Asia: “Only Time Will Tell” (1982)

One of the most recognizable synth lines from the 80s, for better or worse.

Kronomyth 1.2: Starry-eyed and bible blech.

The second single from Asia was the heroic, stoic “Only Time Will Tell.” The introduction is completely over the top, with clarion keyboards and plenty of cowbell, yet somehow it matches the larger-than-life lyrics from John Wetton. (Case in point: “The brightest ring around the moon will darken when I die.”) The original single features an edited version of “Only Time Will Tell,” while the promotional 7-inch contains a unique “short edit” on the flip side that features a slightly longer intro (go figure) and cuts out about a half-minute of instrumental segues that appear on the edited version. If memory serves, the original single edit stripped away the guitar solos, since who would possibly want to hear Steve Howe play guitar? Right, everyone except the people at Geffen Records.

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Original 7-inch version

A1. Only Time Will Tell (John Wetton/Geoff Downes) 4:05
B1. Time Again (Geoff Downes/Steve Howe/Carl Palmer/John Wetton) 4:45

Original 7-inch version (UK)
A1. Only Time Will Tell
B1. Ride Again

Promotional 7-inch single (US)
A1. Only Time Will Tell (edit) (4:05)
B1. Only Time Will Tell (short edit) (3:23)

Promotional 12-inch single (US)
A1. Only Time Will Tell
B1. Here Comes The Feeling

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch and 7-inch picture disc in July 1982 in the UK (Geffen, GEF A/A11-2228), the US (Geffen, 7-29970), Australia (Geffen, GEF 29970), Canada (Geffen, 92 99707), Germany, the Netherlands and Spain (Geffen, GEF A 2594) and Japan (Geffen, 07SP-645) with regional picture sleeve; reached #54 on the UK charts and #17 on the US charts (charted on July 24, 1982 for 14 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch and 12-inch in 1982 in the US (Geffen, 7-29970/PRO-A-1042) with different track listings.

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