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10 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish blues rock from one of the greats...., 18 Dec 2001
By 
Simon Uglow "suglow" (Wirral, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
Rory Gallagher's music introduced me to the blues, and although he was on the rock side of the idiom, he never lost sight of his roots. This offering, the first on his own label, displayed various facets of Rory's music, that will be familiar to fans the world over. His playing was always top notch, whilst the voice does occasionally struggle (perhaps evidence of the lifestyle?), but overall it is a strong outing. Favourite tracks are Loanshark Blues, a strong nod in the direction of John Lee Hooker; Continental Op, dedicated to Dashiel Hammett, a blues rock track about a private detective; and Dont Start Me to Talking, a classic blues number skillfully abetted with some excellent harp playing. Rory is sadly missed, and this showed him close to his best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to a simpler blues rock style based on strong songs, 4 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
This was Rory's so called come back album released originaly in 1987 following a 5 year long gap after Jinx. In fact Rory had never been away , but had played lower key gigs in the intervening period and had scraped an already recorded album.
The 5 year gap had made Rory more reflective and Defender sees a 39 year old writing in a bluesy and wryer hard rock style with an increased penchant for writing tough film noir lyrics. The outsider, the disposessed and the loner are are themes which crop up on this album.
It sees a return to a simpler style ( the album made No 1 in the UK Independent charts)and the man's return to full scale tours saw much of the material forming the staple of live sets over the next few years. Standout tracks include Continental Op, Loanshark Blues and the blues duo of I Aint Know Saint and Sonny Boy Williamson's Don't Start Me to Talking. One acoustic ( raw bottleneck - Seven days) track lightens the rest of the rockier element of the album.
The tracks don't have the celtic guitar resonance of much of Rory's work but many consider this to be his best album.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 2 Oct 2003
By 
MR JEREMY BIRRELL (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
Rory was one of the greatest blues rock guitarists of all time. His virtuosity was simply stunning, as are most of his albums. This album is no exception, it's excellent; has everything from acoustic slide on Seven days, a nod in the direction of texas blues on Seems To Me, brilliant harp on Sonny Boy Williamson's Don't Start Me to Talking and lots of more blues rock based tracks.
If you're reading this review, buy this album; in fact buy them all (except Jinx).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part of the 2013 remasters scheduled release (not 2012), 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Defender (Remastered) (Audio CD)
This version is in fact the digipak one to match the late summer releases of Stage Struck and Fresh Evidence, and finally completes Donal Gallagher's excellent set of updated remasters.

Rory's other remastered albums were released in two batches of six, and are all worth buying to complete the set:

Photo Finish, Against Grain, Calling Card, Top Priority, Blueprint and Jinx.

Irish Tour '74, Tattoo, Blueprint, Live In Europe, Deuce and Rory Gallagher.
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4.0 out of 5 stars another nice re-issue of the G-mans penultimate lp, 2 Nov 2013
By 
Alison E. O'Connor (melbourne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Defender [Vinyl] (Vinyl)
As with 'fresh evidence' this new re issue is nearly as good as the orig release sonically but 'cheaps out' with a release that does'nt include the printed lyrics sheet on the inner bag! A cheapskate reissue! Better off with the the new cd versions to be honest which are excellent all round. Seek out the orig pressing which even had a bonus 7 "!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion, his best studio album, 7 April 2012
By 
I. H. Roblin (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
I bought 'Live in Europe' in 2002 and I bought 'Defender' in late 2011 which, in my opinion, is his best work.

It rocks from start to finish with the highlights being 'Road to Hell', with its Stones-like riff, and the R & B soaked bonus track, 'Seems to me'. 'Failsafe Day' is another raw rocker and the production throughout is first-class, with prominent bass and drums.

Highly recommended, if you love raw and hard rock'n'roll Blues.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sags in the middle!, 28 Sep 2006
This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
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 slumpin 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.'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
All good. Thanks
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defender, Rory Gallagher, 8 Nov 2013
By 
D. J. Wilden "denise7248" (Maidenhead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Defender (Remastered) (Audio CD)
This one is coming along to the end of Rory's life, different kind of style to his early work, just as punchy and earthy as his earlier work, the more I listen to his work the more I find, he wasn't one thing or the other, he had many sides to his character and work and he wrote as he felt at the time. He felt the emotion of the music, not everyone can do that but he managed it very well. Rory is the man as far as I am concerned, will never be bettered. My opinion, he is the finest guitarist who ever lived, certainly multi talented on a huge range of instruments and self taught, magic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Rory, 12 July 2009
This review is from: Defender (Audio CD)
Another brilliant album from Rory Gallagher, after recently rediscovering Rory Gallagher, i can only say that the years i spent listening to "other" types of music have been wasted, the man is a legend!
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Defender (Remastered)
Defender (Remastered) by Rory Gallagher (Audio CD - 2012)
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