Three classic albums from Shoes, plus bonus tracks, and a full CD worth of rare material too! First up is Present Tense – a power-pop
classic from Shoes – their first full length for Elektra Records, and a set that stands with all the best end of 70s gems from either coast! The songs are impeccable, and the group do a fantastic job of blending sharper guitars with really great lyricism – a mode that maybe makes the Illinois group a strong precursor for territory that The Replacements wouldn't hit until many years later – and which makes just about every track on the album a precious nugget that just gets better and better with time! Titles include "Now & Then", "Every Girl", "I Don't Wanna Hear It", "Three Times", "In My Arms Again", and "Too Late". On Tongue Twister, Shoes continue the brilliance of their first album for Elektra – serving up the kind of music that was so well-done, so subtle, it was maybe missed by most of the world at the time – even though it's gone onto the status of classic, thanks to legions of fans and critics! Shoes have a way with a tune that's unlike anyone else – maybe that compressed charm of Big Star, but fused into the sharper modes of the power pop
years – but without any of the too commercial modes of some of the bigger groups of the time. Instead, the whole thing feels like you've just stumbled upon a brilliant band, playing in a backroom bar – which, unfortunately, is how Shoes spent too much of their career. Titles include "Only In My Sleep", "She Satisfies", "Found A Girl", "Hate To Run", "When It Hits", "Yes Or No", "Your Imagination", and "Girls Of Today". On Boomerang, Shoes maybe look a bit too new wave on the cover, but still sound perfect within – very much in charge of that perfect yet understated approach to a tune that has gone on to make them legends in all the many years since this album was released! The group were never out to change the world, and maybe that held them back at the time – but they were also never trying for big chart success, or too-slick modes – and there's a wonderfully honest, down to earth approach to the songwriting and production that clearly sets the stage for all the bigger late 80s groups that would follow in their wake. Nearly every tune is a completely catchy mofo – and titles include "Curiosity", "In Her Shadow", "Double Talk", "The Summer Rain", "Under The Gun", "The Tube", and "What Love Means". 4CD set features a huge amount of bonus material – 8 track demo versions of all three albums, added to their discs – and a bonus CD of 18 more rare tracks – all in a box, with a big booklet of notes!