Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6860
Comments: 16579
Ratings: 4791
Forum Posts: 21868
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Export - 1984 Contraband
Export - 1984 Contraband

ARTIST: Export
ALBUM: Contraband
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY073


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rockin' For You * 02 Destiny * 03 Spotlight * 04 Roll Little Sister * 05 Take My Hand * 06 You Gotta Rock * 07 Rough Diamond * 08 On The Run * 09 Stay

Liverpool may be better known as being the origins of 60's music icons The Beatles, but for melodic rockers and AORsters, it's the low key affair that was the band Export which is of more interest to GD readers. The band, better known for being the starting vehicle for guitarist Steve Morris (who is probably best remembered through his involvement with Ian Gillan and the band Heartland) began life through a series of various 1960's and 1970's combinations involving Morris, Shaw, Rosenthal and original bassist David Henry. Unbelievably, Export - through the era of the NWOBHM, picked up a shortlived deal with Atlantic Records, and released a single with them during 1979. This all came about through winning a Radio City Battle Of The Bands that year, and though nothing came of the Atlantic experience, it gave the band an inkling as to their potential. A new manager in the shape of Dave Harman (a.k.a Dave Dee of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beak Mick and Tich) bought the band to his newly formed management company. Export released two batches of music under their own His Masters Vice record label: a 7' single plus an 8 track album, both sold at local gigs the funds of which were used to improve their transportation requirements. On top of this, the band played support gigs to the likes of Girl, Def Leppard, Magnum, Slade and Ozzy Osbourne. Moving back into the studio, Export recorded a bunch of songs with Trevor Rabin producing, and also some separate work while signed to Dave Dee's Double D Records. Dee took Export over the Atlantic to New York for some showcase gigs, and though not snapped up straight away, the band did eventually land the big fish with a deal signed up with Epic Records.

The Songs
The first album for Epic was this one 'Contraband'. It wasn't a 'new' album as such, instead, it was a collection of cobbled together music from those Rabin and Double D sessions, along with some other material rebadged for the album. 'Rockin' For You' opens Export's account, undeniably British, and galloping across the soundscape like UFO but with a hint of American excess too, perhaps a hint of early 80's KISS. Organs make an appearance on 'Destiny', and though Uriah Heep might be the first port of call in an instance like this, Export put their own stamp of melodic authority on proceedings. The electric/acoustic hybrid of 'Spotlight' is nice enough with touches of Grand Prix, the chorus is particularly good. 'Roll Little Sister' kicks up some merry hell, a rabble rouser of sorts, whereas 'Take My Hand' shows the softer side of the band, a ballad with soaring qualities. Back to the band's harder rockin' roots is 'You Gotta Rock' merging Uriah Heep's 'Abominog' and 'Head First' era with ease, 'Rough Diamond' and 'On The Run' are both quintessentially British, with shout-outs to other contemporaries from the same time-frame, a la the aforementioned Grand Prix and Bronz. Synths assist with the close out of 'Stay', reminding me of Stratus, but then Morris kicks in with some big riffs, the whole song struts along with intensity. A good way to finish.

In Summary
Though Epic didn't exactly put out the red carpet for the Merseyside boys, it was apparent that the label liked the band and album - enough to give them a second crack at the bigtime with 1986's 'Living In Fear Of The Private Eye', though the band didn't last too long after that effort. What is rewarding though, is that both Export albums are now part of the Rock Candy folklore, with digital remastering, and extended essays courtesy of Misterpomp himself - Stephen B Allen. Fantastic to see both of these in 2010 on CD, and as a result, the two of them should sit proudly in your CD collection.

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | Eric on June 17 2010 12:32:29
Wonderful record and band. Nice to see these reissues.
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
Search DDG