Shoes comes in second only to Cheap Trick in embodying the sound and story of Illinois pop in the late '70s and early '80s. Detailing their career of nearly 40 years would fill out a hefty tome (and has), and the five year period spanning 1973 through 1978, during which Shoes formed and ultimately signed to Elektra Records, has been covered by founding vocalist and guitarist Jeff Murphy in his self-published paperback, Birth of a Band: The Record Deal and the Recording of Present Tense. A pair of determined, Beatle-loving brothers, trapped in suburbia, with a studio in the basement of a dress shop, a 45 on Bomp!, and the requisite major label deal that followed…the trail that Shoes pressed its soles into was one tread by hundreds of other bands.

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