"Material Issue" was a power pop trio from Chicago. Their trademark was a brand of dense, rich, manic powerful pop and their music revolved heavily around themes of love and heartbreak with a phalanx of girl's-first-name-titled songs. Formed in 1985, Material Issue was the brainchild of frontman Jim Ellison (who also played guitar, lead vocals and wrote all Material Issue songs). The early days of Material Issue was a revolving door of bass players and drummers. However, Ellison met bassist Ted Ansani while both were attending Columbia Music School in Chicago in 1986. Drummer Mike Zelenko was recruited when the duo found him through an ad in the ''Illinois Entertainer'' later that year. With the Material Issue lineup set, Ellison – with Ansani and Zelenko eager to join him and ready to follow – set his sights on conquering the pop world.
In 1987, Material Issue released an EP on their own Big Block Label (so named for the big block engines of the 1970s muscle cars Ellison loved) which operated out of Ellison's bedroom at his parents home in Addison, Illinois. In 1988, "Sixteen Tambourines" appeared on ''College Music Journal"s compliation and ''CMJ'' glow...