Originally released under the group name ‘Igginbottom, this rarity was reissued under the name Allan Holdsworth and Friends after Holdsworth rose to prominence as a fusion guitarist in the ensuing decades.
While it may not be of interest to most, the album is noteworthy for two main reasons – it is the recording debut of Holdsworth, and it is the only release to feature Holdsworth singing, certainly at least for the entire length of the LP.
Beyond that, the music sounds like what you would expect from an English jazz/pop/rock quartet from the period – groovy rhythms, lofty lyrics, hypnotic vocals, and transcendental musicianship.
However, while Holdsworth’s songwriting is nowhere near as complex as the songs he wrote and recorded in the 1980s and sung by others, the intensity of his playing is there from the beginning, even in his early 20s.
Holdsworth’s demonically speedy jazz chops definitely set him and his superbly talented Friends (guitarist and vocalist Steven Robinson, bassist Mick Skelly, and drummer Dave Freeman) apart from others of their ilk and time.
A highlight of the album is “Golden Lakes,” which is basically a template for the title track of Holdsworth’s unofficial solo debut seven years later, Velvet Darkness – but with vocals!
This is definitely a must-have for die-hard Allan Holdsworth purists, as well as those with a fondness for avant-garde music of the era.