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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Export - 1986 Living In Fear Of The Private Eye
Export - 1986 Living In Fear Of The Private Eye

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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#1 | dangerzone on May 03 2007 22:08:40
I'd have to say 'Airwaves' is the standout track from this one. A good show of 80's AOR drama.
#2 | rkbluez on May 04 2007 00:17:19
Steve Morris also played on Gillan 'Toolbox' with Leonard Haze of Y&T fame.
Export was a cool band I did this from the lp and it was well worth the trouble...did the Contraband album
#3 | jeffduran on December 04 2007 21:30:18
Agree w/dangerzone 'Airwaves' is great! One of my all time favorite AOR songs. 'Closer To You' is also a killer cut!
#4 | george_the_jack on June 11 2008 14:05:37
Huge middle 80's majesty! Fantastic AOR album, totally unknown with the mighty Steve Morris on the guitar! I personally enjoy the whole album which is a highlight itself!
#5 | Nick C on August 24 2008 20:26:18
By the way the original Export album on the HMV label, the letters stood for His Masters Vice and not the mega corporation we all know and 'love'.
#6 | swazi on April 26 2010 20:26:33
Phantastic album! Good to see it's finally being issued on CD by Rock Candy!
#7 | super80boy on April 16 2014 02:44:50
I really like the atmospheric 'Airwaves', which also has solid guitar soloing. Another standout cut for me is 'Tear Me Apart' which has a killer start, with those parping keyboards and then we launch into a melodic hard rock vibe coupled with a hook filled chorus. The closer 'Can't Say No' fits the bill for a driving hard rock catchy melody.
#8 | dangerzone on November 12 2015 22:14:20
How good is 'Tear Me Apart'? What a true AOR classic.
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