"Road Games" is a record with a troubled and complicated history. We are in 1983, jazz rock and the fusion conquer a lot of people and the "guitar heroes" records sell and sell very well. Musical reviewer and guitar’s lovers from a long time have found a new guitar prodigy, incensed by the criticism and by the colleagues but ignored by the great public. Maybe the time has come for Allan Holdsworth to make the great jump and to receive the honors and the satisfactions that his skills and abilities have been asking for different years.
It seems this is the right time: the Warrer Bros is interested to Holdsworth and proposes him a contract for an album with the production of Ted Templeman. Everything seems to be all right, Allan starts with Paul Williams to write all the songs, when here come the troubles: Templeman intends to make a solo album for Allan Holdsworth, a record full of guests and he is not interested to produce him with his group I.O.U. and the voice of Paul Williams. The same Van Halen would want to play with Allan: from him he gets however a refusal, which makes the "flying ducth" not so happy. Justly Holdsworth, being the true artist he really is, knows that the public would buy the album only for the presence of these guests, and not because the I.O.U. project. So Templeman refuses to continue, he becomes impossible to find him with his pupil Van Halen, leaving Allan with half of the songs recorded and without a recording studio to finish the job. Finally, after thousand difficulty and delays, difficult mixes, and above all a contract with the W. Bros (what it imposes to Allan to pay the rest of the recording costs), Road Games goes out, with Chad Wakerman (ex F. Zappa) to the drums, Jeff Berlin to the bass (old friend from the B. Bruford band), and the vocals by Paul Williams and Jack Bruce. Every track is a small guitar masterpiece: "Tokyo Dream" introduces to an unusual rhythmic structure and a great search in sounds and in chords, with Allan using the hammering technique finalized to the search of unusual harmonic solutions. This song, with which Holdsworth opens his concerts is a paradise for all the lovers of the finger tapping, the technique to two hands on the keyboard. In "Water On The Brain" Jeff Berlin shows all his ability in a solo simply defined historical. All the long playing, even if in a mini LP version, is very beautiful, and it gives to Allan the nomination (!!!) for the "Grammy Award", the more aspired prize for every musicians, equivalent to an Oscar .. Everything fine? Happy ending? No. No because is not so easy to get this mini Ep and it often costs some euros, but I assure you that it's well worth the effort, is a great record and Allan Holdswoth is a great guitarist!