Difference between revisions of "Tales From The Vault (album)"

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(Album information)
 
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This was meant to be a crowd sourced project where Allan would pull stuff from his vault, plus finish some unfinished recordings. What we ended up with was one new track written by Virgil Donati, a lot of alternate mixes and lead vocal takes from “Road Games”, two new SynthAxe numbers, an early version of “Abingdon Chasp”, and a recovered IOU recording of “Water On The Brain”.
 
This was meant to be a crowd sourced project where Allan would pull stuff from his vault, plus finish some unfinished recordings. What we ended up with was one new track written by Virgil Donati, a lot of alternate mixes and lead vocal takes from “Road Games”, two new SynthAxe numbers, an early version of “Abingdon Chasp”, and a recovered IOU recording of “Water On The Brain”.
  
==Album information==
 
  
Documenting the release of this album is complicated by the fact that PledgeMusic has since gone out of business, and their website has disappeared. The only information that is available openly is what has been archived on The Wayback Machine. A lot of the material posted on the Pledge site required a sign-in, which means this material is not available through the Wayback Machine. (The first archived copy is from March 7, 2015.) A few of these posts have been archived here, see below. I will try to piece together a story based on the available facts.
 
 
'''March 2, 2015: Announcement'''. An announcement was made on PledgeMusic, signed by Allan. Here's an excerpt:
 
 
''"Just to clarify since there have been some questions as to what people are receiving as the first “downloads”, I originally recorded the basic tracks for two albums’ worth of material over the last 10 years or so with different trios. One with Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs (the one and only recorded version of this amazing trio) and the other with one of favorite trios Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson. All new music.''
 
 
''Due to record industry changes and some personal stuff I went through, I never completely finished them and so never released them. Some of you may know that the original title for one of these albums was “Snakes and Ladders”. “Snakes and Ladders” in now part of these tracks. None of this music has been fully mixed, edited and mastered until now. Your pledges allow me to finish these tracks, add some new solos, edit/tweak the tracks, mix and master them and then have an outlet that bypasses the traditional way I have released albums over the years.''
 
 
''As I finish each track(s) in the coming months, I will be releasing one or two each month over the next 6 months for download in high res formats. Towards the end of 2015 I hope to release ALL of the tracks from both unreleased albums in special cd and vinyl sets available only through Pledge. Each will have technical notes from me, rare pictures from my career, liner notes written by me, audiophile sound, amazing packaging and some other very cool surprises."''
 
 
'''August 31, 2015: First track posted'''. The track "Earth" was posted in two versions. One was a full version, the other was a mix without the guitar solo. Excerpt of Allan's update:
 
 
''"The reason I chose to do this first was simply because of the fact that it has been so long since I did a studio recording that I didn’t want to just dig up some older music (which actually may have been just fine). I decided to do an arrangement of Virgil’s tune Earth. I found it compelling so I re arranged the tune (not the form that remained the same) just a little re harmonization here and there. So there you have it. The other version is very different as you will hear. In fact I think I arranged myself out of it because of all the cheese I put behind the guitar solo first (that I had to play around). I had already done a previous solo that the computer didn’t like and torched it. Oh well. Don’t be fooled by the short (largely diatonic) solo theres plenty of guitar on the rest of the tunes. I just loved the piece..thats what this was about."''
 
 
'''January 20, 2016: Delays and apologies'''. Allan posted an apology on the delay of the next two planned tracks, which were "Lanyard Loop" and "Gas Lamp Blues". Take note that these two tracks were in fact never posted.
 
 
'''July 21, 2016: Final tracks posted'''. The final tracks were posted on PledgeMusic. At the same time, liner notes by Allan were posted. Allan explained that he originally wanted to release newly recorded solos on existing backing tracks. Since he was not able to finish these new recordings, he instead dug through his archives and released some old tapes. These included an old 70s demo, a previously unreleased recording from the IOU sessions, some alternate mixes of "Road Games" tracks, and two previously unreleased solo SynthAxe tracks.
 
 
In between these key posts, there are several posts signed by Allan, his production team, and PledgeMusic, which effectively are all apologies due to delays. After the announcement on July 21, 2016, two updates were posted from Allan's production team. The surviving snippets give the impression that Allan had parted ways with the production team:
 
 
'''December 19, 2016: An Open Letter to Allan's Fans'''. ''"PledgeMusic note: The following post is from the project creators, whom represented the artist at time of launch. This is not information from PledgeMusic, nor is it reflective of PledgeMusic. Hi ..."''
 
 
'''February 3, 2017: Final Update from John McC.''' ''"This is the last update from me in this campaign. I wanted to clear the air and leave on a positive note. I realize that some of you took offense at the last update I wrote. I apologize to the..."''
 
