Allan Holdsworth Discography

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Allan Holdsworth discography: Original releases

UPDATE: As of Nov 2023, the discography has been overhauled. All entries now contain images, track listings, YouTube or other streaming links, album overviews and summaries based on Allan's quotes. I've also written a Guide to discography entries. If you're primarily interested in Allan's work as a solo artist, click here: Allan Holdsworth Solo Albums. See notes below for the criteria used in making this discography.

Album artist Album name Year Role Performance
Igginbottom Igginbottom's Wrench [1] 1969 Band member Guitar, vocals, composer
Ian Carr Belladonna [2] 1972 Band member Guitar
Tempest Tempest [3] 1973 Band member Guitar, vocals, violin, composer
Soft Machine Bundles [4] 1975 Band member Guitar, composer
The New Tony Williams Lifetime Believe It [5] 1975 Band member Guitar, composer
The New Tony Williams Lifetime Million Dollar Legs [6] 1976 Band member Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Velvet Darkness [7] 1976 Solo artist Guitar, violin, composer
Gong Gazeuse! [8] 1976 Band member Guitar, violin, steel guitar, composer
Bruford Feels Good To Me [9] 1977 Band member Guitar
Esther Phillips Capricorn Princess [10] 1977 Session, 1 track Pedal steel guitar
Jean-Luc Ponty Enigmatic Ocean [11] 1977 Band member Guitar
John Stevens Retouch [12] 1977 Band member Guitar, composer
Gong Expresso II [13] 1978 Session, 4 tracks Guitar
U.K. U.K. [14] 1978 Band member Guitar, composer
John Stevens Touching On [15] [16] 1978 Band member Guitar, composer
Bruford One Of A Kind[17] [18] 1979 Band member Guitar, composer
Gordon Beck Sunbird [19] 1979 Band member Guitar, violin
Pierre Moerlen's Gong Time Is The Key [20][21] 1979 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth, Gordon Beck, Jeff Clyne, John Stevens Conversation Piece [22][23] [24] 1980 Band member Guitar, composer
Soft Machine Land Of Cockayne [25] 1981 Session Guitar
Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck The Things You See [26] 1981 Band member Guitar, vocals, composer
Allan Holdsworth I.O.U. [27] 1982 Solo artist Guitar, violin, composer
Allan Holdsworth Road Games [28] 1983 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Jean-Luc Ponty Individual Choice [29][30] 1983 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Jon St. James Transatlantic [31] [32] 1984 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Metal Fatigue [33] 1985 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Rege Burrell Victim Of Emotion [34] 1985 Session, 1 track Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Atavachron [35] 1986 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe
Soma Soma [36] [37] 1986 Session, 5 tracks Guitar
Jon St. James Fast Impressions [38] [39] 1986 Session, 2 tracks Guitar, SynthAxe
Krokus Change Of Address [40] 1986 Session, 1 track Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Sand [41] 1987 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Stanley Clarke If This Bass Could Only Talk [42] 1988 Session, 1 track Guitar
Stuart Hamm Radio Free Albemuth [43] 1988 Session, 1 track SynthAxe
Allan Holdsworth Secrets [44] 1989 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Alex Masi Attack Of The Neon Shark [45] 1989 Session, 1 track SynthAxe
Strange Advance The Distance Between [46] [47] 1989 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Jack Bruce A Question Of Time [48] [49] 1989 Session, 2 tracks Guitar, SynthAxe
Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck With A Heart In My Song [50] 1989 Band member Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Gordon Beck Dreams [51] 1989 Producer Producer only
Carl Verheyen No Borders [52] 1989 Session, 1 track SynthAxe
Various Artists Guitar's Practicing Musicians [53] 1989 Session, 1 track w/ Jeff Watson Guitar
MVP Truth In Shredding [54] 1990 Band member Guitar, SynthAxe
Steve Tavaglione Blue Tav [55] 1990 Session, 1 track Guitar/SynthAxe
Andrea Marcelli Silent Will [56] 1990 Session, 3 tracks Guitar/SynthAxe
Level 42 Guaranteed [57] 1991 Band member Guitar
Chad Wackerman Forty Reasons [58] 1991 Band member Guitar
Paz Love In Peace (Amour Empaz) [59] 1991 Session, 1 track Guitar
Jeff Watson Lone Ranger [60] 1992 Session, 1 track Guitar
Andrea Marcelli Oneness [61] [62] 1992 Session, 2 tracks Guitar/baritone guitar
Allan Holdsworth Wardenclyffe Tower [63] 1993 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth Wardenclyffe Tower +3 [64] 1993 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Various Artists Come Together [65] 1993 Session, 1 track Guitar
Chad Wackerman The View [66] 1993 Session, 6 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Hard Hat Area [67] 1993 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth Just For The Curious 1993 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Gongzilla Suffer [68] [69] [70] [71] [72] 1995 Session, 4 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth None Too Soon [73] 1996 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe
Anders Johansson, Jens Johansson & Allan Holdsworth Heavy Machinery [74] 1996 Band member Guitar
Gorky Park Stare [75] 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 [76] 1997 Session, 1 track Guitar
Allan Holdsworth The Sixteen Men Of Tain [77] 2000 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth Flat Tire [78] 2001 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth All Night Wrong[79] 2002 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth The Sixteen Men Of Tain - Special Edition[80] 2003 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Soft Machine BBC Radio 1971-1974 [81] 2003 Band member Guitar
Soft Works Abracadabra [82] 2003 Band member Guitar, composer
Atlantis Pray For Rain [83] 2003 Session, 1 track Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Group Then! [84] 2003 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Derek Sherinian Mythology [85] [86] 2004 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
K2 Book Of The Dead [87] 2004 Session, 4 tracks Guitar
Riptyde Sonic Undertow [88][89] [90] [91] 2004 Session/featured soloist Guitar
David Hines Nebula [92] [93] 2005 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Against The Clock [94] [95] 2005 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Tempest Under The Blossom: The Anthology [96] 2005 Band member Guitar
Soft Machine Floating World Live [97] 2006 Band member Guitar, violin, composer
Bruford Rock Goes To College [98] 2006 Band member Guitar
Planet X Quantum [99] [100] 2007 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Jean-Luc Ponty The Acatama Experience [101] 2007 Session, 1 track Guitar
Dan Carlin & Friends Prowlin’ [102] 2007 Session, 1 track Guitar, SynthAxe
Chris Buck Progosaurus [103] 2008 Session, 1 track Guitar
Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman Blues For Tony [104] 2009 Band member Guitar, composer
Danny Thompson, Allan Holdsworth, John Stevens Propensity [105][106] 2009 Band member Guitar, composer
Snew Highway Star [107] 2009 Session, 1 track Guitar
Paul Korda Early Years [108] 2009 Session, 1 track Guitar
Eric Keyes No One Knows My Thirst [109] 2009 Session, 1 track Guitar
Gary Husband Dirty And Beautiful Volume 1 [110] 2010 Session, 3 tracks Guitar
Corrado Rustici Deconstruction Of A Postmodern Musician [111] 2010 Session, 1 track Guitar
Level 42 Living It Up 2010 Session, 1 track Guitar
Gary Husband Dirty And Beautiful Volume 2 [112] 2012 Session, 1 track Guitar
Chad Wackerman Dreams Nightmares And Improvisations [113] 2012 Band member Guitar, SynthAxe, Starr Switch
Soft Machine Switzerland 1974[114] 2015 Band member Guitar, composer
U.K. Ultimate Collector's Edition 2016 Band member Guitar, composer
Allan Holdsworth Tales From The Vault [115] 2016 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth Eidolon [116] 2017 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Allan Holdsworth The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever [117] 2017 Solo artist Box Set
MSM Schmidt Life [118] [119] 2017 Session, 2 tracks Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Live In Japan 1984 [120] 2018 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Peter Lemer Jet Yellow [121] 2019 Session, 1 track. Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98 [122] 2019 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Holdsworth/Warleigh/Mathewson/Spring Warleigh Manor [123] 2020 Group member Guitar, violin, composer
PAZ with The Singing Bowls of Tibet Live In London '81: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 2 [124] 2020 Group member Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Frankfurt '86 [125] 2020 Solo artist Guitar, SynthAxe, composer
Lockwood/Beck/Holdsworth/Jenny-Clark/Romano The Unique Concert [126] 2020 Group member Guitar, composer
Soft Works Abracadabra In Osaka [127] 2020 Group member Guitar, composer
Allan Holdsworth Leverkusen '97 [128] 2021 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Allan Holdsworth Leverkusen 2010 [129] 2021 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Nucleus Live At The BBC (Nucleus album) 2021 Session Guitar
Allan Holdsworth Jarasum International Jazz Festival 2014 [130] 2022 Solo artist Guitar, composer
Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman Proto-Cosmos (live album) [131] 2022 Band member Guitar, composer
Christy Coobatis The Dreamer (single) [132] 2023 Session Guitar
Pat Smythe Quartet New Dawn: Live 1973 [133] 2023 Band member Guitar

