Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Maybe it's something in the water or in Old Style beer, but Illinois has a rich history as the Midwest's Mecca for power pop; in the 1970s and early '80s, the Land of Lincoln was home to hundreds of bands that were serving up soaring melodies, guitar-powered hooks, earnest vocal harmonies, dancefloor-filling rhythms, and as much Beatles-like personality as they could muster. Cheap Trick were the Illinois band who were able to sell updated pop to the masses that filled the arenas, and Shoes proved a band could rise from a basement studio and score a major-label deal and international attention, but the vast majority of Illinois power pop bands played the clubs for a few ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Maybe it's something in the water or in Old Style beer, but Illinois has a rich history as the Midwest's Mecca for power pop; in the 1970s and early '80s, the Land of Lincoln was home to hundreds of bands that were serving up soaring melodies, guitar-powered hooks, earnest vocal harmonies, dancefloor-filling rhythms, and as much Beatles-like personality as they could muster. Cheap Trick were the Illinois band who were able to sell updated pop to the masses that filled the arenas, and Shoes proved a band could rise from a basement studio and score a major-label deal and international attention, but the vast majority of Illinois power pop bands played the clubs for a few years, left behind some demo tapes or self-released singles, and then vanished without a trace. The archivists at the Numero Group pay loving homage to the glory days of Illinois power pop with Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago, a compilation that features 19 lost classics of Midwest pop, most of which are as hopelessly obscure as any record collector could wish. Shoes are represented with one early track, "In My Arms Again," but for the rest of the acts, claims to fame are a bit dubious -- the Names were featured in the memorably clumsy low-budget horror flick Terror on Tour, the Vertebrats' "Left in the Dark" was later covered by the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo Numero Group, of course, has chosen to feature their lesser-known "Diamonds in the Rough" instead, and the All Night Newsboys were the victims of a notorious practical joke in which their roadie was paid to vanish with their gear the night they were set to open for Heart and John Cougar Mellencamp, with several major-label scouts in attendance. And while most of these bands came of age in the New Wave era, "Be for Me" by the Jets, recorded in 1973, makes it clear that the pop underground was lurking about in Illinois long before skinny ties made their comeback. The pleasant surprise is how uniformly good these bands are -- while a few tunes mostly get by on their energy and charm, "It's a Miracle" by the Names is a brilliant Cheap Trick rip; "Holiday" by Nines is manna from Farfisa heaven; "So Lifelike" by the Jerks is a sly and catchy variation on the theme of the Who's "Pictures of Lily," and if Band of Jocks had the worst name ever, "At Practice" is pretty brilliant. Anyone who ever had a taste for a cool hook in the pre-Reagan era will fall like a ton of bricks for Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago, and younger pop enthusiasts will be wowed by its strength and variety.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/17/2012
  • Label: Numero
  • UPC: 825764104425
  • Catalog Number: 44

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Wanna Make You! - Prettyboys (2:10)
  2. 2 Get Away - Julian Leal (3:18)
  3. 3 She's Gone Hollywood - All-Night Newsboys (3:37)
  4. 4 It's a Miracle - Names (3:20)
  5. 5 Tonight - Heartbeat (3:09)
  6. 6 At Practice - Band of Jocks (2:26)
  7. 7 Diamonds in the Rough (Nineteen) - Vertebrats (2:26)
  8. 8 Holiday - Nines (3:25)
  9. 9 So Lifelike - Jerks (3:18)
  10. 10 School Yard - Northshore (3:07)
  11. 11 I Have Always Loved You - Paul (4:11)
  12. 12 Where Are You Now - Tom Orsi (2:28)
  13. 13 Total Insanity - Kind (3:30)
  14. 14 Midnight Girls - Eyz (2:36)
  15. 15 In My Arms Again - Shoes (3:13)
  16. 16 Kyle - Loose Lips (2:45)
  17. 17 More and More - Lay-Z (3:31)
  18. 18 Be For Me - Jets (1:47)
  19. 19 See You Tonight - Contraband (2:06)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Chastain Composer
Kenny Draznik Composer
Ken Shipley Liner Notes, Reissue Producer
Jeff Lipton Mastering
Dawson Composer
Matt Brandabur Composer
Tom Lunt Reissue Producer
Rob Sevier Liner Notes, Reissue Producer
Ario Composer
Judson Picco Liner Notes
Machota Composer
Leal Composer
Kevin Lee Composer
Wald Composer
Ruehrdanz Composer
Maria Rice Mastering
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