Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Allan Holdsworth - 1997 "I.O.U. Live"

I.O.U. Live is a live album by guitarist Allan Holdsworth, released in 1997 through Cleopatra Records. According to Holdsworth, the tracks were taken from video footage of a 1984 concert in Japan, which later became a bootleg circulating under the name of Tokyo Dream: Allan Holdsworth in Japan. He therefore considered it an unauthorised release and not part of his discography.

Released in 1997 on Purple Pyramid Records. Catalog Number: CLP 9970-2 This recording was taken from the "Tokyo Dream" video concert. Recorded live at Yubinchokin Hall-Tokyo, Japan 5/14/84.

This is the only live IOU. Recorded in Japan in 1984. Magic. My copy was released thru Purple Pyramid records 1997. Highly recommended. All of the Allan Holdsworth recordings are worthy. There are bootlegs out there which have dropouts and who's sound quality is very uneven but this is not one of those by any stretch of your musical imagination.

This album, recorded for a Japanese tv show, and released against Allan's wishes, is nevertheless in my opinion, his most accessible work ever. Gone are the keyboards on this date, so every note that's not vocal, drum or bass, is Holdsworth himself. When you realize this, your jaw will drop open.

Allmusic review of Holdsworth's I.O.U. studio album:

After the train-wreck disaster of Holdsworth's first solo release, the infamous Velvet Darkness, it wasn't until three years later that he reconsidered doing a real solo release versus the earlier ripoff of an authorized studio mishmash product he suffered. So in 1979 he recorded I.O.U. on a wing and a prayer and loans (ergo, an IOU recording project). With his very successful stints with other groups in the intervening time period, such as UK and Bill Bruford, Holdsworth's guitar prowess and name were clearly on the map. Holdsworth now needed to be the leader he clearly was and thus release an official solo record. The real Allan Holdsworth unleashed is at last revealed on I.O.U. in his original compositions and well-crafted soloing, versus being merely part of a group and forced to stay within certain boundaries of other bandmates' design. I.O.U., as a solo release, is high-quality jazz fusion interplay, offering emotive compositions, ethereal guitar atmospherics, complex chordal progressions, and intense legato explosions of guitar that set the standard for many guitarists to come. There is no acoustic guitar this time, but a wee bit of Holdsworth on violin appears in one song.


R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth

Track listing:

All tracks written by Allan Holdsworth, except where noted.

1. "Road Games" 4:25
2. "White Line" (Holdsworth, Gerry Brown) 7:02
3. "Panic Station" (lyrics by Paul Williams) 4:14
4. "Letters of Marque" 6:41
5. "Material Real" 7:30
6. "Metal Fatigue" (lyrics by Williams) 5:10
7. "Where Is One?" 8:02
8. "The Things You See" 7:01
9. "Was There (Something)" 6:58

Total length: 57:03


Allan Holdsworth – guitar
Jimmy Johnson – bass
Chad Wackerman – drums
Paul Williams – vocals