SHOES was formed by in Zion, IL, in 1975 by Jeff Murphy, John Murphy, Gary Klebe, and Skip Meyer -- the Murphys and Klebe all sharing songwriting duties. After one self-made and extremely limited album (only 300 were pressed), 1975's Un Dans Versalles, and the unreleased Bazooka (1976), they recorded their true debut for national consumption, Black Vinyl Shoes, in Jeff Murphy's living room and released it on their own label, Black Vinyl Records. Though it was barely distributed, enough critics and key people heard the record to start a word-of-mouth buzz. Eventually, Greg Shaw, the head of Bomp! Records, heard the record and arranged for the band to release one single, the brilliant "Tommorrow Night"/"Okay," on his label. A contract with Elektra Records soon followed. Elektra released the group's next three, textbook power-pop albums: Present Tense (1979), Tongue Twister (1981), and Boomerang (1982). Despite the instantly accessible, catchy quality of the songs, they were unable to achieve mainstream success -- among specialists however, these albums, along with the debut, stand as the high points of the era.
Elektra dropped Shoes after the release of Boomerang and Meyer left the band. The remaining three retreated back to the home studio, returning with Silouette in 1984, a more subtle, keyboard-oriented album released only in Europe. They disappeared for the next five years and popped up again in 1989 with Stolen Wishes, on their reactivated Black Vinyl Records. Since then Shoes have remained more or less active, releasing two new albums -- Propeller (1994) and the live Fret Buzz (1995) -- as well as producing other like-minded bands for release on Black Vinyl.
Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide

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