Zion, Illinois’ Shoes comes in second only to Cheap Trick in embodying the sound and story of Illinois pop in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Helmed by brothers Jon and Jeff Murphy and schoolmate Gary Klebe, Zion’s favorite sons were more bedroom than barroom, focusing on nailing their technique, not the local barmaid. While their Elektra-issued Present Tense LP produced four MTV-ready singles and videos, it’s their pre-major label work that genre fans have clung onto hardest. Though their catalog has remained in print on CD for as long as the format has been around, the LPs have had far less bin exposure as the decades have worn on.
The gateway LP for power-popping mainliners the world over, Black Vinyl Shoes makes its return to the mother format in elegant fashion. Replica 150 gram reissue retains John Murphy’s original 1977 cover art, inserts, and even the t-shirt iron-on. Cut directly from the analog master tapes to disc, this is the definitive Black Vinyl Shoes.
One In Versailles
Pre-Tense: Demos 1978-1979