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iTunes Review

Shoes were one of the great unsung power pop bands of the '70s. The Illinois band self-released their earliest albums before a major label picked them up and gave them an actual recording budget, which let Shoes improve the sonics while remaining true to their great performances and songwriting. Then they receded from view, and 18 years passed before Shoes finally took their finger off the pause button. Ignition sounds as if they'd never stopped. As befits a group that hasn't released an album in some time, Ignition is packed with solid tunes that have been accumulating for years. "Head Vs. Heart," "Heaven Help Me," and "Maybe Now" establish that Jeff and John Murphy and Gary Klebe have lost none of their abilities. Once again recording in their home studio, and enjoying all the benefits of modern technology, Shoes sound natural and fully accomplished. The acoustic guitars are warm, the electrics jangle and growl, and the harmonies remain the band's strongest asset. There are no wasted notes and no fancy solos: just purely economical power pop with an autumnal undertow guiding the enthusiasm of "Wrong Idea," "Sign of Life," and "Only We Remain." 

Customer Reviews

Can't believe how good this is

Bought this because I used to love them in the 80's. Expected to enjoy the sense of nostalgia more than actual music. But the music is amazing. Sounds like a once fallow field come into fruition. 18 years of ruminating & evolving is more than evident. Intricate, adventurous, & catchy. Love it.


I have been a fan of the Shoes from the beginning and must say that 'Ignition' does not disappoint !
It's almost as if this album was trapped in a wormhole somewhere between 'Present Tense' and today !
While I have never been lucky enough to ever see them in concert, listening to gems found on this album
is the next best thing ! What really surprised me about this release is that the group still sounds as fresh as ever !
Superb harmonies, great production, crystal clear instruments and intelligent lyrics abound. It doesn't get any
better than this , kids.Absolutely no filler, 100% pure pop !

Thank you Zion, Illinois. Thank you, Shoes.


Formed: 1975 in Zion, IL

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

It may not have been the hip thing to do at the time, but Shoes carried on the pure pop traditions of the Beatles and the Raspberries during the late '70s and early '80s with a charming innocence and execution unmatched by the more derivative bands lumped into the category "power pop." Shoes were formed in Zion, Illinois, in 1975 by Jeff Murphy, John Murphy, Gary Klebe, and Skip Meyer, with the Murphys and Klebe all sharing songwriting duties. After one self-made and extremely limited album (only...
Full Bio