 
These were the last updates to be posted.  The last archived copy of the update page is from May 15, 2019. http://web.archive.org/web/20190515211043/https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates
 
 
'''Discussions''': There was a discussion page on PledgeMusic were there was a lot of activity at times. A lot of the discussion centered on the frequent delays in delivery of tracks. A few discussion pages are archived. The most recent one seems to be June 15, 2017, and the oldest from May 29, 2015. You may be able to find information relevant to the album here, but take note that it's very hard to verify the accuracy of anything that's posted on an internet dicussion page. The last archived discussion page can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20170415040118/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/artists/allanholdsworth/discussion?project_id=9704
 
 
'''PledgeMusic products''': There were a number of products available for purchase for pledgers. The basic product was the "AccessPass" with digital tracks for download, as well as access to the updates of the PledgeMusic project site. Additionally, you could sign up for T-shirts, having your name printed in the CD booklet, getting a signed booklet, posters, and even a signed guitar. Judging from the discussion on the website, there were several delays in delivery of these products. I do not have verifiable information on these matters, however. A CD was ultimately printed and sent to those who pledged for it. How many of these that were actually made is hard to tell. You can have a look at the store here: http://web.archive.org/web/20160215193000/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/projects/allanholdsworth/exclusives
 
  
 
==Track list==
 
==Track list==
Line 72: Line 42:
 
''Material Real<br> Road Games<br> Was There<br> Water On The Brain'' <br>(otherwise same recordings as previously released)
 
''Material Real<br> Road Games<br> Was There<br> Water On The Brain'' <br>(otherwise same recordings as previously released)
  
'''''Road Games Mark Pinske Mixes''''':<br> ''Material Real<br> Three Sheets To The Wind<br> Tokyo Dream''<br> (same recordings as previously released)
+
'''''Road Games Mark Pinske Mixes''''':<br> ''Material Real<br> Three Sheets To The Wind<br> Tokyo Dream''<br> (same recordings as previously released, but slightly different mixes.)
  
 
I use the term “previous partially released” as all these tracks contain previously released guitar, drum and bass tracks, with different vocals or mixes. There are NO NEW GUITAR PARTS OR SOLOS on these. The previously partially released recordings all stem from the Road Games sessions. Four tracks feature Joe Turano on lead vocals, the recordings are otherwise the same as the previously released album versions. Three tracks are mixes made by Mark Pinske in Frank Zappa’s studio. These contain the same recordings as the previously released album versions.
 
I use the term “previous partially released” as all these tracks contain previously released guitar, drum and bass tracks, with different vocals or mixes. There are NO NEW GUITAR PARTS OR SOLOS on these. The previously partially released recordings all stem from the Road Games sessions. Four tracks feature Joe Turano on lead vocals, the recordings are otherwise the same as the previously released album versions. Three tracks are mixes made by Mark Pinske in Frank Zappa’s studio. These contain the same recordings as the previously released album versions.
Line 119: Line 89:
 
Tales From The Vault turned into a bit of a disaster, actually. There were some older tracks that I’d done before with Ernest and Joel but I never finished; I was going to finish them for the pledge campaign, but basically the money ran out. Compared to other people I don’t produce albums very quickly. So I ended up not using some of those tunes; it wasn’t financially possible for me to do it.
 
Tales From The Vault turned into a bit of a disaster, actually. There were some older tracks that I’d done before with Ernest and Joel but I never finished; I was going to finish them for the pledge campaign, but basically the money ran out. Compared to other people I don’t produce albums very quickly. So I ended up not using some of those tunes; it wasn’t financially possible for me to do it.
  