(Note: A first draft of compilations is found here: Allan Holdsworth discography: Noteworthy compilations)

A note on the YouTube links

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. It is in the nature of YouTube that links change and videos get deleted, so I expect some links to be out of order in time. The official "channel" named as "Allan Holdsworth Topic" is found here:

Discography notes

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. This is by no means an "official" discography. Allan disowned several of the albums listed here. This discography is an attempt to list albums that were released "normally": That is, they have been entered into public records. The most important point here is that they EXIST. Even though Allan vehemently hated "Velvet Darkness", the story of the album needs to be told. Most of these albums have or have had some sort of distribution. A few of the later albums only have digital releases. The point here is that you may disagree with the list as it is presented here. You are of course free to make your own list based on your won criteria. I have tried to be up front on the criteria I've used here.

BBC sessions

Allan did a number of sessions for the BBC. These have been heavily bootlegged, but never officially released, with some exceptions. Here is a list of known unreleased sessions: Allan Holdsworth BBC sessions.

Unreleased albums

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.

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".

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.

Other discographies

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 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.


Allan Holdsworth - A Listening Guide

Tribute albums and covers

There has been released several tribute albums to Allan, and here is a short list:

Additionally, there have been recorded several cover versions or interpretations of Allan's tunes. This website does not have the ambition to list them all, but a few notable ones are: