We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

October! what a month… seems like every time I turned around there was some place I had to go, or something I had to do. Well, I’m back and hopefully back to posting again on a regular basis.

“Power pop … draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock music. It typically incorporates … strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements, and prominent guitar riffs. Instrumental solos are usually kept to a minimum, and blues elements are largely downplayed… production values … lean toward compression and a forceful drum beat… While its cultural impact has waxed and waned over the decades, power pop is among rock’s most enduring subgenres”

You don’t need a definition to know what Power pop is. You hear a song and you know whether it and the group who recorded it are Power pop. The Rolling Stones will never be Power pop; The Raspberries will always be Power pop.

Zion, Illinois Shoes carried on the pop traditions of the Beatles and The Raspberries at a time when it was less than hip to do so. They formed in 1975, at a time when the 60’s music was on the wan; punk had found a foothold in England and America’s east and west coasts; and Disco had moved out of the African American, gay and Hispanic communities and become a worldwide phenomena. 1987 was hardly an auspicious time to begin a power pop band.

The group originally consisted of the Murphy brothers, Jeff and John, Gary Klebe, and Skip Meyer. Their national debut, Black Vinyl Shoes, was recorded in Jeff Murphy’s living room on a 4-track and was released on their own label, Black Vinyl Records. While few people ever heard the record enough did to start a word-of-mouth buzz. Bomp! Records owner Greg Shaw was one of those people and he arranged to release the single “Tomorrow Night”/”Okay,” on his label.

The group went on to sign with Elektra Records who released their next three albums: Present Tense (1979), Tongue Twister (1981), and Boomerang (1982). Failing to achieve commercial success Elektra dropped the band after the release of Boomerang and shortly afterwards Skip Meyer left the band.

Now a trio the group retreated to their home studio where they recorded the keyboard-oriented album, Silhouette (1984) which was released only in Europe. After a five year hiatus they released Stolen Wishes in 1989 on their reactivated Black Vinyl Records. 1994 saw the release of Propeller while 1995 saw release of the live Fret Buzz, its tracks coming from a December 1994 Chicago club gig.

Shoes Best is a 22-song non-chronological retrospective that includes one live cut from On Ice, one new tune, and songs from their three Elektra albums.

Los Angeles based The Plimsouls was formed by singer/guitarist Peter Case following the break-up of the Nerves, and like many others groups was scooped up by “record-label power pop mania” in the wake of the success of the Knack’s “My Sharona.”

The band signed with Planet Records (whose biggest selling act was the Pointer Sisters) who released 1981’s The Plimsouls. Even with it’s mix of vibrant, hummable tunes like “Now” and a hot cover of Wilson Pickett’s “Mini-Skirt Minnie” the album didn’t sell. With the failure of the album to sell and their relationship with Planet souring they left the label and released the independent 12-inch power pop classic, “A Million Miles Away.”

With the success of “A Million Miles Away” they signed with Geffen Records who released 1983’s Everywhere at Once which included a re-recorded version of “A Million Miles Away.”

Under appreciated the band called it quits in 1985. In the late 1990’s Case re-united with two other original Plimsouls, guitarist Eddie Munoz and bassist David Pahoa; and with the addition of drummer Clem Burke recorded and released 1998’s “Kool Trash.”

…Plus combines Zero Hour and The Plimsouls in its entirety, adding single sides “Dizzy Miss Lizzie,” a live reprise of the album’s “Hush Hush” and a studio outtake of “Memory.”


Singles, EPs and Full-length

Heads Or Tails EP (No Label) 1975
Un Dans Versailles (LP) (No Label) 1976
Bazooka (Cass) (No Label) 1976
Black Vinyl Shoes (LP) (Black Vinyl) 1977
Black Vinyl Shoes (LP) (PVC) 1978
Present Tense (LP, Cass) (Elektra) 1980
Black Vinyl Shoes (LP) (Sire England) 1980
Tongue Twister (LP, Cass) (Elektra) 1981
Boomerang (LP, Cass) (Elektra) 1982
Shoes On Ice (EP) (Elektra) 1982
Silhouette (LP, Cass) (New Rose, Demon, Line) 1984
Shoe’s Best (CD) (Black Vinyl) 1987
Present Tense/Tongue Twister (2xCD) (Black Vinyl) 1988
Stolen Wishes (CD, Cass) (Black Vinyl) 1989
Boomerang/Shoes On Ice (CD, Cass) (Black Vinyl) 1990
Silhouette (CD, Cass) (Black Vinyl) 1991
Stolen Wishes (CD) (JVC Japan) 1991
Black Vinyl Shoes (CD) (Black Vinyl) 1992
Propeller (CD) (Black Vinyl) 1994
Tore a Hole (CD Single) (Black Vinyl) 1995
Fret Buzz (Live) (CD) (Black Vinyl) 1995
As Is (2xCD) (Black Vinyl) 1997
Double Exposure (2xCD) (Black Vinyl) 2007

Tracks Appear On:

