Allan Holdsworth Discography
Allan Holdsworth discography: Original releases
The discography has been updated with links to YouTube(++) versions of the albums. See further notes below. If you're primarily interested in Allan's work as a solo artist, check out this link: Allan Holdsworth Solo Discography.
|Album artist||Album name||Year||Role||Performance|
|Igginbottom||Igginbottom's Wrench ||1969||Band member||Guitar, vocals, composer|
|Ian Carr||Belladonna ||1973||Band member||Guitar|
|Tempest||Tempest ||1973||Band member||Guitar, vocals, violin, composer|
|Soft Machine||Bundles ||1975||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|The New Tony Williams Lifetime||Believe It ||1975||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|The New Tony Williams Lifetime||Million Dollar Legs ||1976||Band member||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Velvet Darkness ||1976||Solo artist||Guitar, violin, composer|
|Gong||Gazeuse! ||1976||Band member||Guitar, violin, steel guitar, composer|
|Bruford||Feels Good To Me ||1977||Band member||Guitar|
|Esther Phillips||Capricorn Princess ||1977||Session, 1 track||Pedal steel guitar|
|Jean-Luc Ponty||Enigmatic Ocean ||1977||Band member||Guitar|
|John Stevens||Retouch ||1977||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Gong||Expresso II ||1978||Session, 4 tracks||Guitar|
|U.K.||U.K. ||1978||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|John Stevens||Touching On  ||1978||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Bruford||One Of A Kind ||1979||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Gordon Beck||Sunbird ||1979||Band member||Guitar, violin|
|Pierre Moerlen's Gong||Time Is The Key ||1979||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth, Gordon Beck, Jeff Clyne, John Stevens||Conversation Piece  ||1980||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Soft Machine||Land Of Cockayne ||1981||Session||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck||The Things You See ||1981||Band member||Guitar, vocals, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||I.O.U. ||1982||Solo artist||Guitar, violin, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Road Games ||1983||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Jean-Luc Ponty||Individual Choice ||1983||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Jon St. James||Transatlantic  ||1984||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Metal Fatigue ||1985||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Rege Burrell||Victim Of Emotion||1985||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Atavachron ||1986||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Soma||Soma  ||1986||Session, 5 tracks||Guitar|
|Jon St. James||Fast Impressions  ||1986||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Krokus||Change Of Address ||1986||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Sand ||1987||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Stanley Clarke||If This Bass Could Only Talk ||1988||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Stuart Hamm||Radio Free Albemuth ||1988||Session, 1 track||SynthAxe|
|Allan Holdsworth||Secrets ||1989||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Alex Masi||Attack Of The Neon Shark ||1989||Session, 1 track||SynthAxe|
|Strange Advance||The Distance Between  ||1989||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Jack Bruce||A Question Of Time  ||1989||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck||With A Heart In My Song ||1989||Band member||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Gordon Beck||Dreams ||1989||Producer||Producer only|
|Carl Verheyen||No Borders ||1989||Session, 1 track||SynthAxe|
|Various Artists||Guitar's Practicing Musicians ||1989||Session, 1 track w/ Jeff Watson||Guitar|
|MVP||Truth In Shredding ||1990||Band member||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Steve Tavaglione||Blue Tav ||1990||Session, 1 track||Guitar/SynthAxe|
|Andrea Marcelli||Silent Will  ||1990||Session, 3 tracks||Guitar/SynthAxe|
|Level 42||Guaranteed ||1991||Band member||Guitar|
|Chad Wackerman||Forty Reasons ||1991||Band member||Guitar|
|Paz||Love In Peace (Amour Empaz) ||1991||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Jeff Watson||Lone Ranger ||1992||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Andrea Marcelli||Oneness  ||1992||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar/baritone guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Wardenclyffe Tower ||1993||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Wardenclyffe Tower +3 ||1993||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Various Artists||Come Together ||1993||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Chad Wackerman||The View ||1993||Session, 6 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Hard Hat Area ||1993||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Just For The Curious||1993||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Gongzilla||Suffer    ||1995||Session, 4 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||None Too Soon ||1996||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Anders Johansson, Jens Johansson & Allan Holdsworth||Heavy Machinery ||1996||Band member||Guitar|
|Gorky Park||Stare ||1996||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||I.O.U. Live||1997||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Steve Hunt||From Your Heart And From Your Soul ||1997||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||The Sixteen Men Of Tain ||2000||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Flat Tire ||2001||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||All Night Wrong||2002||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Soft Machine||BBC Radio 1971-1974 ||2003||Band member||Guitar|