 +
=Album information=
 +
 +
Documenting the release of this album is complicated by the fact that PledgeMusic has since gone out of business, and their website has disappeared. The only information that is available openly is what has been archived on The Wayback Machine. A lot of the material posted on the Pledge site required a sign-in, which means this material is not available through the Wayback Machine. (The first archived copy is from March 7, 2015.) A few of these posts have been archived here from my private collection, see below. I will try to piece together a story based on the available facts.
 +
 +
'''March 2, 2015: Announcement'''. An announcement was made on PledgeMusic, signed by Allan. Here's an excerpt:
 +
 +
''"Just to clarify since there have been some questions as to what people are receiving as the first “downloads”, I originally recorded the basic tracks for two albums’ worth of material over the last 10 years or so with different trios. One with Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs (the one and only recorded version of this amazing trio) and the other with one of favorite trios Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson. All new music.''
 +
 +
''Due to record industry changes and some personal stuff I went through, I never completely finished them and so never released them. Some of you may know that the original title for one of these albums was “Snakes and Ladders”. “Snakes and Ladders” in now part of these tracks. None of this music has been fully mixed, edited and mastered until now. Your pledges allow me to finish these tracks, add some new solos, edit/tweak the tracks, mix and master them and then have an outlet that bypasses the traditional way I have released albums over the years.''
 +
 +
''As I finish each track(s) in the coming months, I will be releasing one or two each month over the next 6 months for download in high res formats. Towards the end of 2015 I hope to release ALL of the tracks from both unreleased albums in special cd and vinyl sets available only through Pledge. Each will have technical notes from me, rare pictures from my career, liner notes written by me, audiophile sound, amazing packaging and some other very cool surprises."''
 +
 +
'''August 31, 2015: First track posted'''. The track "Earth" was posted in two versions. One was a full version, the other was a mix without the guitar solo. Excerpt of Allan's update:
 +
 +
''"The reason I chose to do this first was simply because of the fact that it has been so long since I did a studio recording that I didn’t want to just dig up some older music (which actually may have been just fine). I decided to do an arrangement of Virgil’s tune Earth. I found it compelling so I re arranged the tune (not the form that remained the same) just a little re harmonization here and there. So there you have it. The other version is very different as you will hear. In fact I think I arranged myself out of it because of all the cheese I put behind the guitar solo first (that I had to play around). I had already done a previous solo that the computer didn’t like and torched it. Oh well. Don’t be fooled by the short (largely diatonic) solo theres plenty of guitar on the rest of the tunes. I just loved the piece..thats what this was about."''
 +
 +
'''January 20, 2016: Delays and apologies'''. Allan posted an apology on the delay of the next two planned tracks, which were "Lanyard Loop" and "Gas Lamp Blues". Take note that these two tracks were in fact never posted.
 +
 +
'''July 21, 2016: Final tracks posted'''. The final tracks were posted on PledgeMusic. At the same time, liner notes by Allan were posted. Allan explained that he originally wanted to release newly recorded solos on existing backing tracks. Since he was not able to finish these new recordings, he instead dug through his archives and released some old tapes. These included an old 70s demo, a previously unreleased recording from the IOU sessions, some alternate mixes of "Road Games" tracks, and two previously unreleased solo SynthAxe tracks.
 +
 +
In between these key posts, there are several posts signed by Allan, his production team, and PledgeMusic, which effectively are all apologies due to delays. After the announcement on July 21, 2016, two updates were posted from Allan's production team. The surviving snippets give the impression that Allan had parted ways with the production team:
 +
 +
'''December 19, 2016: An Open Letter to Allan's Fans'''. ''"PledgeMusic note: The following post is from the project creators, whom represented the artist at time of launch. This is not information from PledgeMusic, nor is it reflective of PledgeMusic. Hi ..."''
 +
 +
'''February 3, 2017: Final Update from John McC.''' ''"This is the last update from me in this campaign. I wanted to clear the air and leave on a positive note. I realize that some of you took offense at the last update I wrote. I apologize to the..."''
 +
 +
These were the last updates to be posted.  The last archived copy of the update page is from May 15, 2019. http://web.archive.org/web/20190515211043/https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates
 +
 +
'''Discussions''': There was a discussion page on PledgeMusic were there was a lot of activity at times. A lot of the discussion centered on the frequent delays in delivery of tracks. A few discussion pages are archived. The most recent one seems to be June 15, 2017, and the oldest from May 29, 2015. You may be able to find information relevant to the album here, but take note that it's very hard to verify the accuracy of anything that's posted on an internet dicussion page. The last archived discussion page can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20170415040118/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/artists/allanholdsworth/discussion?project_id=9704
 +
 +
'''PledgeMusic products''': There were a number of products available for purchase for pledgers. The basic product was the "AccessPass" with digital tracks for download, as well as access to the updates of the PledgeMusic project site. Additionally, you could sign up for T-shirts, having your name printed in the CD booklet, getting a signed booklet, posters, and even a signed guitar. Judging from the discussion on the website, there were several delays in delivery of these products. I do not have verifiable information on these matters, however. A CD was ultimately printed and sent to those who pledged for it. How many of these that were actually made is hard to tell. You can have a look at the store here: http://web.archive.org/web/20160215193000/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/projects/allanholdsworth/exclusives
 +
 +
==Technical details==
 +
 +
Here are some [[Technical Details on "Tales From The Vault"]].
  
 
[[Category:Solo albums]]
 
[[Category:Solo albums]]
Line 126: Line 131:
 
The following are the posts signed by Allan from the Pledge campaign for "Tales From The Vault". They contain some interesting facts, both about the nature of the released tracks, but also about material that remains unreleased. Posts made by Allan's management have not been included here, but the campaign was severely delayed and ran into all sorts of problems, which the management responded to. Some of the problems are apparent from Allan's updates. The Allan Holdsworth Information Center would prefer to focus on music and creativity and verifiable facts. "Tales From The Vault" is problematic in that regard, as it's hard to tell exactly what happened. Hopefully we'll know the complete story someday. NB! Although these posts have been signed in Allan's name, it is highly unlikely he actually posted them himself, and there is the possibility that they have been edited by someone in Allan's Pledge team.
 