“A New Sensation” La Vie En Rose – New Rose Compilation 1985 (2xLP) (New Rose Records) 1985
“Oh Angeline” Rock’n’Rose (3xCD) (New Rose Records) 1990
“I Wanna Be With You” 20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions! (CD, LP) Pravda Records 1991
“This Christmas” Yuletunes (CD) (Black Vinyl) 1991
“Tomorrow Night”, “Too Late” DIY: Shake It Up! – American Power Pop II (CD) Rhino Entertainment 1993
“I Miss You” Yellow Pills Volume One (CD) (Big Deal) 1993
“Thing Of The Past” Yellow Pills Volume Two (CD) (Big Deal) 1994
“Oh Angeline” On Sunny Sunday (CD) Century Records (Japan) 1994

Shoes Best (1987)

Playing Time: 1 hour 11 minutes 50 seconds

shoes best cover

1. Burned Out Love (2:44)
2. Tomorrow Night (2:56)
3. Turnaround (4:03)
4. Get My Message (3:43)
5. Love Is Like A Bullet (3:25)
6. Karen (2:46)
7. Mayday (4:22)
8. She Satisfies (3:00)
9. When Push Comes To Shove (3:04)
10. Too Late (2:42)
11. Your Imagination (2:34)
12. Now And Then (3:13)
13. The Summer Rain (3:42)
14. Curiosity (3:27)
15. Pieces Of Glass (4:00)
16. Will You Spin For Me (3:56)
17. Too Soon (3:19)
18. Double Talk (3:13)
19. Boys Don’t Lie (1:56)
20. I Don’t Wanna Hear It (2:47)
21. I Don’t Miss You (4:09)
22. Hate To Run (2:49)

Shoes Best [Part 1] [Part 2 ]


Singles, Eps and Full-length

The Plimsouls (LP) (Planet Records) 1981
“A Million Miles Away”/”I’ll Get Lucky” A Million Miles Away (Bomp! Records) 1982
Everywhere At Once (LP) Geffen Records 1983
Everywhere At Once (CD) Geffen Records 1992
The Plimsouls…Plus (CD) (Rhino) 1992
Kool Trash (CD) (Fuel 2000 Records) 1998
One Night In America – Live! (CD) (Oglio Records) 2005

Tracks Appear On:

“Zero Hour” DIY: Shake It Up! – American Power Pop II (CD) (Rhino) 1993
“A Million Miles Away” Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The ’80s, Vol. 10 (CD) (Rhino) 1994
“A Million Miles Away”, “Everywhere At Once” Music From The Soundtrack: Valley Girl (CD, Cass) (Rhino) 1994
“A Million Miles Away” Sedated In The Eighties No. 3 (CD) (The Right Stuff) 1994
“A Million Miles Away” Speed – Songs From And Inspired By The Motion Picture (CD) (For Records) 1994
“Zero Hour” Valley Girl: More Music From the Soundtrack (CD) Rhino / WEA 1995
“A Million Miles Away” Destination Bomp! (2xCD) (Bomp! Records) 1995
“A Million Miles Away” Geffen Vintage 80’s, Volume 1.0 (CD) (Geffen Records) 1995
“A Million Miles Away” New Wave Hits – Volume 3 (CD) (Rhino) 1996
“I’ll Get Lucky” The Roots of Powerpop! (CD) (Bomp! Records) 1996
“Lost” Heavy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD) 1996
“A Million Miles Away” Definitive New Wave Hits (CD) (Flashback Records) 1997
“A Million Miles Away” On The Wave (2xCD) (Contraseña Records) 1997
“Playing with Jack” Yellow Pills, Volume 4 (CD) 1997
“A Million Miles Away” Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the ’80s (CD) (Rhino / Wea) 1997
“A Million Miles Away” VH-1: The Big 80’s The Big Movies (CD) 1998
“A Million Miles Away” Modern Rock 1980-1984 (CD) 2000
“A Million Miles Away” Pure 80’s Hits (CD) UTV Records 2001
“Everyday Things”, “Hypnotized” Children Of Nuggets – Original Artyfacts From The Second Psychedelic Era 1976-1996 (Box + 4xCD) (Rhino) 2005
“A Million Miles Away” Chart Toppers: Modern Rock Hits of the 80s, Volume 2
“A Million Miles Away” Emusic: Awesome 80’s
“A Million Miles Away” Richard Blade’s Flashback Favorites, Volume 5
“A Million Miles Away” Smash Alternatives: 14 Classic New Wave Hits

The Plimsouls – …Plus (1992)

Playing Time: 57 minutes 33 seconds

plimsouls plus cover

1. Lost Time (3:42)
2. Now (3:00)
3. In This Town (2:38)
4. Zero Hour (2:34)
5. Women (2:50)
6. Hush. Hush (2:48)
7. I Want What You Got (3:27)
8. Nickels and Dimes (3:05)
9. I Want You Back (2:33)
10. Mini-Skirt Minnie (2:43)
11. Everyday Things (2:30)
12. Memory (2:23)
13. Dizzy Miss Lizzie (3:01)
14. Great Big World (3:00)
15. Zero Hour (original version) (2:36)
16. Hypnotized (2:58)
17. How Long Will It Take? (2:51)
18. I Can’t Turn You Loose (3:23)
19. When You Find Out (2:28)
20. Hush. Hush (live version) (3:03)

… Plus [Part 1] ]Part 2 ]


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