One Of A Kind (album)
The second Bruford album features the same core band as the first, but sounds tighter and a little more organic. Allan is featured plenty, playing melody lines and solos, and has a composition, “The Abingdon Chasp”, with some majestic multitracked guitar parts, and even a short acoustic interlude.
How did you happen to play with Bill Bruford? Bill asked me if I would play on his album, Feels Good To Me. Afterwards, I started to really get sick of soloing. I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I just killed myself with alcohol. When Bill asked me to work on his second album, One Of A Kind, I expected things to be different, especially since he had Jeff Berlin on bass. Jeff’s a very good player.
Didn’t you feel that your declining interest would be detrimental to the group? Well, some musicians are very efficient in that they can wade through things and not get upset. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. As soon as something like that starts to affect me, I lose all heart. And once I’ve lost the heart of it, I don’t even try anymore. It’s wrong; it’s a bad thing. But because I just couldn’t fight it, I left. I started complaining a lot and as a result, on Bill’s One Of A Kind I was able to play quite a few of the solos live. I really liked the solo at the end of "In Five G."
But as Holdsworth remembers, his gear for the recording of that album and its groundbreaking solo is somewhat pared down compared to the equipment he uses today. "I was using only a single 50-watt Marshall and two 4xl2 cabinets," he mused. "Occasionally, I used a Vox AC30, but not on the UK album-1 used that on Bill’s record, One Of A Kind.
Upon exiting U.K. in 1979, Holdsworth and Bruford resumed working together for a few months, performing live (Bruford’s BBC: Rock Goes to College provides a taste, and showcases the guitarist’s improvisational prowess), and recording Bruford’s One Of A Kind.
Stephen Tayler on recording "One Of A Kind"
In the August 2021 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine, recording engineer Stephen Tayler reminisces about the recording of "One Of A Kind":
"Allan was quite the character,” Tayler remembers. “I first experienced his work on the Gong album Gazeuse, which I mixed, then I worked with him on Feels Good to Me and the U.K. album. He was extremely focused and critical of his contribution, but very insecure about his playing, and never that happy about a performance. He wanted to keep doing things over, so we had to encourage him and finally tell him we'd captured it!”
“For overdubs, we started to have Allan play in the control room while feeding his signal to the studio floor. I usually recorded one microphone close to his cabinet, then I'd set up another at some distance to pick up the room sound to a separate track so I could create a balance. I remember recording Allan playing his Strat in the control room as we monitored really loudly so he could control tone and feedback.”
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