STEVE HACKETT - Defector - album review

  • Yet another review has recently been added to our website


    Steve Hackett's fourth album "Defector" was the last one of his famous first four albums. Thomas Jesse wrote the review for us.

    What do you think about Defector?


    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…or-album-review-s386.html


  • Very good album, but the weakest of his first 4. Would still give my right arm for a new one this good, though! ;)


    The line "joints were smoked at lunchtime" is preceded by "23 and one half billion", explained in an interview I heard at the time of the album release as being inspired by McDonald's marketing slogan "90 million sold daily" (Or something like that!)


    The Optigan was originally designed/made by Mattel, the Hot Wheels/Barbie people, and was only intended to be a toy. Steve was one of the first to adopt it for a more serious role, see the website http://optigan.com/ run by Pee Hicks (no relation!)

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Thoughts on the album (and review):


    I'm a big fan of this album and listen to it often. My main complaint is that it's so short.


    The very first time I ever heard of Steve was when I saw a poster for this album in a record store. At the time I'd barely even heard of Genesis.


    I never cared much for the front cover. As for the "two ladies" on the back: are we sure that isn't just one lady and a mirror?


    "Slogans" -- I totally could not understand what the vocoder voice was saying until someone explained it to me.


    While "Steppes" is the obvious favorite, I've always preferred "Hammer In The Sand" and "The Toast."


    Did you know this is the only Steve album with vocals where he doesn't sing lead on at least one song?

    Your most dangerous enemies are those who can convince you they're your friends.

  • It’s a great album, but I agree with foxfeeder that it slips a notch from heights of the previous three, although beats most of what has come since. I think there is just a little less light and shade with no truly outstanding track but an almost full set of very strong material. I think Hammer in the Sand though maybe an overlooked minor classic, I find it achingly sad and have to be in a fairly strong frame of mind to listen to it. After such a strong opening four albums I suppose it would be unreasonable to expect the same quality for years to come. But I think Steve hits the highs at least once or twice on most albums afterwards whilst never really producing another classic - yet.

  • A big-ish album for me as it was during a Genesis-heavy year for me, seeing my first gigs by them, Gabriel and Hackett and listening to this one a lot.


    I've mentioned before that I don't get on with the first 2 albums at all and think he really hit his stride with SMs and this. It's sad to say it about an artist still going strong during now in 2019 that his peak was 40 years ago but it's what I feel.


    I do like Steppes with its switches between starkness and bursts of melody, underpinned by the rumbling bass pedals. It creates a nice mix of lushness and menace.


    Like others here I'm a big fan of Hammer. There's a sort of melancholy feel but also warmth, maybe regret too.


    But yes as mentioned above it's a stupidly short album.


    I won my copy in a competition in Sounds, the music weekly.

    "Slogans" -- I totally could not understand what the vocoder voice was saying until someone explained it to me.

    I've always wondered. I'm hesitant to ask, as part of me wants to remain in the dark and enjoy not knowing!

    Abandon all reason

  • I recently re-discovered his early work / first four. All 4 of them have some standout tracks:

    Hierophant

    Icarus *

    Spectral

    Steppes


    * in my opinion ;)


    listening to Defector, it has a bit of a farewell feeling, like closing a chapter. It took Steve several years to record really great albums again.

  • I've always wondered. I'm hesitant to ask, as part of me wants to remain in the dark and enjoy not knowing!

    Hint 1: It has nothing to do with the theme of the album.

    Hint 2: It's easier to understand on live versions.

    Your most dangerous enemies are those who can convince you they're your friends.

  • A big-ish album for me as it was during a Genesis-heavy year for me, seeing my first gigs by them, Gabriel and Hackett and listening to this one a lot.


    ... think he really hit his stride with SMs and this. It's sad to say it about an artist still going strong during now in 2019 that his peak was 40 years ago but it's what I feel.


    ...

    I could have written this myself, as it applies to me as well.

    Defector is my second favourite SH album, and admittedly my fondness for it is bolstered not only by the music but the memories I attach to that album, the period of discovery and joy I was experiencing at that time with Genesis, and seeing SH live for the first time.


    When it comes to rating certain albums, there are often intangibles for me that don't necessarily involve the music - and that tends to be the case when I'm discussing my feelings for Defector, PG2 and ATTW3,