The following are the posts signed by Allan from the Pledge campaign for "Tales From The Vault". They contain some interesting facts, both about the nature of the released tracks, but also about material that remains unreleased. Posts made by Allan's management have not been included here, but the campaign was severely delayed and ran into all sorts of problems, which the management responded to. Some of the problems are apparent from Allan's updates. The Allan Holdsworth Information Center would prefer to focus on music and creativity and verifiable facts. "Tales From The Vault" is problematic in that regard, as it's hard to tell exactly what happened. Hopefully we'll know the complete story someday. NB! Although these posts have been signed in Allan's name, it is highly unlikely he actually posted them himself, and there is the possibility that they have been edited by someone in Allan's Pledge team.
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49301
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49301
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MARCH, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MARCH, 2015==
Line 151: Line 156:
 
Allan
 
Allan
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49623
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49623
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 08 MARCH, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 08 MARCH, 2015==
Line 170: Line 175:
 
Allan
 
Allan
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52566
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52566
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 01 MAY, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 01 MAY, 2015==
Line 192: Line 197:
 
Allan
 
Allan
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52571
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52571
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MAY, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MAY, 2015==
Line 218: Line 223:
 
Cheers for now, Allan.
 
Cheers for now, Allan.
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/54828
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/54828
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 17 JUNE, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 17 JUNE, 2015==
Line 232: Line 237:
 
Allan.
 
Allan.
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/55659
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/55659
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 JULY, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 JULY, 2015==
Line 245: Line 250:
 
Cheers for now, best wishes, Allan.
 
Cheers for now, best wishes, Allan.
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/57074
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/57074
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 JULY, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 JULY, 2015==
Line 259: Line 264:
 
Allan
 
Allan
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/58514
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/58514
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 AUGUST, 2015==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 AUGUST, 2015==
Line 280: Line 285:
 
Allan.
 
Allan.
  
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/64844
+
[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/64844
  
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 20 JANUARY, 2016==
 
==ACCESSPASS UPDATE 20 JANUARY, 2016==
Line 304: Line 309:
 
Allan.
 
Allan.
  
[[Technical Details on "Tales From The Vault"]]
 
 
[[Category:Discography]][[Category: Solo albums]]
 
[[Category:Discography]][[Category: Solo albums]]

Latest revision as of 00:38, 2 December 2019

"Tales From The Vault" is the name of an Allan Holdsworth album that was released digitally through Pledge Music in 2015 to 2016. The music was only available through the Pledge Music website. NB! This album is not legally for sale as of March 2019. The rights are apparently in limbo.

This was meant to be a crowd sourced project where Allan would pull stuff from his vault, plus finish some unfinished recordings. What we ended up with was one new track written by Virgil Donati, a lot of alternate mixes and lead vocal takes from “Road Games”, two new SynthAxe numbers, an early version of “Abingdon Chasp”, and a recovered IOU recording of “Water On The Brain”.


Track list

The album was initally released digitally through Pledge music. No track order was published with the tracks, although some customers received a CD at a later time. The track list for the CD is unknown, so here is the track list in alphabetical order, with brief information in parentheses. The track names themselves are taken directly from the file names of the digital release.

TALES FROM THE VAULT TRACKLIST:

Abingdon Chasp (Previously unreleased recording)
Earth w_solos (Previously unreleased recording)
Earth no solos (Previously unreleased recording)
Material Real Outtake (Alternate lead vocals of Road Games recording)
Material Real Pinski Mix Mastered (Alternate mix of Road Games recording)
New Dawn (Previously unreleased recording)
Poochini (Previously unreleased recording)
Road Games Outtake (Alternate lead vocals of Road Games recording)
Three Sheets Pinski Mix Mastered (Alternate mix of Road Games recording)
Tokyo Dream Pinski Mix Mastered (Alternate mix of Road Games recording)
Was There Outtake (recorded at the Road Games session)
Water on the Brain Outtake (recorded at the IOU sessions)
Water on the Brain Paul Williams (Alternate lead vocals of Road Games recording)

Allan Holdsworth Archives review

TALES FROM THE VAULT - a review

A Youtube video has surfaced with excerpts from Allan’s “Tales From The Vault”. This was a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign, with the intention of releasing “previously recorded but unreleased studio material compiled over the last 10+ years”, in a quote attributed to Allan himself. The finished project didn’t come out like advertised, for a variety of reasons. The first update in the Pledge campaign was posted in March 2015. In Aug 2015, the track “Earth” was released. Then, it took almost a year before the remaining tracks were released. There seem to be various accounts of the events that took place, so for now we’ll just focus on what was actually released.

Here’s the video with excerpts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1fg5Sz3U20

Roughly speaking, the released files consisted of seven tracks of what I call “previous partially released recordings”, and five tracks of previously unreleased recordings. Of these, only three are previously unreleased compositions. Here is a brief list of the tracks released as “Tales From The Vault”, followed by a brief review of the tracks.

Recordings previously partially released:

Road Games outtakes ft Joe Turano on vocals:
Material Real
Road Games
Was There
Water On The Brain

(otherwise same recordings as previously released)

Road Games Mark Pinske Mixes:
Material Real
Three Sheets To The Wind
Tokyo Dream

(same recordings as previously released, but slightly different mixes.)

I use the term “previous partially released” as all these tracks contain previously released guitar, drum and bass tracks, with different vocals or mixes. There are NO NEW GUITAR PARTS OR SOLOS on these. The previously partially released recordings all stem from the Road Games sessions. Four tracks feature Joe Turano on lead vocals, the recordings are otherwise the same as the previously released album versions. Three tracks are mixes made by Mark Pinske in Frank Zappa’s studio. These contain the same recordings as the previously released album versions.

Previously unrelased recordings:

Allan Holdsworth: Abingdon Chasp - demo with Bill Bruford, Francois Moze, Ray Warleigh
IOU outtake: Water On The Brain, vocal version ft. Paul Williams
Solo SynthAxe pieces: New Dawn, Poochini
Allan Holdsworth: Earth - new recording with Virgil Donati and Jimmy Johnson

The previously unreleased recordings are a mixed bag. The version of “The Abingdon Chasp” features Ray Warleigh on sax, and Francois Moze of Gong on bass, in addition to Bruford, but is otherwise very similar to the version released on “One Of A Kind”. It’s likely this was a demo version recorded prior to “One Of A Kind”, but no dates or further info is provided. The version of “Water On The Brain” was recorded for the IOU album, the tapes stolen, and only retrieved after the album was released. It’s freer and loser than the Road Games version, and in my opinion should be added to a deluxe version of the IOU album. (This version might have been available on the internet in the form of a hissy cassette tape rough mix.) Two SynthAxe pieces are included, much in the vein of “Flat Tire”, although no dates are given. "New Dawn" was written by pianist and sometime collaborator Pat Smythe.

The track “Earth” is not included among the excerpts, but is perhaps the closest thing we get to hearing what a new Allan Holdsworth solo album would have sounded like, even though it is a Virgil Donati composition. You can hear excerpts of “Earth” in the following video:

Allan Holdsworth Sessions with Virgil Donati 4/14/15 Tales from the Vault Pledge Music Campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X07gDIfR1z0

In the end, this project turned out to be somewhat underwhelming. Most fans probably expected to hear more than mostly new mixes and versions with different vocals. For this listener, the IOU version of “Water On The Brain” was the artistic high point. The free flowing interplay between Gary, Paul and Allan, wonderful chord voicings, Paul Williams’ voice being a perfect fit for the music, and a short but sweet guitar solo were worth the price of admission alone. It’s uncharacteristically short at a just a little over two minutes, but would have fit perfectly into the original album.

At present, the project is closed, and the legal status of these tracks appear to be in limbo. You cannot buy these tracks legally anywhere, as the Pledge does not accept donations, and they have not been released elsewhere. Anybody who was too late in pledging will have to get these tracks on the grey or black market. Nobody knows what will happen to these tracks in the future.

It’s fortunate that Allan was able to see the release of the box set “The man who changed guitar forever” on Manifesto records, as it is a much more fitting image of his legacy. Get your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Changed-Guitar-Forever/dp/B01N5P4DLD

(Review found at https://www.facebook.com/AllanHoldsworthArchives/posts/749330075240888)

Links:

Pledge music site: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth

A few promo videos from the project:

Allan Holdsworth "Earth" Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQu_O4nKK0I (The title is somewhat misleading, as the track “Earth” is not in fact featured.)

Allan Holdsworth Pledge - 'Tales from the Vault' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I7NBoP27TQ (Pledge promo)

Liner notes

Allan's liner notes for the project are reproduced here: Tales From The Vault (liner notes).

Quotes by Allan

Allan Holdsworth: The final interview (Team Rock 2017)

What’s the status of the crowdfunding project for Tales From The Vault?

Tales From The Vault turned into a bit of a disaster, actually. There were some older tracks that I’d done before with Ernest and Joel but I never finished; I was going to finish them for the pledge campaign, but basically the money ran out. Compared to other people I don’t produce albums very quickly. So I ended up not using some of those tunes; it wasn’t financially possible for me to do it.

