Anniversary, Reissues, Tracklist — February 14, 2011 at 7:30 am

Material Issue’s ‘International Pop Overthrow’ to receive 20th anniversary reissue in April

Material Issue, 'International Pop Overthrow: 20th Anniversary Edition'

The cult-classic debut album by Chicago-bred power-pop trio Material Issue — 1991’s International Pop Overthrow, home to modern-rock radio hits “Valerie Loves Me” and “Diane” — will be treated to an expanded 20th anniversary reissue this spring, filled out with eight rare bonus tracks.

Due out April 5 on Hip-O Select, the 22-track International Pop Overthrow: 20th Anniversary Edition features a remastered version of the original album, plus six of the eight non-album tracks that appeared on the 1991 promo-only disc Eleven Supersonic Hit Explosions, the 1988 track “Sixteen Tambourines” (featured on a College Music Journal sampler) and the apparently unreleased “The Girl With the Saddest Eyes.”

Among the bonus tracks are covers of songs by Sweet (“Blockbuster”), Thin Lizzy (“Cowboy Song”) and Simon & Garfunkel (“The Boxer”) (see full tracklist below).

Formed in 1985, Material Issue began generating buzz by the late-’80s with is early singles and self-titled EP. Although the band’s debut is considered a modern power-pop classic and was critically acclaimed, the trio never really broke through commercially, releasing two more albums before frontman Jim Ellison took his own life in 1996.

See the tracklist for Material Issue’s ‘International Pop Overthrow’ reissue after the jump…

Tracklist: Material Issue, International Pop Overthrow: 20th Anniversary Edition

1. “Valerie Loves Me”
2. “Diane”
3. “Renee Remains The Same”
4. “This Letter”
5. “Out Right Now”
6. “Crazy”
7. “Chance Of A Lifetime”
8. “International Pop Overthrow”
9. “Very First Lie”
10. “Trouble”
11. “There Was A Few”
12. “This Far Before”
13. “A Very Good Idea”
14. “Li’l Christine”
15. “Cowboy Song” *
16. “Blockbuster” *
17. “Echo Beach” *
18. “She’s Goin’ Through My Head” *
19. “The Boxer” (Live) *
20. “The Girl Who Never Falls In Love” *
21. “Sixteen Tambourines” *
22. “The Girl With The Saddest Eyes” *

* Bonus track


  1. Awesome, one of the most under-rated bands. glad i got to see them.

  2. Wow!…And wouldn’t it be really cool if someone actually looked to the band for some input or commentary or maybe, at he very least…let them know of these plans before they put the package out? Couldn’t really hurt, right? May even help. Who knows? I mean, who would ever think to actually try and speak to the band?
    Don’t worry…We won’t bite….hard.

  3. Ted, criminal that they don’t consult the bands.

  4. God, I remember this album from my senior year in high school! Makes me feel old, and very sad that the lead singer killed himself. I never knew that. Great memories marred by a sad event.

  5. Material Issue was a trio of 3 very talented musicians that were years ahead of their time. Their timeless sense of melody and power set them apart from other bands of the day and inspired many. Maybe these songs will finally get the recognition they deserve with this re-issue. Releasing it without the consult of the band seems short-sighted and the package will surely suffer from the omission. But great music is great music, regardless of how it’s packaged!

  6. phil angotti

    one of the best power pop albums of all time!
    Its absurd the band wasn’t consulted-
    (more record company idiocy.)
    But this band and this album deserve this re-package-
    truly great music!

  7. In celebration of International Pop Overthrow’s twentieth anniversary, and in memory of the group’s late leader Jim Ellison, Hip-O select has issued this greatly expanded version of Material Issue’s first full length release. By the time the record dropped in 1991, Material Issue had been together nearly six years, had issued an EP and a few singles, and had toured extensively throughout their native Midwest. The album itself was recorded in Zion, Illinois, the home of another great power-pop band, Shoes, and produced by Shoes’ Jeff Murphy. IPO fit well in a year that was dotted with key power-pop albums from Matthew Sweet (Girlfriend), Teenage Fanclub (Bandwagonesque), Velvet Crush (In the Presence of Greatness), Adam Schmitt (World So Bright) and Richard X. Heyman (Hey Man!).

    The album sold nationwide, launching a video for “Diane” on MTV’s 120 Minutes and pushing “Valerie Loves Me” into the top ten of Billboard’s modern rock chart. The group completed two more albums and toured heavily, but never recaptured either the bittersweet poignancy of IPO, or its commercial success. Ellison committed suicide in 1996 amid rumors of romantic and artistic disillusion, but he left behind an album that captures the very core of power pop: melodies whose hooks resound with the craft of the Brill Building and lyrics whose heart-on-sleeve emotion drew a map of joy, heartbreak, anticipation, angst, satisfaction and disappointment.

    The anniversary edition of IPO adds eight bonus tracks, six drawn from the pre-LP promo-only Eleven Supersonic Hit Explosions, one (the thundering “Sixteen Tambourines”) taken from a College Music Journal sampler album, and the previously unreleased “The Girl with the Saddest Eyes” to close out the set. Among the bonuses are three covers: an emotional rendering of Thin Lizzy’s “Cowboy,” a glitzy version of Sweet’s “Blockbuster,” and a brash live take on Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.” IPO is an essential element of a complete power-pop collection, and this expanded reissue is a great upgrade for fans that haven’t previously picked up the bonus tracks. [2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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