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Shoes – Black Vinyl Shoes

Shoes
Black Vinyl Shoes
Style: Indie, Rock
Label: Black Vinyl Records
Catalog Number: S-51477
Released: 1977, 70's
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Shoes were formed in the early 70s by longtime friends John Murphy and Gary Klebe in Zion, Illinois before the two even owned their first instruments. The duo would exchange letters and cartoons they drew of themselves taking the world by storm with their music. Then in 1974 the two bought guitars, a 4 track tape machine and a disc cutter to make their own records. The DIY spirit and home recordings would define the band’s early years as Shoes honed their skills as songwriters and musicians, seemingly for their own amusement. The group recorded in Murphy’s living room and pressed small batches of their records on their own “Black Vinyl Records” imprint, with just four copies of their debut being pressed (one for each band member.) Their breakthrough album Black Vinyl Shoes continued this approach, but this time, the songs were polished and ready for the masses. With tracks like “Tragedy” and “Fatal” the band demonstrate their lean sound with catchy hooks that exemplifies the power pop sounds of the times, but what set Shoes apart from their peers was their thin fuzzed out guitar tones and layered vocal melodies that created a sometimes haunting sound. With each member taking turns singing and sharing songwriting credits, the album has a McCartney/Lennon/Harrison feel to it in its shared cohesiveness. The album ended up being re-released by Sire Records and a deal with Elektra soon followed, leading to some less inspired work, but this album captured the group at their peak. Black Vinyl Shoes is fifteen tracks of pure homemade pop brilliance.

– Cole Kinnear

Recommended: A4 Tragedy, A6 Not Me, B1 Fatal

Tags: DIY / Amateur / Power Pop / Private Press
Tracklist:

A1 Boys Don’t Lie
A2 Do You Wanna Get Lucky?
A3 She’ll Disappear
A4 Tragedy
A5 Writing A Postcard
A6 Not Me
A7 Someone Finer
A8 Capital Gain
B1 Fatal
B2 Running Start
B3 Okay
B4 It Really Hurts
B5 Fire For Awhile
B6 If You’d Stay
B7 Nowhere So Fast

Credits:

Vocals, Guitar – Gary Klebe, Jeff Murphy
Vocals, Bass – John Murphy
Drums – Skip Meyer
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Written-By, Graphics – Shoes
Written-By – Gary Klebe, Jeff Murphy, John Murphy

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