This was after all, the first experimental era of music. I shall try to quantify the sound of this work so you can decide whether it is for you. Musically, it has that same; monolithic, apocalyptic, doomsday, end of the world, wall of sound, feel to it. There is also an enormous bottom end which, though similar to Sabs, is more Blues based.
The lyrics are laden with melancholic psychedelic metaphors which are punctuated by devastating crunching guitar work. This is a Blues based early Metal album laced with Psychedelic influenced song writing. By modern standards, the pacing is slow, but the songs are extremely well structured with great hooks.
Holden can also sing, and his vocals suit the material. On an interesting note, there are only two musicians featured on this work, that of Randy Holden who played all guitars and that of his drummer, Chris Lockheed, who if I recall, had a background in Country Music.
Holden explained that the tempo had to be slowed down so the drummer could keep up and also because Holden played all of the guitars. The inadvertent result was arguably the first grunge rock album! While Rock newbies may not see this LP's relevance to the later Seattle scene, there can be little doubt that the seed had been planted. Yes it is imperfect grunge, but what did you expect for this era? Things evolve, Album), though not necessarily do they always improveand change with the passing of time.
Unfortunately, popular music has always been marketed as a commodity, with yesterday's offerings often being discarded, and even shunned. As such, to the newly initiated, Psychedelic music often comes across like a wild, untamed landscape of some uncharted planet.
As a result, few in this group will have much of a cultural reference to it, though thoughtful "Metal Heads" shall reap the rewards after giving it a spin, and bruising their foreheads in the process. Fans of 60s music who are not afraid of volume may also take to it. Many compare Holden to Jimi Hendrix, but that is a mistake as both have different even contrasting musical styles as they just sound very different.
Both feature stunning lead guitar work, however, they are also independent virtuosos. Holden definitely had his own gig happening here with NO gate crashers.
This is an original musical gem, untainted by contemporary corporate interests. You know, nice riffs, guitars in all the right places, great tunes. It is orderly in sound and not chaotic like a lot of Psyche Rock. It is certainly well grounded in Rock, rather than the more nebulous sounding experimental music that dominated the scene at the time. The lead guitar work is superb and Holden certainly is a craftsman who knows how to make his guitar sing, while maintaining that signature "nervous" guitar chord in his licks, which is a trademark of the psychedelic sound.
The recording quality is also top notch for its day, as I can personally attest to having listened to the original material on Hobbit Records, as well as the subsequent Line Records release and later CD re-issues, some of which blow the LP away! We seem to have the whole package here, complete with a dynamic recording. Yep, although this may be Dinosaur Rock, it still has a monstrous sound which Holden himself described as being, "Nuclear". All things considered, song structure, melody, execution, vintage, etc.
Yeah, I know that what is considered "Heavy" is largely subjective and as we have seen, time sensitive as well.
There is nothing in the history of Rock that sounds like that arrangement and how Holden used the effect to end that song! Brain destroying, and definitely not user friendly to one's hearing. All things considered, "that sound" plus the truly devastating sonics that relentlessly tattoo the ears of the listener make this a proto Metallic feast not to be missed.
Highly recommended, and while listening be prepared for "that sound" as delivered by The Guitar God!!!!! Five out of five stars! By Ace And bang your head 'til it falls off! I believe I have come upon the "holy grail" of rock guitar.
This album is a "guitar player's dream"-the result of what happens when a virtuoso guitarist is unleashed in the studio to write, arrange, produce, and record his own album without any restraint or being held back by the concerns of fellow band members, or anyone else.
All he needs is someone to keep the beat, while he ventures off into the 'wild blue yonder' with his guitar. Thus, we have "Population II", a two-man band concept featuring Mr. Holden and drummer Chris Lockheed, and Lockheed takes a real backseat on this project! Simply put, this is as "in-your-face", balls-to-the-wall, coming at you from all sides as guitar playing gets! Randy Holden's style? While most compare Holden to Jimi Hendrix, I simply don't see it--particularly Holden's rhythm playing, which is certainly not as swift and sure-footed as Hendrix.
But that's really an "apples and oranges" comparison, and not to slight Holden in the least, because every guitarist has something that makes them unique. Now a little background on Holden. Holden, like Page, wanted to keep the band rockin' hard, and maybe even harder, at the same time his bandmates wanted to mellow out.
Seeing this impasse, Holden went his way, while Blue Cheer went their mellow way and eventually folded without a wimper. Now back to "Population II".
