JOHN WETTON – Battle Lines +1 bonus [30th Anniversary Expanded & Remastered Edition] (2024) , MP3+FLAC

“Battle Lines”, originally issued in 1994, found vocalist extraordinaire JOHN WETTON beginning anew as a solo artist after an on-again, off-again initial period with Asia. He brought along a few famous friends, including Toto’s Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips, ex-King Crimson bandmate Robert Fripp, guitarist Michael Landau, and Survivor’s Jim Peterik who co-wrote the track ‘Space And Time’.

He also brought along some of the best songs he’s ever put to disc, a wonderful compendium of AOR music with Wetton’s unmistakable light proggy melodic touches. Even AOR naysayers – it was 1994 – applauded “Battle Lines” loudly.
In the end, “Battle Lines” may be the best Asia album that Asia never put out, right down to the inclusion of ‘Walking On Air’ – which was also tried as an amped-up collaboration with Wetton’s Asia collaborator Geoff Downes, and later included as part of 2002’s Wetton/Downes.
Now Spirit Of Unicorn Music is releasing “Battle Lines +1 [30th Anniversary Expanded & Remastered Edition]“, right in time for its 30th Anniversary, including a bonus track.
Handled by whom we consider the best duo-team from the ’80s – Ron Nevison (production and engineering) &
Chris Lord-Alge (mixing) – “Battle Lines” is one of the best AOR albums from the Nineties. Period.

Not only the songs and Wetton’s performance are superb, the musicians involved deliver magic from every corner.
Lukather, who had earlier worked with Asia on 1990’s “Days Like These,” completes a pair of anthemic tracks in “Right Where I Wanted to Be” and “Jane,” which was co-written by his longtime bandmate Phillips. (Fast forward to 2013, and Wetton was approaching Lukather to take over for Steve Howe in Asia, but the guitarist was simply too busy with other projects.)

Talented Bob Marlette creates great atmospheres with his keyboards, grand piano, synthesizers, no need to mention Michael Landau’s delicate guitar work, Damn Yankees’ Michael Cartellone provide some fierce drumming, Robert Fripp his unique touch, some consummate drums & songwriting by Simon Phillips, and more.

Peterik’s co-writing ‘Space and Time’ soars into its chorus, underscoring Wetton’s enduring vocal command, while the title track explores an orchestral reminiscence. The exploration of parental abandonment in ‘Hold Me Now’ was as brutally honest, and as emotionally raw, as anything Wetton had yet done.

Then there is the darkly intriguing ‘Walking on Air’ which proved to be one of more difficult – though, ultimately rewarding – moments on an album that Wetton has grown to appreciate as one of his very best.
“I redid the vocal in the studio, and that was the only part that we kept from the demo,” said Wetton. “We had millions of dollars of equipment but we just couldn’t reproduce this 50-dollar cheesy synth, so we kept it! So, it’s got the spook. I love it. It’s one of my favorite tracks – and, really, I love the whole album. It will take some doing for me to better that.”

Wetton (RIP), the man with ‘a booming baritone voice’, recorded one of his finest works in “Battle Lines”, one of the last ‘major label big productions‘ from the AOR golden era. This remaster sound fantastic, by the way.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 – Right Where I Want To Be
02 – Battle Lines
03 – Jane
04 – Crime Of Passion
05 – Sand In My Hand
06 – Sea Of Mercy
07 – Hold Me Now
08 – Space And Time
09 – Walking On Air
10 – You’re Not The Only One
11 – Battle Lines (Acoustic Version)

John Wetton – all vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and keyboards
Bob Marlette – keyboards, grand piano, synthesizer, songwriting
Michael Landau – guitars
Michael Cartellone – drums
Claude Gaudette – keyboards and programming
Robert Fripp – guitar
Simon Phillips – drums, songwriting
Steve Lukather – guitar
Robbie Buchanan – grand piano, songwriting
Jed Leiber – keyboards and programming
Paul Buckmaster – arrangements for orchestra

Ron Nevison – production and engineering
Chris Lord-Alge – mixing

Link for download JOHN WETTON – Battle Lines +1 bonus [30th : MP3 turbo
More Information

John Wetton - Battle Lines (Full Album)


Right Where I Wanted to Be - John Wetton (ASIA) feat. Steve Lukather (TOTO) View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1994 CD release of "Battle Lines" on Discogs.