Album information

Documenting the release of this album is complicated by the fact that PledgeMusic has since gone out of business, and their website has disappeared. The only information that is available openly is what has been archived on The Wayback Machine. A lot of the material posted on the Pledge site required a sign-in, which means this material is not available through the Wayback Machine. (The first archived copy is from March 7, 2015.) A few of these posts have been archived here from my private collection, see below. I will try to piece together a story based on the available facts.

March 2, 2015: Announcement. An announcement was made on PledgeMusic, signed by Allan. Here's an excerpt:

"Just to clarify since there have been some questions as to what people are receiving as the first “downloads”, I originally recorded the basic tracks for two albums’ worth of material over the last 10 years or so with different trios. One with Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs (the one and only recorded version of this amazing trio) and the other with one of favorite trios Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson. All new music.

Due to record industry changes and some personal stuff I went through, I never completely finished them and so never released them. Some of you may know that the original title for one of these albums was “Snakes and Ladders”. “Snakes and Ladders” in now part of these tracks. None of this music has been fully mixed, edited and mastered until now. Your pledges allow me to finish these tracks, add some new solos, edit/tweak the tracks, mix and master them and then have an outlet that bypasses the traditional way I have released albums over the years.

As I finish each track(s) in the coming months, I will be releasing one or two each month over the next 6 months for download in high res formats. Towards the end of 2015 I hope to release ALL of the tracks from both unreleased albums in special cd and vinyl sets available only through Pledge. Each will have technical notes from me, rare pictures from my career, liner notes written by me, audiophile sound, amazing packaging and some other very cool surprises."

August 31, 2015: First track posted. The track "Earth" was posted in two versions. One was a full version, the other was a mix without the guitar solo. Excerpt of Allan's update:

"The reason I chose to do this first was simply because of the fact that it has been so long since I did a studio recording that I didn’t want to just dig up some older music (which actually may have been just fine). I decided to do an arrangement of Virgil’s tune Earth. I found it compelling so I re arranged the tune (not the form that remained the same) just a little re harmonization here and there. So there you have it. The other version is very different as you will hear. In fact I think I arranged myself out of it because of all the cheese I put behind the guitar solo first (that I had to play around). I had already done a previous solo that the computer didn’t like and torched it. Oh well. Don’t be fooled by the short (largely diatonic) solo theres plenty of guitar on the rest of the tunes. I just loved the piece..thats what this was about."

January 20, 2016: Delays and apologies. Allan posted an apology on the delay of the next two planned tracks, which were "Lanyard Loop" and "Gas Lamp Blues". Take note that these two tracks were in fact never posted.

July 21, 2016: Final tracks posted. The final tracks were posted on PledgeMusic. At the same time, liner notes by Allan were posted. Allan explained that he originally wanted to release newly recorded solos on existing backing tracks. Since he was not able to finish these new recordings, he instead dug through his archives and released some old tapes. These included an old 70s demo, a previously unreleased recording from the IOU sessions, some alternate mixes of "Road Games" tracks, and two previously unreleased solo SynthAxe tracks.

In between these key posts, there are several posts signed by Allan, his production team, and PledgeMusic, which effectively are all apologies due to delays. After the announcement on July 21, 2016, two updates were posted from Allan's production team. The surviving snippets give the impression that Allan had parted ways with the production team:

December 19, 2016: An Open Letter to Allan's Fans. "PledgeMusic note: The following post is from the project creators, whom represented the artist at time of launch. This is not information from PledgeMusic, nor is it reflective of PledgeMusic. Hi ..."

February 3, 2017: Final Update from John McC. "This is the last update from me in this campaign. I wanted to clear the air and leave on a positive note. I realize that some of you took offense at the last update I wrote. I apologize to the..."

These were the last updates to be posted. The last archived copy of the update page is from May 15, 2019. http://web.archive.org/web/20190515211043/https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates

Discussions: There was a discussion page on PledgeMusic were there was a lot of activity at times. A lot of the discussion centered on the frequent delays in delivery of tracks. A few discussion pages are archived. The most recent one seems to be June 15, 2017, and the oldest from May 29, 2015. You may be able to find information relevant to the album here, but take note that it's very hard to verify the accuracy of anything that's posted on an internet dicussion page. The last archived discussion page can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20170415040118/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/artists/allanholdsworth/discussion?project_id=9704

PledgeMusic products: There were a number of products available for purchase for pledgers. The basic product was the "AccessPass" with digital tracks for download, as well as access to the updates of the PledgeMusic project site. Additionally, you could sign up for T-shirts, having your name printed in the CD booklet, getting a signed booklet, posters, and even a signed guitar. Judging from the discussion on the website, there were several delays in delivery of these products. I do not have verifiable information on these matters, however. A CD was ultimately printed and sent to those who pledged for it. How many of these that were actually made is hard to tell. You can have a look at the store here: http://web.archive.org/web/20160215193000/http://www.pledgemusic.com:80/projects/allanholdsworth/exclusives

Technical details

Here are some Technical Details on "Tales From The Vault".

