With Success Comes A Price

I received my first notice from a copyright holder to remove a post. King Crimson to be exact. It has me a little scared. I had assumed I was safe posting bootlegs. Now, maybe not. I removed the post. What do I do now? Shut down the blog? Try to take it private again? I may have a way, but it may crap out like the last time. Your thoughts? Insights? Ideas? Send me an email at blind-pig@live.com or leave a comment under any post.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Material Issue Live, Alternates, And Covers Volume 1 Of 15 @ 320

Wikipedia says: Material Issue was a power pop trio from Chicago. Its trademark was a brand of dense, rich, manic powerful pop and its music revolved heavily around themes of love and heartbreak, with a number of song titles using girls' first names.

Formed in 1985, Material Issue was the brainchild of frontman Jim Ellison, who also played guitar, sang lead vocals, and wrote all Material Issue songs. The early days of Material Issue were a revolving door of bass players and drummers.

Ellison met bassist Ted Ansani while both were attending Columbia College Chicago in 1986. Drummer Mike Zelenko was recruited when the duo found him through an ad in the Illinois Entertainer later that year. With the Material Issue lineup set, Ellison – with Ansani and Zelenko eager to join him and ready to follow – set his sights on conquering the pop world.

In 1987, Material Issue released an EP on their own Big Block Label (so named for the big block engines of the 1970s muscle cars Ellison loved) which operated out of Ellison's bedroom at his parents home in Addison, Illinois. In 1988, "Sixteen Tambourines" appeared on College Music Journal's compilation and CMJ glowingly referred to Material Issue's music as a "hooky brand of high-powered psycho-pop". In 1989, their buzz grew further with the release of the single "Renee Remains The Same" which got heavy airplay around Chicago. Over the next two years, the band toured extensively across the midwest and found time to record what would become their debut album International Pop Overthrow (IPO). The album was produced by Jeff Murphy from the Chicago area power pop band Shoes, and recorded at Short Order Recorder, their studio in Zion, IL.

In early 1991, Material Issue broke onto the national scene with their debut album International Pop Overthrow (IPO) which sold over 300,000 copies for Mercury Records. Ironically enough, their debut video for the single "Diane" appeared on MTV's 120 Minutes in late December 1990 which was the episode of the final appearance of Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson of The Replacements in sort of a fitting segue between the lesser-known music genres of the two decades (Material Issue and The Replacements would share the stage at Taste of Chicago in 1991 which would prove to be the swansong for The Replacements). IPO spawned nationwide radio hits "Diane" and "Valerie Loves Me" which were just as popular in Chicago as they were in places such as Phoenix, Minneapolis and Dallas.

1992 saw the follow-up to IPO with Destination Universe which was also produced by Jeff Murphy at Short Order Recorder, and included the searing powerpop gem "What Girls Want" in addition to the richly emotional ballads "Next Big Thing" and "Everything". Material Issue continued to tour heavily across the country in support of both albums. 1994 saw the release of Freak City Soundtrack which featured the hit "Kim The Waitress" (a cover written by Jeff Kelly of The Green Pajamas). However, by the time Freak City Soundtrack was released, the momentum they had generated in the previous five years began to subside. Freak City sold less than 50,000 copies as the Seattle scene and the emergence of ska dominated both mainstream and alternative music markets. Other Chicago acts to break national following Material Issue, such as Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill and Liz Phair, had music more fitting for the times and Material Issue, feeling left behind by their label, parted ways with Mercury in early 1995.

Material Issue continued touring, selling out venues throughout the Upper Midwest. In the summer of 1995 the band co-headlined the first Edgefest in Somerset, Wisconsin (so named for its sponsor, Minneapolis alternative radio station 93.7 The Edge). Throughout the remainder of 1995 and into 1996, Material Issue had recorded a set of new songs that they had hoped to shop to a new label. However, the band came to a tragic and sudden end when Ellison committed suicide on June 20, 1996 by carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage. No one knows for sure what compelled Ellison to end his life, but two circumstances that seem to be the catalysts were the end of a relationship with a woman on his birthday on April 18, 1996 and the loss of his band's record deal from the previous year. A suicide note was found by police, but the contents of that note remain known only to Ellison's family. The recordings from the work done in 1995 and 1996 would be released posthumously on Telecommando Americano in 1997 by Rykodisc. Telecommando Americano would be the final Material Issue release, but also included the 6-song EP released back in 1987 as a bonus.

01 Diane
02 Valerie Loves Me
03 The Boxer
04 The Problem With Jill
05 Echo Beach
06 She Was An Actress
07 Something's Happened To Catherine
08 The Girl Who Never Falls In Love
09 Merry Christmas WIll Do
10 Everything (acoustic)
11 Who Needs Love (acoustic)
12 Don't You Think I Know (acoustic)
13 Next Big Thing (acoustic)
14 Diane (acoustic)
15 Run To Me (Bee Gees)
16 Bad Time (Grand Funk Railroad)
17 Wait A Million Years (Grass Roots)
18 Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy)
19 Bus Stop (The Hollies)
20 Little Willy (The Sweet)
21 Blockbuster (The Sweet)
22 The Tra La La Song
23 Turning Japanese (The Vapors)
24 Rocket Boy - Performed by Liz Phair


1 comment:

Kevin said...

I have a 7 disc version of this called Bad Boys Making Noize so I'm real interested to see how this set plays out. Bully to you for posting some Ish