Shoes (American band)
|Origin||Zion, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Rock, power pop|
|Labels||Black Vinyl Records, Bomp!, Elektra|
|Past members||Barry Shumaker
Shoes is an American power pop band, formed in Zion, Illinois, in 1974 by brothers John and Jeff Murphy, and Gary Klebe and incorporating several different drummers over the years including Skip Meyer, Barry Shumaker, Ric Menck, John Richardson, and Jeff Hunter.
Shoes also formed their own record label, Black Vinyl Records, and owned and operated their own commercial recording studio (Short Order Recorder) from 1983 to 2004. Many artists recorded at the studio and some went on to sign major label recording contracts, including Local H and Material Issue.
The Murphy brothers and Klebe were high school friends and decided to form a band following graduation. At the time none of the members knew how to play an instrument so each member picked an instrument to learn and promised to reunite within one year. Within the first year the three got back together to rehearse and eventually record their first album.
In 1977 Shoes recorded the album Black Vinyl Shoes in Jeff Murphy's living room and pressed 1,000 copies on their own label, Black Vinyl Records. The album was sold at local record stores and by mail order through Bomp! magazine. Shoes then released a single "Tomorrow Night" on Bomp! Records in June 1978. Soon after that Black Vinyl Shoes was licensed to PVC Records which released the album in November 1978. The group signed to Elektra Records in April 1979 and released their first major label album, Present Tense, that September. The album peaked at number 50 on the Billboard 200 and yielded the minor hit single "Too Late" which reached number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1980s and 1990s
When MTV went on the air on August 1, 1981, the channel aired four of Shoes' videos: "Too Late", "Tomorrow Night", "Cruel You" and "In My Arms Again", making Shoes one of the first bands to be shown on MTV.
The band went on to do three more videos: "In Her Shadow" (1982), "When Push Comes To Shove"(1985) and "Feel The Way That I Do" (1991).
The Shoes song Your Very Eyes was covered by Jeffrey Foskett on his 2000 album Twelve and Twelve.
In early 2007, the band released a double CD titled Double Exposure, which contains demos of their songs from the albums Present Tense and Tongue Twister. In the same time frame, Jeff Murphy published a book entitled, "Birth of a Band, The Record Deal and the Recording of Present Tense" which documents the band's inception, major label signing and subsequent recording of their first internationally distributed album, Present Tense. In January 2007 Jeff released a solo album titled Cantilever.
In January 2011 Shoes got together in the studio with drummer John Richardson to lay down rhythm tracks for a new batch of Shoes songs. Over the next 14 months recording continued on what would become their first studio album of new material in over 17 years. Released in mid-2012, "Ignition" adds to a career that spans more than 4 decades, giving the band the milestone of releasing music in each of the decades 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.  
On July 9, 2014, Skip Meyer died. He was 64 years old. The Shoes official website announced "Today we lost our best friend and comrade of nearly 40 years. Surrounded by his wife and children, Skip passed away at his home after battling a lingering illness. He was an integral part of our band’s early evolution, and his upbeat, easy-going nature was inspiring and contagious. Skip was just a fun guy to be around. He will be greatly missed, but his spirit will forever be with us."
Some have inaccurately stated that the group's name originated from an interview the Beatles granted on their first American tour in February, 1964. However, as noted in Boys Don’t Lie: A History of Shoes by Mary E. Donnelly (New York college professor and managing editor of PurePopPress.com) with Moira McCormick in interviewing John Murphy:
Much ink has been spilled debating the meaning of the band’s name. John absolutely insists that he was unaware of a CBS News interview from February 10, 1964, in which John Lennon, dismissing a similar question about their moniker, quipped, “It means Beatles, doesn’t it? But that’s just a name, you know, like ‘shoe’.” Paul McCartney immediately chimed in, “The Shoes, you see? We could have been called the Shoes for all you know.” But if the band’s name was intended to be an intentional evocation of that moment, there would certainly have been a “The,” which there isn’t. Asked why, John says, “I guess Shoes just sounded right…like ‘look at those cool shoes’ or ‘where are my shoes?’ … it was like Sparks or Wings or Faces or even Big Star….. The first time we heard the ‘the’ was from a writer…we winced and corrected him. ‘No, no…it’s just Shoes.’ … The Shoes just rubbed us wrong.
|1974/5||Heads or Tails||private release||Limited 4 copies - acetate LP|
|1976||One in Versailles||private release||LP|
|1977||Black Vinyl Shoes||Black Vinyl
Black Vinyl (BV10092)
|1979||Present Tense||Elektra||LP, Cass|
|1980||Tongue Twister||Elektra||LP, Cass|
|1984||Silhouette||New Rose (France)
Black Vinyl (BV15191)
|1987||Shoes Best||Black Vinyl (BV19787)||CD|
|1988||Present Tense / Tongue Twister||Black Vinyl (BV19888)||CD, Cass. Re-issue|
|1989||Stolen Wishes||Black Vinyl (BV10189)
New Rose (France)
|1990||Boomerang / Shoes on Ice||Black Vinyl (BV18190)||CD Re-issue|
|1994||Propeller||Black Vinyl (BV10294)||CD|
|1995||Fret Buzz (live)||Black Vinyl (BV10495)||CD|
|1997||As-Is||Black Vinyl (BV10596)||Double CD (re-issue of "One In Versailles", "Bazooka" and other rarities|
|2007||Cantilever||Black Vinyl (BV10101)||Jeff Murphy solo CD|
|2007||Double Exposure||Black Vinyl (BV11979)||Double CD|
|2012||Ignition||Black Vinyl (BV16112-2)||CD, MP3 (First all-new album in 18 years)|
|2015||Primal Vinyl||Alive Naturalsound Records (Alive0170-1)||Star-burst colored Vinyl LP (12-song compilation includes early demos and unreleased live track from 2013 tour)|
Singles and EPs
|1978||"Tomorrow Night" b/w "Okay"||Bomp (Bomp116)||7" single|
|1979||"Too Late"||Elektra||7" single|
|1982||Shoes on Ice||Elektra||12" EP|
|1995||Tore a Hole||Black Vinyl (BV10395)||CD|
Tracks on compilations
|Year||Album Title||Shoes Track||Label||Notes|
|1978||The Best of Bomp Volume One||"Tomorrow Night"||Bomp!|
|1989||Everyday Is a Holly Day||Words Of Love||New Rose (France)
|Buddy Holly tribute CD|
|1991||Yuletunes||This Christmas||Black Vinyl (BV12591)||Christmas CD|
|1993||Shake It Up! – American Power Pop II (1978–80)||"Tomorrow Night"
|1993||Yellow Pills Volume One||I Miss You||Big Deal (9003)||American Pop CD|
|1994||Yellow Pills Volume One||Thing of the Past||Big Deal (9006)||American Pop CD|
|1996||The Roots of Powerpop||"Tomorrow Night"||Bomp!|
- Green, Paul. "Shoes Typifying A&R, Promo Link" Billboard October 27, 1979: 72
- Woodstra, Chris, Shoes bio at Allmusic, retrieved 2010-11-28
- Makamson, Collin (Oct 2004), Shoes interview, retrieved 2010-11-28
- Robbins, Ira, Trouser Press, retrieved 2010-11-28