consuming 70s rock

Consuming the 70s: Heavy and (Not) Forgotten

Although it certainly didn’t start there, I have Pete Pardo and the Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel to thank for my latest musical excavation. Looking back over this site’s history it’s no secret I love the music of the 70s in all its facets. But hard rock, metal, and prog have always been my bread and butter, and my listening habits have recently been all but taken over by the sinister siren of Moog synthesizers and Fender Rhodes, of the primitive lock of bass and drums matched against Marshall amps stacked to the heavens, reverberating with the root of a thousand riffs chained within, that pentatonic box which birthed a thousand bands…a million songs. From the obscenely popular to the ominously obscured, I’ve been digging deep into the woodwork of 70s rock, and it’s all that damn Pardo’s fault.

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allan holdsworth - iou

Allan Holdsworth: i.o.u. (1982)

Guitarists whose playing is truly unique and identifiable are few and far between.  Sure, you can maybe listen to two seconds of a solo and know who’s playing it and what song it’s off of, but what if it were a new song?  Eddie Van Halen?  Sure.  Brian May?  Maybe.  If Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn were alive I’d throw them into the mix.  But one person truly deserving of being in that conversation is the late, great Allan Holdsworth, whose virtuosity on the instrument is matched by his unique way of using harmony to construct massively complex chord structures that delicately balance straight jazz, fusion, and pop.  I.O.U. stands out as a masterpiece that recalls the best of what Holdsworth brought to music, still vibrantly alive almost 40 years after it was recorded. Continue reading “Allan Holdsworth: i.o.u. (1982)”