On the heels of their acclaimed 2012 reunion record Ignition, the Shoes released the generous retrospective 35 Years: The Definitive Shoes Collection 1977-2012. Beginning with their 1977 debut, Black Vinyl Shoes -- wildly accepted as one of the classic power pop LPs -- and sampling relatively equally their three major-label albums from the early '80s and the indie trilogy that followed in the '80s and '90s, this 21-track collection covers far more territory than their previous comp, 1987's Shoes' Best, just by sampling from the 25 years of records that followed. That may not amount to more than a handful of LPs -- after a pair of albums in the mid-'90s, the group took an extended hiatus until Ignition -- but adding cuts from Propeller, Fret Buzz, and Ignition helps round out the Shoes narrative, presenting them as both power pop pioneers and keepers of the flame, offering hooks and harmonies for 35 years and running.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine