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4.40 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1982

Filed under Fusion


A1 The Things You See 5:50
A2 Where Is One 5:32
A3 Checking Out 3:34
A4 Letters Of Marque 6:57
B1 Out From Under 3:32
B2 Temporary Fault 3:15
B3 Shallow Sea 5:51
B4 White Line 4:50

Total Time: 39:52


- Paul Carmichael / bass
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar, violin
- Gary Husband / drums, piano
- Paul Williams / vocals

About this release

LP self-release (AH-100)

Recorded On The Barge

Thanks to Kazuhiro, snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Allan Holdsworth's proper debut after the disastrous 'Velvet Darkness' (and a joint venture with Gordon Beck) was a quiet but definite triumph, and the fact that few seemed to notice didn't diminish the musical ripples this LP sent out. It presented a music altogether new, led by a player who had arrived in a big way and took the notion of jazz-rock to a different place. 'The Things You See' has Paul Williams back in great form, Paul Carmichael's sensitive bass and the unstoppable Gary Husband on traps. Unassuming but fantastically complex is 'Where is One', dotted with many little tastes of Holdsworth's brilliance. Here was much more than just fusion. 'Checking Out' rocks with smart arrangements and fresh ideas, 'Letters of Marque' features rich atmospherics and a kick-ass drum solo from Husband. 'Out From Under' is heavy jazz with Holdsworth's signature atonalities, demonstrating Williams' vocal talents and musical understanding, and 'Shallow Sea' is an instrumental showcase. There is every chance you may hate this record, and that's okay. It's progressive, it rocks, and in 1982 was an astounding musical statement. Challenging, difficult and absolutely brilliant.
There might be a fact to which the style of the guitar multiplied at latter term in the middle of the 1980's is established by the technical breakthrough of HR/HM. The technology and machine parts have developed into the situation in Hard Rock on one the top, too. There was often what to make Allan Holdsworth appear in the name that the guitarist enumerated in the interview etc. in the situation in guitar Scene. And, for Allan Holdsworth to keep always challenging music by the spirit of apart from others is to depend on the appearance of the spirit that understands the music at which he should always aim and always makes new music. His performance has an indeed original theory and method. Shape for fingerwork and mathematical theory. And, it is busy of tension note. Vocal nuance by repetition of arming. Phrase mainly composed of manner of controlling the fingering. And, it is accurate and a speed. All the methods that he does always exceed the category of understanding.

Point said that reason why he has nickname of "Spider Finger" made style copy melody of John Coltrane by him and established. And, the point whose his father is a pianist. The style thought out by replacing the progress of the melody and the code that the piano plays with the fingerwork of the guitar might be a performance that only he can do. He got togged up, and and, the fact started might exceed guitarist's frame as for musical instruments such as Sax and Violin and an introduction of various machine parts and an audiovisual theory get togged up gradually.

"Velvet Darkness" that recorded in 1976 and had been announced was first solo album for him. The idea that he had been warming since this time often appeared in the tune. The tune and the idea that he often live did since "i.o.u" is announced are already "Velvet Darkness". Or, it is adopted for "Igginbottom" in which he participated for the first time as a professional. Those elements were digested with own tune and the album of GONG. However, the content of "Velvet Darkness" and details until announcing were situations that were not able to be consented for Allan Holdsworth. It is said that "Velvet Darkness" is a work in the work that he announced that he doesn't admit either. The spirit of the misfortune that it keeps be an age and be apart from others for him might be proportional to the challenge and the change into music.

This factual album "i.o.u." might ..the first solo album true ..him.... finished. The fact to which he is making remarks on this album as one of the masterpieces might appear exactly in all tunes. And, his work is contained a reformative very much element and progresses taking the opportunity of this album. However, the situation of the misfortune that always happens to him besides the activity where he has walked might be a fate. A problem of machine parts and a money problem might always have annoyed him. He kept always showing deference to music and challenging in the situation and life. It is said to the content that he can consent most that it will have finished result "i.o.u". By the way, "i.o.u." has the meaning of "I owe you". He has expressed feelings and a frequent situation in the title of the album.

An indispensable musician for the back for Allan Holdsworth is participating in this album. Paul Williams that competes with Gary Husband and Tempest. A lot of tunes that he was performing for years as the repertoire of live are collected to this album. When "Velvet Darkness" and this album and are compared, the difference point and the change will be able to be discovered the performance method and how to make the sound. The performances such as GONG and U.K might have made the style of his performance certain.

Feelings of the music at which Allan completely aimed might appear remarkably in perfect "The Things You See" with progress and the anacatesthesia of a peculiar code. Guitar solo that comes in succession in the rhythm based on the rhythm of three has exploded. ..Jazzy by Paul Williams.. element contributes to the tune. This tune might be one of the masterpieces in the repertoire of Allan.

It has the element that the theme and the melody of "Where Is One" are complex and mysterious. Gary Husband offers a more complex rhythm and gives the tune the tension.

"Checking Out" has some, friendly melodies. However, it doesn't end in a simple tune. The method of harmony with the guitar and the processing of the space are splendid. Guitar solo that can be listened like RightHand is an astonishing fact. Eddie Van Halen performed and might have been astonished at t about Allan.

It is almost perfect shape in the repertoire in recent years. And, the highlight of "Letters Of Marque" to be able to amuse the listener by always changing the appearance by the various musicians' performances might be bass Solo and be Drum Solo. The composition looks like the progress of Jazz. It is live one of the tunes that always rise.

"Out From Under" will have the element of the lock and Blues. However, the melody of Vocal and progressing the tune are tunes with which the anacatesthesia overflows very much. The idea of the guitar by vocal harmony that appears on the way has succeeded, too.

Quiet atmosphere of "Temporary Fault" often appears in the idea of Allan and the composition of the tune back. The continuousness of a rapid change in the rhythm might be an important factor from Solo that the keyboard that appears only is beautiful for Allan.

This album has divided into the half by the song and the performance. And, "Shallow Sea" is a tune that he recently does. Especially, one of the important elements that decide the flow in composing of live is included. In Instrumental that he does, such a performance might be a part of the prototype by which his performance at this time is formed. The progress of a peculiar code is contained "Quietness" and "Movement" at the same time and progresses.

"White Line" would have been an important, in his repertoire at this time mysterious tune. The melody and the rhythm of the float in the tension in the space advance with some dash feeling. It might be a suitable tune that decorates the end of the album. Allan to express the music that had to be aimed without dropping the album-quality completely never had power.

This album was the first stage to accomplish establishment and evolution exactly for his music. And, it might be a masterpiece in his work. He always changes by the work, advances, and offers the listener various ideas. And, those elements are almost blocked in this album. And, "i.o.u." might be an album that has already executed and expresses Allan Holdsworth.

Members reviews

Allan Holdsworth is an amazing guitarist, even though his name seems to be unfamiliar to many outside of the jazz world. Holdsworth's legato style is mostly unparalleled by any other guitarist, and he proves that every time he releases an album, and I.O.U. is one of his best. First of all, this is a jazz-fusion album with vocals. Some of Holdsworth's albums do have vocals, and they're not really great vocals either. Most people I know prefer their jazz-fusion to be wordless. If you're one of those people, then it's okay, because the music here will make you forget about the vocals (they don't play a big part anyway). After hearing anything played by Holdsworth, you immediately gain the ability to spot his playing from a mile away, and that is because his style is so unique to himself. His lightning-fast single-note legato improvisations are basically what this album is all about, and it is great. I usually don't care for guitarists who noodle, like Steve Vai. But this is far better in that the noodling actually sounds very professional, and it sounds like a voice, and it is entirely melodic and memorable.

Another great thing about this album besides the legato solos is his chord phrasings. Everything played here is absolutely beautiful. Allan Holdsworth has always had a talent for phrasing his tunes beautifully, but it really shines on this album. Just listen to "Where is One", the second track on this album, and you'll understand completely. That track in particular stands out as one of the best on the album, in my opinion. The call-and-response effect is perfect, alternating between a call of beautifully phrased chords that fly smoothly with a response of harshly played staccato lower-register notes. Fantastic, and I'd expect nothing less from Mr. Holdsworth.

If you enjoy jazz-fusion at all, then this album is for you. I'd also suggest anything else by Allan Holdsworth as well. You really can't go wrong with his material.

Ratings only

  • wthii
  • MoogHead
  • theaterd
  • Steve Wyzard
  • Fant0mas
  • KK58
  • Lynx33
  • darkshade
  • chrijom
  • Anster
  • joe
  • chuckyspell
  • trinidadx13

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