Posts by Allan from the Pledge campaign

The following are the posts signed by Allan from the Pledge campaign for "Tales From The Vault". They contain some interesting facts, both about the nature of the released tracks, but also about material that remains unreleased. Posts made by Allan's management have not been included here, but the campaign was severely delayed and ran into all sorts of problems, which the management responded to. Some of the problems are apparent from Allan's updates. The Allan Holdsworth Information Center would prefer to focus on music and creativity and verifiable facts. "Tales From The Vault" is problematic in that regard, as it's hard to tell exactly what happened. Hopefully we'll know the complete story someday. NB! Although these posts have been signed in Allan's name, it is highly unlikely he actually posted them himself, and there is the possibility that they have been edited by someone in Allan's Pledge team.

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49301

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MARCH, 2015

Many thanks!!

Hey gang it’s Allan. Just taking a minute to say thanks to all of you for supporting this new idea I’ve had for ways to release some new tracks and merch with the Pledge folks. So far so good! Thanks to you. I am really humbled by your support and the incredible response so far.

Just to clarify since there have been some questions as to what people are receiving as the first “downloads”, I originally recorded the basic tracks for two albums’ worth of material over the last 10 years or so with different trios. One with Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs (the one and only recorded version of this amazing trio) and the other with one of favorite trios Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson. All new music.

Due to record industry changes and some personal stuff I went through, I never completely finished them and so never released them. Some of you may know that the original title for one of these albums was “Snakes and Ladders”. “Snakes and Ladders” in now part of these tracks. None of this music has been fully mixed, edited and mastered until now. Your pledges allow me to finish these tracks, add some new solos, edit/tweak the tracks, mix and master them and then have an outlet that bypasses the traditional way I have released albums over the years.

As I finish each track(s) in the coming months, I will be releasing one or two each month over the next 6 months for download in high res formats. Towards the end of 2015 I hope to release ALL of the tracks from both unreleased albums in special cd and vinyl sets available only through Pledge. Each will have technical notes from me, rare pictures from my career, liner notes written by me, audiophile sound, amazing packaging and some other very cool surprises.

Thanks to all of you for all the support! As I move through this process I will posting video of the final recording processes, answer questions and give you general updates over the coming months.

My thanks to the Pledge folks, Benji, Michelle, and Leigh, Leonardo “Nardini” Pavkovic of MoonJune Music and John McCracken from JMG for all their help in this. Also, Mark Kiesel and Jeff Kiesel at Carvin Guitars, Chris Van Tassell at Rockett Pedals, and Lorenza Coco at LaBella Strings. I feel this is the way of the future for many musicians and I’m excited to be part of it.

Look for the first tracks coming very soon. I am very proud of this music and as always, the contributions of Joel, Ernest, Gary and Jimmy are truly brilliant. I can’t wait for you to hear it!

Later this week I will be posting a video update from Carvin Guitars.

Cheers, Allan

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/49623

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 08 MARCH, 2015

Cheers and thank you

Hey everybody, once again thanks to all of you for making this a very successful campaign so far. The fan support has been unbelievable and very gratifying to me and all those working on this with me.

Please look for some special videos coming this week from a few “special guests”. I will also be at Carvin/Kiesel Guitars on Tuesday in San Diego and will post an update then with my good friends Jeff and Mark Kiesel, owners of Carvin.

We will try to answer all of your questions over the next few weeks too. Sorry for slow response but I’m working hard in my new studio to get the first tracks completed for download. Coming soon!!!

And thanks for all the great memories from many of you that I’ve seen on tours over the years. A lot of beer under the bridge, ah ha!

All the best!

Thanks!!!!

Allan

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52566

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 01 MAY, 2015

New Track Coming Soon

GREETINGS everyone,

Just wanted to keep you posted as to what is happening. Here it is!

Because it has been “so long” since I released a studio record I have decided to release a brand new track from the New Studio Record.

Whilst this track will appear on the new album, it will be dramatically different. Therefore it will be a truly unique track, and only available to you, the Pledgers.

The piece of music I chose is a beautiful piece written by Virgil Donati and lends itself perfectly to multiple arrangements / versions.

The piece is called EARTH. This version features Jimmy Johnson on bass, Virgil Donati drums and myself on Guitar and Synthaxe.

