Export - 1986 Living In Fear Of The Private Eye

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Export
ALBUM: Living In Fear Of The Private Eye
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY074


LINEUP: Harry Shaw - vocals, guitars * Steve Morris - guitars * Chris Alderman - bass * Lou Rosenthal - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Living In Fear Of The Private Eye * 02 No Escape * 03 Running Back For More * 04 Airwaves * 05 You Make Me Wanna * 06 Closer To You * 07 Tear Me Apart * 08 Summer Nights * 09 Can't Say No


Here's another UK band trying to sound as North American as you please. From the Merseyside area, these guys were low-key in terms of their presence, in comparison to some of their contemporaries from the UK during that 1984-1986 period. Export had released a self-titled album as far back as 1980 on the HMV label. They didn't really hit their straps until they signed a deal with CBS/Epic. This resulted in the excellent 'Contraband' album during 1984. For a comparison of their sound, think along the lines of outfits such as debut album era Strangeways or Fastway. Vocalist Harry Shaw has a lot in common with singers like a young Gerry McGhee (Brighton Rock), Lea Hart or Tony Liddell for that matter. Though the music is commercial, it still retains that trademark British musical stamp, combined with the spit and polish of their transatlantic peers, especially since some big names like Lance Quinn and Neil Dorfsman were involved - production wise. The album as it turns out, was recorded in Philadelphia USA during the end of 1985.

The Songs

The title track gets us underway, and immediately sets the scene with some infectious playing. 'No Escape' features some very sharp guitar playing from Morris, the song a hi-tech workout akin to Strangeways circa Tony Liddell material. The approach is much the same with 'Running Back (For More)', unlike 'Airwaves' which is pretty weak overall. 'You Make Me Wanna' has a few chants happening, and is generally an upbeat happy sort of tune. 'Tear Me Apart' reverts back to debut era Strangeways again, though just being shaded slightly by that 1985 classic. 'Summer Nights' is a token attempt to imitate Dire Straits, and though mildly appealing, seems out of place here. It's not until you get to the last track that they really hit the mark. 'Can't Say No' (no.. not the White Sister version, though this one's pretty good!), is the highlight of the album for me. Fantastic chorus, with big drums and cutting guitars, not unlike a smoother version of Brighton Rock.

In Summary

As was the case, their American label soon lost interest, and the band were dropped and subsequently folded. The only member of note who has moved onto anything significant was guitarist Steve Morris, hooking up in the nineties to be the foil for Chris Ousey in Heartland. Difficult to find at the time, but thankfully in 2010 - both this album plus 'Contraband' have found a deserved home on reissued CD (remastered and reloaded) thanks to Rock Candy Records, making it a collectors item in years to come. Certainly worth checking out if you're into UK bands like Rio, Tobruk, Torino, and Briar, all contenders from that era.

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