This being a "guitar virtouso's album", don't look for any enlightening lyrics or beauty in the vocals. Those all take a backseat to the guitar. But it's amazing that there is even any attempt on Holden's part to write lyrics and to actually sing which he does both! Most guitarist's projects today are almost exclusively instrumental, or in the case of groups like Santana or Van Halen, a better vocalist is called in to handle those duties.
Holden's vocals, which were actually better on his one-and-only album with Blue Cheer, are a little whinier and harder to hear over his guitar on this album, but in a way, they actually work with the music and are kind of quaint--a little reminiscient of the "squeaky" vocals of Burke Shelley from the power trio, Budgie. Musically speaking, the guitar riffs get progressively better with every passing song.
The album opens with "Guitar Song"--probably as close to Hendrix as Holden gets melodically, but weak on riffs, and especially lyrics. The first words to "Guitar Song" are "I love the song, of a guitar player!
Then we move onto "Fruit and Icebergs", which is sort of Holden's "Dazed and Confused", a proto-gothic drone that he experimented with in Blue Cheer, but came into "full-bloom" on this album, much as it took Led Zeppelin to develop the Yardbirds' "Dazed and Confused" more fully. Very creatively, Holden inserts a little up-tempo number, almost as a seperate song, called "Between Time", before he closes out "Fruit and Icebergs" altogether.
At only 2 minutes long, "Between Time" actually delivers some of the more cohesive, clear, and catchy lyrics of the entire album. As philosophizing about life experiences seems to be Holden's strong suit lyrically, and seemingly autobiographical in nature, "Between Time' seems to convey just where Holden was at that time in his musical career. The final two songs, "Blue My Mind" and "Keeper on My Flame" are a wild ride through 16 minutes of some of the most inventive guitar riffs you will ever hear!
Holden pulls all his tricks out of the bag on this track, doing things no self-respecting lead vocalist would ever let him get away with! Then going back to the opening riff and slowing it down to a crawl before ending the song. Luckily, Holden didn't have Steven Tyler or David Lee Roth singing for him when he did this, or either one of them would punch his over-indulgent lights out! But Holden isn't the kind of guy that would let himself be tied-down by a lead singer, or a band, for that matter, and the end result is probably one of the greatest rock guitar albums ever made!
Certainly it won't win any awards for flowing poetry, but the guitar playing is SO great, you can easily forget what Holden might be singing about which the mystery of is great, too. If you like early-Sabbath, UFO, or Budgie, this music fits in very well with that sort-of early-'70s British-type of Heavy Metal, with the fuzzy power chords, and the weak-but-melodramatic vocals. With the disc no longer available on import, if you ever do come across a used one like I didguard it with your life!
This is one precious jewel you never want to lose! By Shelby Lambert It's always struck us as somewhat of a curiosity that guitarist Randy Holden doesn't attract the same critical attention as luminaries such as Beck, Clapton, Hendrix and Page. The man's certainly got the chops and his musical resume includes impressive if brief stints in some interesting bands, including Blue Cheer and the Other Half. Recorded a year after he'd left Blue Cheer, 's "Population II" is simply a hard rock guitar lovers dream.
The album's essentially a one man show with Holden producing, writing all of the material, handling lead vocals, as well playing most of the instruments - former Kak percussionist Chris Lockheed handling drums.
As mentioned earlier, the emphasis is clearly on guitar and anyone looking for musical subtlety need not bother. Doubt that comment? Check out the back cover photo which show Holden playing in front of at least 16 gigantic Sunn amplifiers. Exemplified by tracks such as the opener "Guitar Song" perfect for this album"Between Time" and "" the predominant sound is heavy blues, albeit propelled by an almost endless stream of monster Holden guitar solos.
Elsewhere the album included a remake of "Fruit and Iceburgs" sic which was one of three Holden contributions to The Cheer's "New! This molten version actually divided into distinct partskills the original. In the interest of being perfectly honest we'll also point out nothing here is particularly melodic.
The rhythm section's kind of clunky. Holden's not exactly the greatest singer you'll ever hear and spread across the entire album the constant onslaught of mind melting wailing leads starts to blur together. That said, it's still a killer album and it's easy to see why there's such demand for it. Perhaps another musical urban legend, but the album was reportedly withdrawn from the market almost as soon as it was released, helping explain why it's such a rare and highly prized find in collecting circles and probably explaining why it's been booted so often.
However, after leaving the 'Cheer Randy released Population II, a tasty morsel of fuzzed out, guitar groovin' genius that has record collectors everywhere drooling at the mere thought of finding its original pressing.
