Blues rock at it's finest
Rohit R | india | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Defender is a great from the late Rory Gallagher a great blues rock guitarist from Ireland.He was a fine guitarist in the mold of Hendrix,Clapton,Page and Buchanan.This is a great album from him which was his second last and featured gems like LOAN SHARK BLUES,KICKBACK CITY,FAILSAFE DAY and I AINT NO SAINT.Get this along with all his other albums.Highly recommended."
Sags In The Middle
D. Wright | 06/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was Rory's penultimate album, released in 1987, five years after his previous one. When compared to his output of at least one, and sometimes two albums a year in the seventies, it appears that the great guitarist was struggling creatively. However, it was more likely declining sales and corresponding problems with record companies that were the reason for the slump in Rory's recorded output. He continued to tour relentlessly and live up to his deserved reputation as the 'hardest working musician in the business.' And unlike so many more celebrated performers Rory was a real musician if ever there was one.
I remember a friend playing me this when it was originally released on vinyl and to my shame I'd virtually forgotten about Rory. I was a fan as a kid briefly in the early seventies, but then like so many artists of his generation, Rory was supplanted in my music collection by more contemporary performers.
Well the tenth anniversary of his death last year and the release of the superb Live at Montreux DVD re-awakened my interest in Rory and I decided to see out more of his many albums to add to my paltry collection of `Blueprint' and `Tattoo', which I still think are his best albums.
`Defender' is good, even great in parts, but suffers from the `sagging in the middle syndrome' if ever an album does.
It begins with four strong tracks in a row, but then takes a distinct turn for the worse with the totally forgettable tracks `Failsafe Day' and `Road to Hell'. On these Rory leaves his beloved blues behind and sounds like a generic clumsy heavy metal performer. Things pick up ever so slightly with the next two numbers, `Doing Time and `Smear Campaign,' but without the last four tracks these wouldn't be enough to redeem the album. However next up is a brilliant version of Sonny Boy Williamson's `Don't Start Me To Talkin' one of Rory's best ever covers. The last track on the original album, `Seven Days', is also a winner. But it is the two bonus tracks which I think were included as a 7 inch (not sure why as Rory didn't release singles) with the original lp, that really up the quality. Both are excellent, particularly `Seems To Me', with its insistent driving rhythm.
Despite the considerable blip in the middle where it slumps into generic heavy metal, unworthy of Rory's talents, `Defender' emerges as perhaps his strongest album since `Calling Card' in 1976.
In all honesty I don't think Rory ever made a totally outstanding album, despite making a handful of very good ones, because as I recently read someone saying on the internet `it was Rory Gallagher's fate to be a very great musician but merely a good songwriter.'
Rory = Great Music
Bill | Washington - State | 05/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the guitar heros out there probably wish they could play as good as this legend. Rory has a diversity and passion that few can match - slight nuances and chance-ups in his playing reveal true genius. He plugs in and plays strait out and honest - no noisy din, trickery or trendy walls of strange sounds that so many others hide behind. This is another fine output of strait-up rock and blues. My favorite tunes are Loan Shark Blues and Road to Hell. It's all good - real good."