|Soft Works||Abracadabra ||2003||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Atlantis||Pray For Rain ||2003||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth Group||Then! ||2003||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Derek Sherinian||Mythology  ||2004||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|K2||Book Of The Dead ||2004||Session, 4 tracks||Guitar|
|Riptyde||Sonic Undertow  ||2004||Session/featured soloist||Guitar|
|David Hines||Nebula  ||2005||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Against The Clock  ||2005||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Tempest||Under The Blossom: The Anthology ||2005||Band member||Guitar|
|Soft Machine||Floating World Live ||2006||Band member||Guitar, violin, composer|
|Bruford||Rock Goes To College ||2006||Band member||Guitar|
|Planet X||Quantum  ||2007||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Jean-Luc Ponty||The Acatama Experience ||2007||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Dan Carlin & Friends||Prowlin’ ||2007||Session, 1 track||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Chris Buck||Progosaurus ||2008||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman||Blues For Tony ||2009||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Danny Thompson, Allan Holdsworth, John Stevens||Propensity ||2009||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Snew||Highway Star ||2009||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Paul Korda||Early Years ||2009||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Eric Keyes||No One Knows My Thirst ||2009||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Gary Husband||Dirty And Beautiful Volume 1 ||2010||Session, 3 tracks||Guitar|
|Corrado Rustici||Deconstruction Of A Postmodern Musician ||2010||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Level 42||Living It Up||2010||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Gary Husband||Dirty And Beautiful Volume 2 ||2012||Session, 1 track||Guitar|
|Chad Wackerman||Dreams Nightmares And Improvisations ||2012||Band member||Guitar, SynthAxe, Starr Switch|
|Soft Machine||Switzerland 1974||2015||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|U.K.||Ultimate Collector's Edition||2016||Band member||Guitar, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Tales From The Vault ||2016||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||Eidolon ||2017||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe, composer|
|Allan Holdsworth||The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever ||2017||Solo artist||Box Set|
|MSM Schmidt||Life  ||2017||Session, 2 tracks||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Live In Japan 1984 ||2018||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Peter Lemer||Jet Yellow ||2019||Session, 1 track.||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98 ||2019||Solo artist||Guitar, composer|
|Holdsworth/Warleigh/Mathewson/Spring||Warleigh Manor ||2020||Group member||Guitar, violin|
|PAZ with The Singing Bowls of Tibet||Live In London '81: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 2 ||2020||Group member||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Frankfurt '86 ||2020||Solo artist||Guitar, SynthAxe|
|Lockwood/Beck/Holdsworth/Jenny-Clark/Romano||The Unique Concert ||2020||Group member||Guitar|
|Soft Works||Abracadabra In Osaka ||2020||Group member||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Leverkusen '97 ||2021||Solo artist||Guitar|
|Allan Holdsworth||Leverkusen 2010||2021||Solo artist||Guitar|
(Note: A first draft of compilations is found here: Allan Holdsworth discography: Noteworthy compilations)
In March 2020, YouTube links were added to the discography. YouTube was chosen as it is presumably the most widely available resource available to audiences all over the world. I have tried to locate officially licensed versions where available. I have tried to link to full album playlists where this seemed most pertinent, and to single tracks where this seemed most pertinent, but you may need to do some extra clicking to get to Allan's tracks. In some single cases, I have made links to other platforms. I hope you enjoy. The official "channel" named as "Allan Holdsworth Topic" is found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiyDXNsExWcKTDv_EsBJ_Dw
There are many ways of doing a discography. For this version, the following applies:
The listing includes music released officially on vinyl, compact disc and digitally. Though some records were released officially, their legality was contested by Allan, and some were withdrawn from the market, such as reissues of “Velvet Darkness”. More information on this will eventually appear in the articles.
Outright bootlegs will not be listed. Films and books will go on a separate list. Allan in the capacity of producer, engineer or other tasks will go on a separate list (with some notable exceptions.)
The list is categorized by artist, album name, year of release, Allan’s role, and by the type of performance, as follows:
- Artist and album name are listed as it appears on the cover. This means that ”Belladonna”, for example, is listed as an Ian Carr release, and not Nucleus.
- The albums are listed chronologically on the year of original release. The chronology is sometimes dubious, but is intended to show the records roughly in the order they were released.
