independently released albums in 1979 and 1980 respectivelly. The band gained some momentum for a while, opening for major acts like Nazareth, Ted Nugent, Kiss, Molly Hatchet, etc. Unfortunatelly the demise of Asia came with the dellusion of legal battles for the name with the British Pop-AOR Asia. The band legacy these days relies mostly on their cult masterpiece "Armed to the Teeth", released in 1980. An album that predates the Epic Progressive Metal genre later pursued by bands like Warlord and Dark Quarterer, but also pleases any Pomp/AOR/Prog Rock fan.
The only Asia CD release dates back from 1995 on the Wild Places label, but since the CD edition is very sought after now, we decided to team up with band leader Mike Coates and repackage again the two albums on one CD, but this time with an even bigger booklet of 32 pages, where the full band history is presented, as well as the projects pre and post Asia, rare pictures and the lyrics to both albums.
Blood & Iron proudly presents the first release of our PROGAOR Series, and none better than the American Asia to celebrate it!
"Early 1970s-influenced progressive guitar and mellotron rock in a Deep Purple/Captain Beyond-school from a band formerly known as White Wing; no relation to the more famous Asia, naturally." (Acid Archives)
File under: Epic Progressive Heavy Rock, Pomp, AOR, Rush, Kansas, Uriah Heep, Captain Beyond, Legend (U.S.), Warlord.