Numero Group: By The Numbers

Major label money buys awesome stuff
August 22, 2012, 7:52 am
Filed under: Shoes

Ah, 1979! Most of the Numero Group were in diapers or in a handful of cases pre-embrionic. The music business  was in the middle of a serious recession, dropping off 27% between 1977-1980 (a figure that seems paltry now), and yet, the majors were still employing semi-adventurous A&R people. How Zion, Illinois’ Shoes were signed to Elektra in the winter of 1979 will be thoroughly documented in a forthcoming biography, but in summary, the house that Jac built was looking to go two for two in the new wave department on the heels of the Cars. And boy did they spend on Shoes.

In the run up to Present Tense, a handful of promo goods were created including shoehorns and these dance studio-type shoe stickers that were in the doors ways of every reputable record store in the fall of 1979:

And the “marketing” dollars didn’t stop there. With MTV still an idea rattling around the Warner-Amex Satellite offices, a budget was scraped together for four soundstage-styled promotional videos. They’re not the greatest videos ever made by any stretch, and apparently Skip only brought two shirts to the shoot (one of which is for England’s Manor studio, so he gets a pass). Regardless, none of this shit was cheap in 1979, especially not with Atari and home taping killing the record business. Get to know Gary, Skip, Jeff, and John before our Shoes LP reissues drop this fall:

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