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Shoes | Black Vinyl Shoes

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United States - Illinois

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Pop: Power Pop Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Black Vinyl Shoes

by Shoes

The 1977, power-pop, grand-daddy of 4-track, home recording.
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Boys Don't Lie
1:57 $0.99
2. Do You Wanna Get Lucky?
3:08 $0.99
3. She'll Disappear
2:44 $0.99
4. Tragedy
3:18 $0.99
5. Writing A Postcard
2:38 $0.99
6. Not Me
2:24 $0.99
7. Someone Finer
1:49 $0.99
8. Capital Gain
2:51 $0.99
9. Fatal
2:40 $0.99
10. Running Start
2:54 $0.99
11. Okay
2:26 $0.99
12. It Really Hurts
2:52 $0.99
13. Fire For Awhile
2:45 $0.99
14. If You'd Stay
3:00 $0.99
15. Nowhere So Fast
2:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This 1977 power-pop classic was one of the first, D.I.Y., self-released LPs of the home recording age. Recorded in a livingroom on a Teac 3340S, 4-track tape machine it has been refererred to by some in the press by the grandaddy of D.I.Y. home recording. Self-produced, recorded and packaged on the band's own Black Vinyl Records label. The original LP pressing of 1,000 copies have been known to fetch over $200 a piece, if one can be found. The 15 pop gems embodied here have an innocent charm that received rave reviews in the US and abroad and eventually attracted the attention of Elektra Records. It remains a touchstone in the do-it-yourself craze of home recording and holds up well even amid today's digital technology and remains a testament to what can be achieved with good songwriting on a shoestring budget.



to write a review

Randy Grimes

It's amazing that this was recorded at home and not in a studio. It's not as polished as some of the later studio albums but the great melodies and vocal harmonys still come through well.

PJ Lorenzo

Recorded on 4-track analog. The real deal here, nothing contrived.
Every time I listen to this record (been 23 years now!), it paints a musical picture for me. You can just hear the hard work that was put into this project in the engineering, musicianship and song writing. Some of the production ideas were ahead of their time for 1976. This a "must have" for pop music and recording enthusiasts.

Greg Cleary

Shoes in the living room
This was the last Shoes album I bought, and although it is regarded by many as their best, it took me awhile to warm up to it. Compared to their later work, the sound of Black Vinyl Shoes is somewhat claustrophobic, which is understandable considering that it was recorded in a band member's living room. Also, it sounds like music that was constructed piece by piece, rather than played live, which is also very much true. The large number of songs (15) also made it a bit harder to get into. But eventually the album won me over. This is Shoes' quirkiest album and also their most diverse. You won't hear the big, booming drums that were a trademark of their follow-up, Present Tense, and they had not yet established the songwriting style that made them such a consistently good band for years to come. There is a tentativeness to this album that at first caused me to underestimate it, but that I now regard as its most interesting quality. This is the sound of a band that is just discovering its own powers and was due to hit its stride just a couple years later, when it went to England to record its major label debut. There are some sonic touches here that you won't find anywhere else in Shoes' catalog. Two songs feature slide guitar and another even features a few toots on a harmonica. Shoes' lyrical approach was already established by this time. Most of the songs are about love gone wrong, and the lyrics are vague enough to be universal but just sharp enough to avoid cliche. Highlights are the lusty "Boys Don't Lie," its companion piece, "Do You Wanna Get Lucky?" and my personal favorite, "Tragedy," which has a wonderful, galloping rhythm. John Murphy's songs are strongest, while Gary Klebe had yet to blossom as a songwriter. But as with all Shoes albums, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. For all their catchy melodies and snappy rhythms, Shoes was much more of an albums band than a singles band. (By the way, if you can't get enough of this band, you should check out their web site blackvinylshoes.com and consider ordering a copy of their limited edition double CD, "As Is." It contains a disc full of outtakes that are mostly high in quality, as well as the pre-Black Vinyl albums "Bazooka" and "One in Versailles." It is a bit pricey, but it contains four albums' worth of material, and the artwork and liner notes are nicely done.)

chip muellemann

etremely underated
i dont think anyone in this age and many people who new these guys in the late seventies can ever fully appreciate what it took to produce an album like this given the lack of technology and the cramped conditions of a small frontroom studio. this is a watermark album and the mother of most diy projects to follow!an amazing record!