- Allan is listed according to whether he appears as a band member, a session musician, or a solo artist. These definitions are somewhat subjective, but as a general rule, albums with only one or two tracks will count as sessions. On these albums, the number of tracks where Allan appears is listed. Where Allan appears throughout the album he will generally be listed as band member. He is listed as a solo artist on recordings released in his own name alone.
- For the performance category, Allan is listed as to whether he contributed with guitar, SynthAxe, violin or vocals. Albums featuring his compositions are also noted.
The list does not contain albums with re-releases and compilations of previously released material, except where the new releases also contain previously unreleased music. That means that the Tempest anthology “Under The Blossom” is listed, for example, as it contains previously unreleased recordings from the BBC. Also, “Wardenclyffe Tower +3” is listed as a separate release. An exception is made for the 2017 box set.
Updates, errors and omissions: A discography will usually be based on some subjective criteria, which may also be revised. Some revisions are in order: Some albums by U.K. released after the band broke up need to be added to the list. There are special editions of some albums featuring previously unreleased material that need to be added for consistency, such as the special edition of “Sixteen Men Of Tain”.
Allan did a number of sessions for the BBC. These have been heavily bootlegged, but never officially released, with some exceptions. Here is a listed of known unreleased sessions: Allan Holdsworth BBC sessions.
Allan made numerous references to albums that he was working on that were not finished. One of these projects was referred to as Snakes And Ladders.
Allan recorded a full album's worth of guitar parts for Soma's second album. At present, this album remains unreleased, but bootleg copies of rough mixes circulate. More information can be found on the Soma page.
Allan is credited on some works where he does in fact not appear:
Speed: Allan is credited as soloist on the soundtrack for the movie "Speed". Apparently, the score composer was a fan, and commissioned some work from Allan. He delivered some SynthAxe material, which was ultimately not used in the final film. It may have had to do with some technical issues. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0390380/?ref_=nv_sr_2
Steve Morse Band: Stand up. Allan was slated to appear on Steve Morse's album "Stand Up", but for some reason he was not able to deliver his tracks in time. Curiously, the cassette tape cover was already sent to the printer when this happened, and thus the cassette cover lists Allan as appearing on "English Rancher". https://www.discogs.com/Steve-Morse-Band-Stand-Up/release/8933270
Also, there has been a persistent rumour that Allan played on Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man". This rumour has been disproved by Allan himself and his associates. It's probably worth an article of itself, though.
There are a number of sites that present Holdsworth discographies. Below, I have included links to some of these, with a few comments.
Wikipedia Discography: The Wikipedia discography is at the time of writing divided up into "Solo albums", which are subdivided into studio, live and collaborations, and the third main category is "With other artists", with the latter ordered in a format it took me some time to figure out. It starts with the group Igginbottom and lists their 1969 album. Then, it moves chronologically until we come to Soft Machine. All of Allan's albums with the Softs are then listed chronologically, before Allan's albums with Tony Williams are listed chronologically. I find this format confusing. Furthermore, due to its policy on "notability", Wikipedia does not list all albums featuring Allan. Most critically, some albums released posthumously are not listed as a result of this policy.
Discogs Discography: Discogs is a user-submitted site, which means it contains a lot of entries, but which also means that it's prone to errors. That said, Discogs is probably the main source used for the discography on this site. It allows sorting and filtering by many criteria. The link provided lists appearances chronologically, much like the present discography. However, it includes compilations, which makes it somewhat confusing to me. The site lists some outright bootlegs, which I find to be a drawback. You can search for other things than appearances, such as listings for production. With a little clicking around, you can find complete lineups for recordings, composer credits and lots of other stuff. There are some minor errors, but overall, this is my favorite. I haven't checked recently, but I think it contains all of the listings on this site.
I spotted the following errors: Allan is listed as appearing on Steve Morse Band's "Stand Up". The wrong track is listed on Masi's "Attack Of The Neon Shark". Allan is listed on "Hurdy Gurdy Man".
AllMusic Discography Allmusic is similar to Discogs in many respects. From what I understand, the listings are editorial, which should ideally mean less errors. However, this is not necessarily the case. For example, AllMusic lists Dononvan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man", although the claim that Allan played on this record has been refuted (which I should probably write about!). It also lists Allan as playing on a Kip Winger album, which I have no other info on. The credits also mix appearances, songwriting, production and everything else into one list. That said, it's a good source, especially for cover versions, although not all the composer listings are correct.