STEVE HACKETT - Defector - released 40 years ago

  • Chumbawumba, another here-today-gone-tomorrow band. Trendy for about five minutes (although at the time, those five minutes felt like a lifetime), like Pulp, another band whose short-lived success remains a total mystery to me.

    At last, something we agree on. (Not Pulp, who are OK, nothing more, though occasional member Richard Hawley is superb on his own)

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

    Edited once, last by foxfeeder ().

  • Guitar Noir, Darktown, To Watch the Storms and Beyond the Shrouded Horizon are the ones to get. If you can call those recent.


    As for Defector, I like the whole album, including The Show.

    Darktown! I like the mood of it.

    Haven't been listening to Defector for quite a while now, perhaps I should :)

    some are wise ... and some otherwise

  • Which just goes to prove the old saying, "never judge a book by it's cover", all 3 are great albums.

    Well... you know... it's all subjective really. If we were literally judging Jester by its cover rather than the laughable title, I'd have to judge it as being overwrought and angst-ridden. I hated those early Marillion covers and that sodding jester. The album has a couple of ok moments but I thought the production was pretty poor. Fugazi was slightly better. Vigil isn't bad, I recently heard State of Mind for the first time in a couple of decades and think it still holds up well.


    Bringing it back to SH, and rubbish title aside, I'm guessing from your above comment you'd agree Horizon is one to check out for someone like me who is unfamiliar with the "mid-period" stuff as it were.

    Abandon all reason

  • Slogans

    Someone in another thread said they knew what the vocoder voice says halfway through this. I've often wondered, and was about to ask what it was, when I decided that having gone several decades not knowing I could carry on that way. So I still don't know, and don't want to.

    Abandon all reason

  • Eurgh! That must vie with Script For A Jester's Tear and Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors for most pretentious album title of all time.

    What stands out for me about the title "Beyond the Shrouded Horizon" is that, like many of Steve's titles, it has no recognizable connection to anything on the actual album. (Other examples are Cured, Highly Strung, Till We Have Faces, Feedback, Guitar Noir, Wild Orchids, Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, The Night Siren, At the Edge of Light. Even VOTA probably qualifies.)

    Someone in another thread said they knew what the vocoder voice says halfway through this. I've often wondered, and was about to ask what it was, when I decided that having gone several decades not knowing I could carry on that way. So I still don't know, and don't want to.

    That was me who said that. And, just to warn you, it's mentioned in the review linked to in the first post!

    Monsieur Neddy wears spectacles in bed, that he may see dreams more clearly.

    -- "Dream Gerrard," Traffic

  • Well... you know... it's all subjective really. If we were literally judging Jester by its cover rather than the laughable title, I'd have to judge it as being overwrought and angst-ridden. I hated those early Marillion covers and that sodding jester. The album has a couple of ok moments but I thought the production was pretty poor. Fugazi was slightly better. Vigil isn't bad, I recently heard State of Mind for the first time in a couple of decades and think it still holds up well.


    Bringing it back to SH, and rubbish title aside, I'm guessing from your above comment you'd agree Horizon is one to check out for someone like me who is unfamiliar with the "mid-period" stuff as it were.

    Yeah, it's odd, isn't it. I like the early Marillion covers, and production values aside (I don't think either are badly produced) Fugazi is a wasted opportunity, the difficult second album that was. Assassing is a great opener, but after that, it's just awful. The next 2 albums are great, but I never engaged with post Fish stuff, Vigil is very good, lyrically clever, as you'd expect, and nicely varied. Big Wedge, A Gentleman's Excuse Me and Family Business are standouts.


    BTSH is his last good album, IMO, unless you count Squackett's A Life Within a Day, recorded earlier, but released after it. Wild Orchids and To Watch The Storms are both good, from the mid-noughties.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • I must say - I have my problems with this album. The Show might be the low point and The Steppes the absolute favorite. But in between, there's not much to discuss.


    I also do prefer his later albums, from Guitar Noir onwards.

    I agree completely.

  • Which just goes to prove the old saying, "never judge a book by it's cover", all 3 are great albums.

    I can't speak for the Hackett album (but he's long since lost relevance as a recording artist anyway) but, having heard the Marillion albums I will attest to their unmitigated awfullness. I mean, if you like that sort of thing, then fine, but I much prefer Marillion after the sub-par Peter Gabriel wannabe left the band.

  • I can't speak for the Hackett album (but he's long since lost relevance as a recording artist anyway) but, having heard the Marillion albums I will attest to their unmitigated awfullness. I mean, if you like that sort of thing, then fine, but I much prefer Marillion after the sub-par Peter Gabriel wannabe left the band.

