The Things You See (album)

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"The Things You See" is a duo album by Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck, released in 1980(81?). The album features originals by Allan and Gordon. They play a version of "Golden Lakes" recorded by Igginbottom, and the songs "At The Edge" and "The Things You See" would later be reworked into one song named after the latter on "I.O.U.".

This intimate duet album feature Allan on an acoustic-sounding guitar, while Gordon plays both acoustic and electric piano. Sometimes they overdub. The material is varied: swinging jazz on “She’s lookin’...”, experimental on “Diminished…” and melancholic on “At The Edge”, where Allan does an early version of what would be joined with “The Things You See…” on IOU. Still, it’s cohesive sounding, and very listenable.

By all accounts, Allan used an Ibanez L5 copy for the recording of the album.

L’hommage de Jean-Marie Salhani à Allan Holdsworth (Guitaremag 2017)

- So after this “Sunbird” experience, for it was that first album which led to your first encounter, there was another record which became a reference, a duo with Gordon Beck, which you produced.

- Absolutely, I produced this one, it's a duo. The relationship between Gordon Beck and Allan Holdsworth is a very special one, they were fascinated by each other. One by his inner and outer magic, a guitar player who compared to no one else but himself, with a singular originality and fluidity.

Gordon was fascinated by this unusual character, and Allan was fascinated by Gordon Beck because Gordon represented the culture of jazz, he had the knowledge of jazz. It was fascinating for Allan who wasn't a jazzman to begin with, he discovered it and was impregnated by it, but not in a scholarly way. He didn't really learn jazz, he explored it in his own way.

When Gordon convinced Allan to make a duo album he asked me my perspective, and I said, it's simple, it has to be an acoustic record. "Allan, do you agree to play acoustic guitar?" It was some kind of a challenge for him, he had never done a record with an acoustic and he said "okay, I'll play acoustic guitar". He prepared himself, and came with an Ibanez at the studio. He also had an electric one, but barely used it.

What they recorded is, in my view, one of a kind, absolutely outstanding. What you hear in that record is most of the time one take, very little editing. All tracks have at least two takes, but it was always the first one which was taken into account. The testimony was the first take. Maybe just one track had a couple of edits, but the rest came spontaneously and immediately.

I must confess that there are at least two tracks on that album, “Golden Lakes” and “Diminished Responsibility”, both composed by Allan, which are absolutely astonishing and wonderful. I must have listened to them hundred or two hundred times, at least! Each time is a rediscovery, absolutely magical. The two of them together is something that works.