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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Private Eye (Canada) - 1979 Private Eye
Private Eye (Canada) - 1979 Private Eye

ARTIST: Private Eye (Canada)
ALBUM: Private Eye
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11980
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Hughie Leggat - vocals, guitars * Gordy Leggat - guitars * Howard Walden - bass * Paul Stamp - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 What Do You Want From Me * 02 Your Place Or Mine * 03 Good Girl Gone Bad * 04 Beneath The Wheels * 05 Changes * 06 I Hate To Tell You * 07 Everybody Knows * 08 Stay Until The Morning * 09 Come My Way

A one off recording that seems to have been forgotten over the passing of time. The founders of the band were the Leggat brothers, of whom Hughie had a successful stint with Canadian rock outfit A Foot In Coldwater for almost the duration of the seventies. Leggat had attempted to form another band prior to Private Eye, Thunderoad, which I assume went nowhere. With numerous hits under his belt with Coldwater, Hughie might have expected a better response to Private Eye, especially with this inspired set of semi hard rock, but results weren't forthcoming. Musically the band wavers between old fashioned rock and hints of AOR, but without the flair needed to make this worthy of being an obscure classic worth hunting for.

The Songs
The Rolling Stones comparisons levelled at Private Eye are as accurate as a Beckham free kick, mostly sounding like Mick and co on the odd moment, but not constantly. I'm more at home with the AOR efforts like 'Your Place Or Mine', which is easy radio material for the period, smooth chorus and harmonies, on par with latter day Eagles material, with a harder edge. 'What Do You Want From Me' resembles Rock Rose and their lone album from the same year, very accessible, with noticeable organ work. An attempt is made at bad boy rock with 'Good Girl Gone Bad', which sees the first of the Stones style coming into focus, yet strangely weak. Heavier and more acceptable is 'Beneath The Wheels', hints of B.T.O. included, but the obligatory ballad makes an appearance with 'Changes', which may be of interest to Nantucket fans. The album becomes bogged down with some quieter sections, including 'I Hate To Tell You' and 'Everybody Knows' and if smooth FM rock is your bag then you'll be right at home with 'Stay Until The Morning'. Harder edged is 'Come My Way', and that guitar work might fool you into believing Keith Richards is lurking somewhere, but it remains crucially melodic and captivating, which is hard to say of the Stones at certain moments!

In Summary
Certainly listenable, without coming off as spectacular, and any lingering thoughts that this is worth searching the world for should be erased, but if available is worth a listen for sure. The Leggat brothers formed their own self titled band Leggat three years later and released 'Illuminations' in 1982, which reportedly is a fine outing and three years on from the promise of 'Private Eye' might indeed be a more worthy AOR proposition. According to Hughie, Blue Oyster Cult recorded a track from this album 'White Flags' on 1985's 'Club Ninja'. The Leggats are still at it, with their latest band the Mississippi Hippies, trying to regain that hippie nostalgia of old!

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#1 | gdazegod on February 06 2011 02:47:42
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#2 | super80boy on January 28 2013 03:24:33
A tale of two sides as the back cover would specify. The 'Hard Side' is definitely the one to stay with. All the songs are good rockers, especially the driving beats of 'Beneath The Wheels'.
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