Chicago’s Material Issue is one of the best power pop bands to come out of the 90’s and there were a slew of decent bands from that genre in the 90s.
International Pop Overthrow, the band’s first major label (and finest )release is finally getting the anniversary treatment, complete with a slew (eight to be exact) of bonus tracks including a live version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and a number of other hard to find tracks and covers.
When the record first came out, the first impression was just how many songs were about girls (like any solid power pop record – just ask the guys in Cheap Trick) – “Valerie Love Me,” “Diane,” “Renee Remains the Same” and that’s just the first three songs. The second impression is just how unimaginable infectious these songs were (are). Material Issue is right up there with Cheap Trick and The Beatles when came to writing razor sharp hooks and sing-along choruses. There is not a single song on the original 14 track album that didn’t belong on the record. From start to finish it was and remains a flawless pop record.
The band went on to release two more records before getting dropped by Mercury. The trio’s front man and guitarist Jim Ellison committed suicide shortly after in 1996. There was a posthumous album release the following year, but International Pop Overthrow remains their paramount effort.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Top tracks: “Renee Remains the Same”, “Valerie Loves Me”and “Cowboy”
Material Issue – International Pop Overthrow 20th Anniversary Edition/1 CD/22 tracks/Hip-O Select