There was a concern that having Dean do the cover would produce something that looked too much like his famed artwork for Yes, but Howe and Downes pushed for his involvement. Geffen'sJohn Kalodner did not initially like Dean's logo for the band.
Since its release, Asia has received highly mixed reception, largely due to a more commercial and pop-oriented sound as opposed to progressive rock, given the past of the group's members. Robert Christgau blasted the album, and particularly its lyrics. He stated that it had been a rare occasion that "a big new group is bad enough to sink your teeth into any more" and called the album "pompous – schlock in the grand manner". On the other side, in a Billboard review, it was favourably noted that "the caliber of the [band's] playing is superb and the music sounds fresh and perfect fare for AOR". In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Tom Demalon awarded Asia four-and-a-half out of five, saying that "there's no denying the epic grandeur of the music, which provided some much-needed muscle to radio at the time, and did so with style".
Upon its release in March 1982, Asia reached #1 in the US and spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard album chart.Asia was certified 4x-platinum in the US by the RIAA on 10 February 1995. It was the best-selling album of 1982 in the US.
In the band's native UK, Asia did not perform as well as in the US, peaking only at #11 and spent a total of 38 weeks in the UK Albums Chart. The record received a gold status in Britain on 18 October 1982. "Heat of the Moment" climbed to No. 46.
Asia's total worldwide sales are estimated at over ten million copies.