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.
Prior to signing with Elektra in 1979, Shoes were just four guys cutting demos in a Zion, Illinois, basement. Compiled here for the first time on vinyl is a track-by-track reevaluation of their major label debut Present Tense, cut from the original master tapes.