Monday Music Rewind: Material Issue

Jim Ellison pictured far right

The band Material Issue formed in 1985. In early 1991, Material Issue broke onto the national scene with their debut album International Pop Overthrow (IPO) which sold over 300,000 copies. In the summer of 1995 the band co-headlined the first Edgefest in Somerset, Wisconsin (named for its sponsor, Minneapolis alternative radio station 93.7 The Edge). Material Issue was the brainchild of frontman Jim Ellison, who also played guitar, sang lead vocals, and wrote most Material Issue songs. The band came to a tragic and sudden end when Ellison committed suicide on June 20, 1996 by carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage. No one knows for sure why he did it but the loss of their record label in 1995 as well as an end to a long term relationship were rumored to be contributing factors. A suicide note was found by police, but the contents of that note remain known only to Ellison’s family. Because of this suicide, we may never know what this band could have accomplished. Here are two of my favorite songs from the Modern Rock era that Material Issue gave us. Buy them here.


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