10 Songs, 42 Minutes


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Did you know we're ruled by Television?


A reunion album for a band that was criminally underappreciated when they launched the punk/new wave movement in the late 70's. Their towering legacy was not lost on the up and coming indie movement of the 90's which precipitated this comeback. Unfortunately, this album doesn't reach the heights of their debut and followup. That said Tom Verlaine is a giant among guitarists and a remarkably talented wordsmith. What makes this essential is the participation of Richard Lloyd whose interplay with Verlaine's guitar emphasizes his stark genius.There are many highlights, among them:1880 or So, No Glamour for Willi, Call Mr. Lee, In World and Mars, but for new converts start with Marquee Moon & Adventure.

Great By Most Standards


It's always a bad idea to release an album like "Marquee Moon" for your debut. Sort of like writing "Catch-22" as your first novel. You're doomed for life to middling reviews at best. Which is what happened to Tom Verlaine, both as leader of Television and on his many excellent solo efforts. Nonetheless, even if Television's third album isn't quite "Great," I give this recording five stars because it's a hell of a lot better than "Good." If you're drawn to this band at all, then even if you don't love it immediately it will be sure to grow on you. Lloyd and Verlaine's guitar work is as crystalline as ever, though more muted; Verlaine's voice has deepened nicely by this point; his lyrics are alternately witty, cryptic, and oddly moving; the band as a whole is ace, with a drummer in a million; and songs like Mars, 1880 or So, Call Mr. Lee, and No Glamour for Willi are outright fabulous. The band's overall musicianship, the interplay of the guitars, the phenomenal range of tones the boys can wring out of their Fenders, is so far beyond the norm it will keep you coming back for years.

there is the moon and there is the water


Then again, you see an old friend after many years - how many? from 1978 to 1992, quite a long time really - you have heard from a friend of a friend but now here they are, a little older, less inclined to try to outdrink Bacchus or dress up like cops and think of what we could do. Now more Zen, calmer but not without fire, waiting for the space between notes to resonate with the clear glassine singlecoiledness of the everlasting Stratocaster and Jazzmaster entwined like serpents around each of these jeweled songs with their strange, cryptic and yes even funny THAT COP'S FROM MARS words. Sublime and ebullient, fear nothing, go forth.

About Television

Television were one of the most creative bands to emerge from New York's punk scene of the mid-'70s, creating an influential new guitar vocabulary. While guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd liked to jam, they didn't follow the accepted rock structures for improvisation -- they removed the blues while retaining the raw energy of garage rock, adding complex, lyrical solo lines that recalled both jazz and rock. With its angular rhythms and fluid leads, Television's music always went in unconventional directions, laying the groundwork for many of the guitar-based post-punk pop groups of the late '70s and '80s.

In the early '70s, Television began as the Neon Boys, a group featuring guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine, drummer Billy Ficca, and bassist Richard Hell. At the end of 1973, the group reunited under the name Television, adding rhythm guitarist Richard Lloyd. The following year, the band made its live debut at New York's Townhouse theater and began to build up an underground following. Soon, their fan base was large enough that Verlaine was able to persuade CBGB's to begin featuring live bands on a regular basis; the club would become an important venue for punk and new wave bands. That year, Verlaine played guitar on Patti Smith's first single, "Hey Joe"/"Piss Factory," as well as wrote a book of poetry with the singer.

Television recorded a demo tape for Island Records with Brian Eno in 1975, yet the label decided not to sign the band. Hell left the band after the recording of the demo tape, forming the Heartbreakers with former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders; the following year, he began a solo career supported by the Voidoids, releasing a debut album, Blank Generation, in 1977. Hell was replaced by ex-Blondie bassist Fred Smith and Television recorded "Little Johnny Jewel," releasing it on their own Ork record label. "Little Johnny Jewel" became an underground hit, attracting the attention of major record labels. In 1976, the band released a British EP on Stiff Records, which expanded their reputation. They signed with Elektra Records and began recording their debut album.

Marquee Moon, the group's first album, was released in early 1977 to great critical acclaim, yet it failed to attract a wide audience in America; in the U.K., it reached number 28 on the charts, launching the Top 40 single "Prove It." Television supported Blondie on the group's 1977 tour, but the shows didn't increase the group's following significantly.

Television released their second album, Adventure, in the spring of 1978. While its American sales were better than those of Marquee Moon, the record didn't make the charts; in Britain, it became a Top Ten hit. Months later, the group suddenly broke up, largely due to tensions between the two guitarists. Smith rejoined Blondie, while Verlaine and Lloyd both pursued solo careers; Lloyd also played on John Doe's first solo album, as well as joined Matthew Sweet's supporting band with the 1991 album Girlfriend.

Nearly 14 years after their breakup, Television re-formed in late 1991, recording a new album for Capitol Records. The reunited band began its comeback with a performance at England's Glastonbury summer festival in 1992, releasing Television a couple months later. The album received good reviews, as did the tour that followed, yet the reunion was short-lived -- the group disbanded again in early 1993. In 2001, Television again reunited for a handful of shows in the U.K., as well as an appearance at the Noise Pop Festival in Chicago. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

    New York, NY



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