Randy reworks "Fruit and Icebergs", a tune he had previously played with Blue Cheer, and slows the place, laying down an even heavier dose of primal pyschedelic sludge. Perhaps the strongest song on the album is the surprisingly short, "Between Time", a two minute rocker that could have easily been a hit and fit nicely onto classic rock radio, those knuckleheads, Nebula, did a cover of this on their release To The Center.
If you're one of those people who whines about guitar music being too "self indulgent" then stay away from Population II, definitely NOT the album for you. Randy Holden was one of the best guitarists of his time and this record showcases him for all that he was, a progenitor of heavy and a man who played his instrument like it was something he couldn't not do.
I would have given this album a higher rating, but unfortunately I'm one of the many poor schmucks who only owns a bootleg copy, the quality sucks ass. I would be prone to listen to it more often if it weren't such a silent, muffled recording Population II was his solo debut and it's gotta be one of the heaviest albums of the early 's.
The guitarwork is powerful and these five songs all do their job pretty well. Especially the songs on the B-side kick ass. The sound of this record is a nice mix of guitar driven early heavy metal and some psychedelic elements.
The blues rock influences are also quite clear in some parts. The A-side is a good totality and the B-side is simply wonderful. As a totality I think this record deserves four stars out of five. But it's pretty close to 4,5 stars. If you're a heavy psych fan don't miss this record Choosing acquaintance Chris Lockheed as his drummer, mainly because he insisted he could play drums and keyboards at the same time.
It's original vinyl release was in very limited quantities on a very small label, which were obviously scarfed up quickly by those who knew the Holden name from his relativley few days in the ranks of Blue Cheer. But over the years, the album's reputation as a truly demented slice of acid-fried, mega-watt guitar mayhem has grown beyond all and any reasonable manner.
Add to this that a very marginal bootleg CD release came about in the mid-nineties, probably mastered from a battered vinyl copy and sounding like crap, and you've got an album that lots of people are interested in, but few have actually heard in any decent form.
But with recent reissues finally dusting the crud off the grooves, we can now hear Population II in perhaps better stead than ever before. Recorded sans a bass player, this album is probably one of the purest odes to sheer volume ever recorded. Holden was outfitted with a truly fearsome amount of guitar amplification at this point in his career, way more than during his Cheer tenure, according to the man himself.
Thus the sustain and ambulance siren wails achieved here are utterly amazing. There are a great deal of "how did he do that" moments on board here, not arrived at through crazed speed or viruosity, but related to just how well Holden understood the limits and attributes of the technology he was harnessing.
Apparently this is the first time in his career he was satisfied with the amount of volume he was able to capture, and he exploits it for all it's worth here. The album's only downside lies in the material itself, as the songs are more a vehicle for the guitar rather than being particularly strong in and of themselves. But much of the remainder feels half baked in a song writing sense, even if they always amaze in a performance sense.
But one thing Album) be said; if you were unfortunate enough, like I was, to first hear the album through a bootleg reissue, you've got to invest in the remaster. The difference is revelatory, and there's not many reissues I can say that about.
But for the first time you can actually clearly hear everything going on, which when compared to earlier versions on which the band sounded like they were in a completely diffrerent venue from the recording equiptment, is a nice change. So in my view, is this the amazing heavy psych artifact it's cracked up to be? In many ways the answer is yes. It's not without it's failings, and it is an odd little spin to be sure, but I can't imagine too many fans of all things heavy and trippy not getting at least some enjoyment out of it He was walking a tightrope made of liquid steel.
Population II was the moniker both of the band and the album, referring both to the fact that there were two people in the band — Holden and drummer Chris Lockheed — and to a class of star that includes some heavy metals in its composition. Not too much heavy metal, but a bit. The album, which at the time of its original Hobbit Records release had six tracks and ran just under 31 minutes, follows suit. It has flourishes of what would later become heavy metal, but is mostly geared toward weighted psychedelia, acid rock and post-hippie volume.
And guitar. Blue Cheer! On a sonic level, it was legitimately a couple years ahead of its time — it would take most acts seeing the explosion of heavy in the wake of the Black Sabbaths and Led Zeppelins of the world to pick up on tonal weight as a lifestyle option; Holden could be considered an early adopter in pushing the envelope licked first by Jimi Hendrix, or The Yardbirds and Cream, if you want to stretch definitions. Still, Population II is remarkably clear-headed in its purposes and its jams, and if nothing else, Holden well earns his footnote among the six-string greats of the era.