Again thank you all so very, very much, for your tremendous support, it is truly appreciated.

All the very best wishes, Allan

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/52571

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 MAY, 2015

Clarfication

GREETINGS again everyone.

There seems to be some confusion about TALES FROM THE VAULT. Let my try to clarify.

“Tales from the Vault” is a collection of previously unheard tracks that are ONLY available to Pledgers. It will not be available to anyone else!

The idea is to give you guys eventually a full album’s worth of music revealed track by track “One By One”. Then, when there is approximately 1 hour of music it will also then be available as a fully mastered HI RES DOWNLOAD, CD and VINYL to Pledgers ONLY.

I am also (simultaneously) trying to complete a new studio recording of current material separate from the Vault music.

So as I said in my last post this “new” track will be added to the Vault, as its form is very different from the version on the “New” album and unique to Pledgers only.

Therefore ALL “Tales From The Vault” music will not be available elsewhere. (Including this particular version of the new track.)

I hope this helps or maybe I am making it more confusing. I surely hope not.

Cheers for now, Allan.

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/54828

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 17 JUNE, 2015

Greetings

GREETINGS everyone. We are starting mixing on Wednesday for “Earth”, so it shouldn’t be too long now. Usually the first mix takes a little longer as it becomes the set up for the rest of the tunes, so they will come much quicker.

Anyway thanks again for all your support and your patience!

Best wishes to all, cheers for now.

Allan.

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/55659

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 02 JULY, 2015

Sorry for the silence

GREETINGS everyone.

Virgil just returned from Australia, while he was there the engineer he was working with came up with some different plug in – eq stuff and Virgil was very pleased with them. So I am going to give them a listen and choose to make the switch or not. Also, just received the additional mixing console I needed to complete “Earth” and then the other tracks to come. Very very close to finishing the final master and then it will be yours. We will announce the release date early next week.

Anyway once again thanks for your understanding and patience.

Cheers for now, best wishes, Allan.

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/57074

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 JULY, 2015

HELLO Everyone.

Well you will be happy to know we’re done! So you should be able to download next week. I really hope you like the music. The first track is “Earth” as has been announced. It was written by Virgil Donati (drums) and features Jimmy Johnson on bass as well. There will be two versions, one with and one without guitar solos. I think the solo-less version stands on its own. I hope that you will find it interesting as its own complete track.

Thank you so much for hanging in there. Your support has been so inspiring to me and means a lot to me and all of us working on this project. I am forever grateful.

More music to come!!

Best wishes, Allan

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/58514

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 31 AUGUST, 2015

From Allan about Earth

HELLO everyone.

I am so sorry this took so long, I wont go on with excuses. I really do have a hard time with computer based recording. I am an old geezer used to another world. Anyway I hope you can enjoy the track. The reason I chose to do this first was simply because of the fact that it has been so long since I did a studio recording that I didn’t want to just dig up some older music (which actually may have been just fine). I decided to do an arrangement of Virgil’s tune Earth.

I found it compelling so I re arranged the tune (not the form that remained the same) just a little re harmonization here and there. So there you have it. The other version is very different as you will hear. In fact I think I arranged myself out of it because of all the cheese I put behind the guitar solo first (that I had to play around).

I had already done a previous solo that the computer didn’t like and torched it. Oh well. Don’t be fooled by the short (largely diatonic) solo theres plenty of guitar on the rest of the tunes. I just loved the piece..thats what this was about.

Anyway on to the next tune. I may ditch the computer, still debating…

Thank you all so much for your support, I have no words, Lots of love to you all, Allan.

[Dead link] http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allanholdsworth/updates/64844

ACCESSPASS UPDATE 20 JANUARY, 2016

Allan Update January 20

Hello everyone.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa!

I profusely apologize for the delay with the next two tracks, Gas Lamp Blues and Lanyard Loop. As you probably know we were on the road for a bit with the Cruise to the Edge and a few gigs in Florida. I have also been struggling with converting my digital recording setup back to analog. There have been many hiccups along the way but I have finally silenced the gremlins.

As many of you know by now, I take a long time. Far too long in this case and I do truly apologize. I always want things to be “just” right and I labor over the smallest things. Things that perhaps only I hear. (HaHa.) And since other than “Earth” I have not released any new music in such a long time, I am trying to make these tracks the best I’ve ever done, especially for all of you who’ve been so supportive in this process. It has meant a lot to me. Truly.

So, thank you again for your tremendous patience. It’s my fault and no one else’s. My team will update you asap as to when the new tracks will be coming. I promise “soon”.

Also we will update all the merchandise issues this week as well.

Hope to see some of you at NAMM at the Carvin booth on Saturday.

Plus, I would like to wish you all a fantastic and belated Happy New Year.

Cheers for now, Allan.