Holden, Randy

Band members               Related acts

- Randy Holden: - vocals, guitar, bass

- Chris Lockheed - drums, percussion



- Blue Cheer

- The Fender IV

- Kak (Chris Lockheed)

- The Other Half (Randy Holden)

- The Sons of Adam







Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Population II

Company: Hobbit

Catalog: HB 6002

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear; almost certain this is an original copy since the cover shows no sign of the cut out hole displayed by the boots.

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4245

Price: $450.00

Cost: $101.00


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, 1970'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! Improved!" album.  This molten version (actually divided into distinct parts), kills 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  Perhaps another musical urban legend, but the album was reportedly withdrawn from the market almost as soon as it was released, helping explain why it's such a rare and highly prized find in collecting circles (and probably explaining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).

"Population II" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Guitar Song   (Randy Holden) - 6:06

2,) Fruit & Iceburgs   (Randy Holden) -5:59

3.) Between Time   (Randy Holden) -1:48

4.) Fruit & Iceburgs (Conclusion)   (Randy Holden) - 1:48


(side 2)
1.) Blue My Mind   (Randy Holden) -6:01

2.) Keeper of My Flame   (Randy Holden) -10:07


Holden has an interesting website at: http://www.randyholden.com/




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