Population II has seen a handful of reissues over the years as well, legitimate and bootleg, and its cult continues to grow with a new generation of heavy rock heads hell-bent for rare vinyl and classic groove For it sounds like the musical equivalent of two loners in the Belfast shipyard, working heads down and wall-eyed during afterhours to create a solo aircraft carrier of Howard Hughes-ian proportions. Which is why I love this Randy LP so fucking much.
It approaches genuine sonic meltdown in the manner in which it smears layer upon layer of sludge trudge guano riffery until you get the impression that the brick walls of that empty opera house will be forever imbued with the sonic ur-klang of this Yankee Reaper. And that Randy managed only one side with Blue Cheer is a damn near perfect metaphor for the whole careering showbusiness of this guitar druid.
Oops, too late! I love the way it makes me feel inside. The main riff is a Troggsian Purple Haze shot so full of largactyl that it keeps slowing down, while Randy is commander-in-the-field howling out instructions in a sub-Mae West style to his sole underling. Randy was once quoted as saying:. He took military technology and turned it over… Pretty amazing when you think about it. A beautifully poetic thought, Herr Holden. Meanwhile, amidst this chaos, Mae West Hendrix is still issuing more incomprehensible orders and declaring:.
Randy sings the vocal line along with the guitar, creating an EMERGE-period Litter-atRPM feel, crumbling to a halt every so often as wildly unrestrained and excessive Glenn Ross Campbell-style atonal a-rythmical sunbleached slide guitar broncos across the stereo panning, in a numbing slowness that musta been truly out-to-lunch in those lates days of speed and dexterity. No shit, Sherlock Holden. Thus endeth side one, in which you really do get the impression that Randy Holden was moved by some greater ur-force.
The louder and clearer that baby was, the more beautiful it was. Hitting that guitar string on a voluminous [sic] amp was just heaven, and people felt it. Not quite such singular earthshaking savagery as POP 2 but still a motherfucker almost all the way through. Who played drums? Paul Whaley from Blue Cheer! I was so affected by the idea of what such sound would feel like that I wandered into the arena of attempting to produce a sound that would be so overwhelming, it would create a silence all its own.
A silence all its own, babies. A silence all its own. This 20 Sunn amp former surf punk was on a proto-Glenn Branca trip a decade too soon. California in the early 70s? Gimme a break! Around 6. Call in the re-mixer! The problem was that this record shoulda been the beginning of something huge, and ended up as the end of something not less than disastrous What Happened Next?
In a state of severe despair, Randy then learned that an equipment manager at his management company had sold all 20 Sunn amplifiers and his Gibson SG Deluxe to a Hollywood music store. To say I understand how Randy Holden felt is something of an understatement, indeed to write this now is to glimpse once again my own impotent rage of 22 years ago. However, whereas I rose out of it because my Muse was real, female and strong, Randy Holden was consigned to the rubbish tip for the rest of his natural.
In decades to come, it will for shit-damn-sure become the subject of an entire book. Randy, I love you and know yooz still out there. Julian Cope Head Heritage Born in Pennsylvania inRandy Holden has had quite the career.
Playing in band like The Iridescents, and Fender IV, whom he relocated from Baltimore to Southern California where they became the Sons of Adam, a name which was provided by record producer and impresario Kim Fowley, and they secured a record contract with Decca.
They made a brief appearance playing a nightclub scene in the movie The Slender Thread, starring Ann Bancroft. Sons of Adam, with Holden opened for the Rolling Stones at their first show at the Long Beach Arena, and Holden was heavily Fruit & Iceburgers (Conclusion) - Randy Holden - Population II (CDr by Keith Richards guitar and amp rig, which helped change his own attitude towards gear and tone. The Sons of Adam began.
Holden eventually quit the band due to lack of original material. My question to you is, how do you get a gig opening for the Stones playing only covers?
Times were certainly a lot different then! After being offered a chance to replace Jeff Beck in The Yardbirds which he didn't acceptHolden joined up with a psychedelic garage band from L. He then went on to replace Leigh Stevens in Blue Cheer, and played on one half of their third album "New!
Frustrated with the lack of control over bands, Randy formed his next new band with drummer Chris Lockheed. Lockheed, also a keyboard played, uniquely played drums and keys simultaneously on live performances. During this time, Holden obtained a sponsorship deal with Sunn amplifiers. Through this, he obtained his trademark sixteen - watt amplifier rig. His new band was dubbed "Randy Holden-Population II" which was a reference to the fact there were only two members in the band, as well as being an astronomical term, "Population II" that defines a special kind of Star Group cluster type, having Heavy Metal in it's composition.
An appropriate description for the original style of music attributed to Holden's new band. The band recorded it's only album: Population II in Trouble with the release of the album led to Holden going bankrupt, losing all his equipment and causing his departure from music for over two decades. Population II was eventually released in many bootleg forms over the years, with no official re-release until a limited issue inand finally a remastered CD in The album has been a much sought after collectors item over the years.
After Album) than two decades, Holden returned to his guitar and began creating music again, reportedly by the continual urgings of a loyal fan. InAmerican author and journalist Ritchie Unterberger said: "he's a great candidate for selection of the great unknown 's rock guitar hero.
No other guitarist was as skilled at creating the kind of sustain heavy, snakey guitar lines pioneered by Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds. His recordings with Fender IV, Sons of Adam, Ugly Things, The Other Half, Blue Cheer, and as a solo artist don't only contain some ferverishly innovative playing, they also chart the overall rainbow of changes undergone by California 's rock guitar as a whole. From surf to pseudo-merseybeat to psychedelia, hard rock, and heavy metal Arriving Earth July 2 in Pennsylvania, Randy grew up on the move.
Fruit & Iceburgers (Conclusion) - Randy Holden - Population II (CDr in or Sign up. Steve Hoffman Music Forums. What's the best sounding CD version of this album? How about the Flashback or the Hobbit releases? I have the remaster and it's really cheap for an "official" release. Poor insert quality and the music is burnt to a CD-R Some advice would be appreciated, thanks!
Viktor M. Location: Calgary, AB, Canada. Apparently, the lp version was "officially sanctioned" by him hence his signature and handnumbering on every of the copiesbut they used the wrong master for the pressing, and didn't want to correct it.
This remastered version is supposed to be from the correct master, supervised by him. The legend goes, the original release in was mastered by an old school guy at the pressing plant, and he messed up all of Randy's sonics.
I have the Remaster from his website. I'll admit it sounds pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it because the material quality is really lousy. Files burnt to a cheap CD-R? Poorly cut paper inserts? No thanks! It's a factory pressed silver disk with actual quality inserts. I'll upload pictures and sound information for all the versions I manage to get I plan to own them all Location: Tokyo, West-side I don't think any of these are "official" releases
RANDY HOLDEN - Population II () & Guitar God () USA Hard Rock Heavy Psychedelic s.a. HENDRIX CREAM MOUNTAIN CACTUS BOOMERANG LESLIE WEST MONTROSE VAN HALEN MAHOGANY RUSH BLUE balnalatelesupprosivadisbere.coinfo +1 Velikost MB. Watch the video for Guitar Song from Randy Holden's Population II for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Jan 30, · Population II, an Album by Randy Holden. Released in on Progressive Line (catalog no. PL ; CD). Genres: Heavy Psych, Hard Rock/5(1). Watch the video for Guitar Song from Randy Holden's Population II for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Holden, like Page, wanted to keep the band rockin' hard, and maybe even harder, at the same time his bandmates wanted to mellow out. Seeing this impasse, Holden went his way, while Blue Cheer went their mellow way and eventually folded without a wimper. So "Population II", in a sense, was Randy Holden's "Led Zeppelin"/5(18). Mar 27, · In , proto-metal guitarist Randy Holden owned no less than 16 amps, each encased with watts of power, which might explain why this record, Population II, has guitars that sound not like heavy metal falling from the sky, but like black holes disintegrating chunks of the earth’s core. It’s an admirable sound achieved by just Holden and drummer Chris Lockheed (who also played. In fact, Population II is an astronomical term that relates to a Star Group cluster with having a "Heavy Metal" composition. Wicked! On a final note, the song FRUIT & ICEBERGS appears twice on the album, first as a regular track then as a concluding number to side one/5(18). Randy Holden - Population II LP. Vinyl reissue of Randy Holden's first solo album (he would not release any more music for about 25 years) was a strange bridge between psychedelia and heavy metal. At times these lurching, extended songs sound like sub-Jimi Hendrix. But at the same time they sound genuinely more sinister and feverish than the by. Add a buy button to your tracks and playlists by clicking the pencil icon below the waveform. In the edit page, go to the 'Metadata' tab and add your Juno artist, label or release page for listeners to purchase your release / releases. One year after his departure from "Blue Cheer", "Randy Holden" released this solo album accompanied only by ex-Kak drummer, "Chris Lockheed" on drums. And until the original master tapes surface and "Population II" gets reissued for real, one must be content with a recording level a little less coherent than "Metallic K.O.".
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