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Steve Hackett

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Steve Hackett The  Show album cover
2.16 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. The Show
Side B
1. Hercules Unchained

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Hackett / guitar, vocal, optigan, Roland GR 500
- Nick Magnus / keyboards
- John Hackett / concert and alto flute
- Pete Hicks / vocal
- John Shearer / drums & percussion
- Dik Cadbury / bass, vocal

Thanks to Snow Dog for the addition
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STEVE HACKETT The Show ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (20%)

STEVE HACKETT The Show reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Snow Dog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars The Show was the single lifted from the 1980 album "Defector", and as songs go it isn't a bad little number. It moves pleasantly along all lush keyboard sounds and funky bass. Yes, a very appealing song with very little actual guitar work from Steve, with him just soloing at the very end. And that is quite low key too. But Steve's album are not guitar albums as such but albums made by a guitarist. He is loved not just for his playing but for his atmosphere and sound he brings to his music. The real great thing about this single though is the "B" side "Hercules Unchained", a non album track. Here you get to hear some guitar.This got some playing when I bought the single I can tell you. Hackett does Metal...sort off. No idea why it wasn't included on the album because it is a brilliant song showing another facet of Hackett's writing. Sounds like he really enjoyed playing it too. If you have never heard it, you must try to. It is included as a bonus track on the 2005 remaster of the parent album.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars Hackett unchained?

While Defector is my personal favourite of Steve Hackett's early solo albums, this single taken from that album is not really representative of the album. The Show is an uplifting Pop song and points in the direction of Steve's next album Cured and hence is very different from the otherwise dark material of Defector. The real interest of this single is however the b-side Hercules Unchained simply because it is a non-album track. When hearing it now it becomes clear why it was left off the album as it is also very different from the Defector material. It is basically a Punk number! Clocking in under three minutes and featuring a simple riff and song structure it comes across as a throwaway. Being a massive fan of Steve Hackett it is interesting to hear this track once, but really once is quite enough! The track has since been included as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of Defector so there is no need to seek out the original single to hear it. Hardly Steve's finest moment!

Review by Matti
1 stars Good grief, how bad a single from one of my favourite artists can be. First, I like quite a lot all the early albums by Steve Hackett, definitely including Defector (1980) which contains some atmospheric stuff full of unique, timeless, English charm that I consider to be one of Hackett's trademarks -- witnessed already in the Genesis output, e.g. 'Blood on the Rooftops' from Wind & Wuthering. But Defector is notably more uneven than Steve's preceding solo albums, mainly due to some throwaway songs like 'The Show'. It is musically very mediocre pop song with a kitchy synth riff going on and on. And the lyrics that try to be satirical about rock business, they are hardly even slightly amusing.

I didn't know the B-side song 'Hercules Unchained' in advance, so I listened to it on YouTube. At first I wondered can this really be the right track, or is YouTube accidentally playing me some Slade or something in that vein instead. Noisy electric guitar sound walls of metallic rock'n'roll, and fast-tempo vocals like on the worst songs of Billy Joel (such as 'Still Rock'n'Roll to Me'). The best thing about this horrible song is its length of under three minutes. It has been included as a bonus on Defector's CD release. Frankly to me it would be a very negative, unwanted addition to a fairly nice album.

(One star reviews are very rare in my reviews list, because I prefer to write about music I can recommend to at least someone, but this was just a case of a quick ex tempore review, and if I yesterday gave two stars to a decent album just because I wasn't really turned on by it, this single is a plain one-star release for me.)

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