    Define "lost relevance as a recording artist". If you mean because you no longer liked his stuff, and appear never to have liked it anyway, well, that's not defining. That's just subjective.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Define "lost relevance as a recording artist".

    For me, there is something to this in that he's most recently done a series of bland unadventurous albums which even he doesn't seem interested in taking on tour, preferring instead to perform one or two at most amid shows focused on reheating stuff from the band he was in 45+ years ago along with bits of his early solo career.


    He gives the impression of doubting his own relevance as a recording artist.

    Abandon all reason

  • I think the common mistake is to define relevance of a given artist or lack thereof, according to likes or dislikes.

    Personally I define relevance as either commercial success or widespread artistic recognition. A blend of the two elements is the ideal scenario of course. In that respect Phil was relevant, he's still massively popular. Peter was too, for perhaps, at times, different reasons. Steve IMHO opinion isn't. I love John Martyn, many musicians did and without wanting to toss the term "genius", around, he was quite unique.

    He wasn't relevant though and I wouldn't care to press that point. He was a niche artist, like Steve. The only relevance Steve might have had is that he used to be in a pretty good band. Without that, good luck with drawing any attention to his career. It could be applied to Ant too, not to Mike though, he has after all a couple of hits under his belt and while I don't care about commercial success, that definitely constitutes relevance.

  • Talk about damning with faint praise! Unless, of course, you're talking about the band Steve was in before he joined Genesis.

    😂


    Yes, I like the use of "pretty good band". Assuming Fabrizio means Genesis then yes I suppose they were pretty good. It reminds me of a favourite moment from the Rain Or Shine documentary, Collins musing "We could be a really good band.... if only we had a bit more talent."


    Yes count me in on the 👍👍👍 re Martyn. What a breadth of material he left us. Intimate soulful acoustic guitar folk or slightly demented skewed rock, he had it going on. I still recall him doing a semi-crazed incendiary live rendition of the menacing John Wayne. That epic riff, it was like a storm coming towards you.

    Abandon all reason

  • a favourite moment from the Rain Or Shine documentary, Collins musing "We could be a really good band.... if only we had a bit more talent."

    I know. Typically humble Phil who seems to think that U2 don't have the same problem. In fact, their issue is the reverse of what Phil is describing in Genesis, ergo very little talent combined with a disproportinate amount of self-belief.

  • 😂


    Yes, I like the use of "pretty good band". Assuming Fabrizio means Genesis then yes I suppose they were pretty good. It reminds me of a favourite moment from the Rain Or Shine documentary, Collins musing "We could be a really good band.... if only we had a bit more talent."


    Yes count me in on the 👍👍👍 re Martyn. What a breadth of material he left us. Intimate soulful acoustic guitar folk or slightly demented skewed rock, he had it going on. I still recall him doing a semi-crazed incendiary live rendition of the menacing John Wayne. That epic riff, it was like a storm coming towards you.

    Well, there was obviously more than a hint of understatement and irony in that "pretty good" which I trust won't be lost on the majority ;)

    I'm glad every time Martyn gets the acknowledgement and praise he so highly deserves imo and I agree, the man had it going on: folk, rock, pop, blues even jazz. Incredible guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and at time lyricist, the whole package but very much a niche artist, just to go back to the previous point. Doesn't matter how much I like his music.

  • I know. Typically humble Phil who seems to think that U2 don't have the same problem. In fact, their issue is the reverse of what Phil is describing in Genesis, ergo very little talent combined with a disproportinate amount of self-belief.

    I'd be a bit kinder to U2 in that I think they have more talent than you're suggesting, though as musicians they're kind of average. The Edge seems considered by many as some kind of guitar professor, which is an overstatement, but he's pretty good. They've written some very good songs and I liked their 90s phase when they went a bit off-piste, which I thought was a bold move (and pissed off quite a few fans).


    But yeah I agree they've partly been carried by their self-belief and what Bono referred to as their "swagger" which he openly admitted had helped them along.

    Abandon all reason

  • For me, there is something to this in that he's most recently done a series of bland unadventurous albums which even he doesn't seem interested in taking on tour, preferring instead to perform one or two at most amid shows focused on reheating stuff from the band he was in 45+ years ago along with bits of his early solo career.


    He gives the impression of doubting his own relevance as a recording artist.

    I agree, the last 3 albums have been bland and unadventurous, but the phrase was "long since lost relevance..." which in a 50 year career, suggests rather longer than that. In any case, the 3 albums concerned have all charted, which sadly is the cause of the lack of adventure, not wanting to upset the apple cart, I suspect.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • I like the album, although it is probably the weakest of his first four solo albums. Production is indeed something that could have been handled better.


    Favorite tracks:

    The steppes

    Slogans

    Hammer in the sand