Randy Holden Dusts Off Long Lost Album

Five decades of being a guitar hero have taught Randy Holden how not to be needlessly reckless – not on the record, fortunately – and belated creative success of his post-BLUE CHEER solo debut “Population II” from 1970 that, titled after a heavy-metal-related astronomical term and referring to the duo line-up behind it, resulted in the artist’s bankruptcy made him, perhaps, too cautious, and he quit music for a long time to get back into the fray in 1997. That’s why, even though the veteran was enthusiastic when a famous fan, bassist Randy Pratt, best known for working with THE LIZARDS and CACTUS, approached him in 2010 with a prospect of writing a follow-up album to that proto-doom classic. The namesakes, joined by the legendary Bobby Rondinelli on drums, laid down “Population III” only for Holden to hold off the release and relent ten years later for the record to see the light of day, on vinyl and CD, on July 1st.

Here’s Pratt’s take on the story, it goes like this: “I’d been saying it since first blasting it on BLUE CHEER’s album in my parents’ basement in ’69. It’s the first song that I ever learned on bass. I believed that Randy was my secret for decades. When I finally got a career going in music, in the late ’80s in NYC, an old friend sent me the record that I had forced everyone I knew to study like the Bible for years. Playing it for the first time since leaving home, I was reminded of my roots, buried in the mist of almost two decades of my own riffing. One listen and I was shocked to discover that it not only had aged well, it was better than the modern heavy stuff I was trying to fit in with. Pre-Internet, I decided to hunt down this mysterious God. How could he have been that good and never done anything else. It took four years and would make an interesting documentary – I have the footage! Two ‘A’ types, two agonizing attempts, three decades, and we finally got it right. The timing ain’t bad, either. Holden’s song ‘”Fruit & Iceburgs’ was used in Orson Welles’ last movie, ‘The Other Side of the Wind,’ released for the first time in 2018, and all of a sudden my ‘secret’ was getting 2.5 million hits on YouTube. I always told Randy, ‘In another universe, we’re the biggest band in the world.’ Well, sometimes dreams come true!”

In Holden words, “Pratt had written the basic song structures, he understood my music and where I come from quite well. He nailed it. I think it’s the best album I’ve ever done.”

Population III

As for the results of the trio’s labors, here’s the more detailed picture of it:

1. Living End
2. Sands Of Time
3. Land Of The Sun
4. Swamp Stomp
5. Money’s Talkin’
6. Outside Looking In

June 9, 2022

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