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John Wetton

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John Kenneth Wetton (born 12 June 1949, Willington, Derby, Derbyshire, England - died 31 January 2017, Bournemouth, Dorset, England) is an English singer, bassist and guitarist.

Born in Derbyshire, Wetton grew up in Bournemouth, Dorset. He has been a professional singer/songwriter/musician since the late 1960s as a member of such progressive rock bands as Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson (working with childhood friend Robert Fripp), Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry band, Uriah Heep, UK and Wishbone Ash. Wetton found worldwide fame in 1982 with the explosion of the band, Asia, whose self-titled debut album sold millions and became Billboard Magazine's #1 album of 1982. This album remains one of only four albums ever to stay at the #1 position of the Billboard album chart for nine consecutive weeks.

Wetton has achieved an original bass guitar sound utilizing a 1961 Fender Precision Bass amplified through tubes. The sound is overdriven, powerful and very aggressive. This style and approach is particularly evident during his stint with King Crimson from 1972 until 1974. Known initially for his powerful bass guitar sound, Wetton's vocal and songwriting abilities garnered attention with his work in the band Asia in the early 1980s. Early recorded highlights of Wetton's career include King Crimson's Larks' Tongues In Aspic (1973), Starless And Bible Black (1974), Red (1974), UK's self-titled album (1978) (reuniting the King Crimson rhythm section of Wetton and Bill Bruford) and Asia's self-titled album (1982), the last being the biggest seller of his career. In 1986 he contributed also to Phenomena II and had a number 1 hit with the single "Did it all for Love" in South America. Since the early 1990s, Wetton has released four solo albums (Voice Mail/Battle Lines, Arkangel, Sinister/Welcome to Heaven, and Rock of Faith), and a number of live recordings from his solo tours around the world. Wetton also created the ICON project with fellow Asia bandmate Geoff Downes. The duo recorded two studio albums of original material (Icon and Icon II: Rubicon) and one live album (Icon Live - Never In A Million Years) from their ICON European tour.

Wetton has done extensive work as a session musician, especially notable is his work with Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry and Phil Manzanera.

Wetton rejoined the other original members of Asia (Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer) in early 2006 to announce a 25th anniversary world tour. This line-up performed a series of dates in the United States in September 2006, and in the United Kingdom in November/December 2006. The band will also spend much of 2007 on the road, with shows already scheduled for North and South America, Europe and, of course, Asia. A new Asia studio album, the original band's first since 1983's Alpha, is currently being recorded.

Wetton has struggled with alcoholism in the past. In 1983, while on tour with Asia, due to his drinking problem Wetton was replaced in the band by ex-King Crimson bassist and vocalist Greg Lake (both of whom are similar in vocal styling). At the present time, Wetton declares himself sober.

In August 2007 Wetton underwent heart surgery which placed the remainder of Asia's 2007 tour and recording plans on hold until he recovers. The band, including Wetton, have now rescheduled dates and are currently recording their new studio album.

Wetton died in his sleep at a hospice in Bournemouth, Dorset on 31 January 2017, from colon cancer. He was survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Margaret (Peggy).

Discography Edit

Solo Edit

Family Albums Edit

Family Compilations Edit

Family Singles & EPs Edit

Uriah Heep Studio Albums Edit

Uriah Heep Live Albums Edit

Uriah Heep Compilations Edit

Uriah Heep EPs Edit

Uriah Heep Singles Edit

Uriah Heep Videos/DVDs Edit

Wishbone Ash Studio Albums Edit

Wishbone Ash Live Albums Edit

Wishbone Ash Compilations Edit

Wishbone Ash Singles Edit

Wishbone Ash Videos/DVDs Edit

John Wetton & Richard Palmer-James Edit

John Wetton & Ken Hensley Edit

Mogul Thrash Edit

Wetton Manzanera Edit

Jack Knife Edit

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