It’s hard to believe that it’s been two full decades since Chicago power-pop outfit Material Issue released its dazzling debut, “International Pop Overthrow,” but it has. And Hip-O Select is celebrating the milestone in style with a deluxe 20th anniversary edition of the record, complete with eight bonus tracks, including the never-before-available “The Girl With The Saddest Eyes.”
Bear in mind, the 14-track original (now fully remastered) came out at a time when rock was rocketing into its Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins phase, so just recording hooky punk anthems was almost an act of rebellion in itself.
But the album would go on to transform not only the Windy City music scene, but the nation’s as well, with the creation 12 years ago of an annual festival called The International Pop Overthrow, which hosts hundreds of like-minded outfits, including Material Issue’s own Ted Ansani with his Ted Ansani Project.
What makes this re-release even more poignant is how the band’s history ended far too soon, after three more albums, with the suicide of lanky charismatic frontman Jim Ellison, only 32 at the time. But you can tune back into this halcyon era and celebrate his memory right now at www.hip-oselect.com.