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Adventure (Expanded)

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B0000AI45Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
Television were a breath of fresh air in the 1970s with their unique psychedelic rock, sparse but based on long, yet always melodic and even delicately soft guitar lines - producing melody even through chaos.
"Adventure", their second album following the massively-acclaimed "Marquee Moon", was highly accessible due to the slick production and absence of extended jams. Nonetheless, the rapid tightening of commercial radio formats and the ineptitude of noncommercial radio restricted Television to the tiniest cult audience in their homeland, although "Adventure" made them stars in Western Europe.
Compared with the deceptively soft sound of "Marquee Moon", "Adventure" lost out in terms of the unique textures due to the rather intrusive production, which verged on pompous on the disappointing "Ain't That Nothin" and blunted the edge from the guitar lines of "Glory", which is largely carried by a touching vocal. However, "Carried Away" moved the clanging guitar sounds to piano and organ with surprising effect, and the largely instrumental closer "The Dream's Dream" blend's the undeniable guitar talents of Verlaine and Lloyd with a sound that was remarkably rich and soft for a time when stripped-down aggression or bombastic stadium rock was the order of the day.
The almost insanely catchy "Foxhole", their third and last European hit single, however, was the stunner here, with perhaps the finest guitar work ever made coming from Richard Lloyd. Especially in his closing solo, Lloyd played with a skill that even the radio-oriented production utterly failed to thwart. Verlaine's lyrics can appear to be shallow or intelligent (sometimes at the same time) but the music of "Foxhole" will never leave you: probably, in fact, the best song of the late 1970s.
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Format: Audio CD
Punk was a genre cultivated on the principles of do it yourself sloppiness that under ideal conditions could breed a sound free of all commercial aloofness and flowing with unbridled passion. Unfortunately, while this harsh anti-commercial mentality did result in a number of the century's greatest musical acts (ie: The MC5, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground), it also virtually ignored a huge back catalogue of talented musicians simply because their motives didn't fit the strict punk criteria. The most disappointing example of this was by far the blatant anti-Beatles stance assumed by most of punk music in reaction to the band's ... perfectionist leanings. Thankfully though, when the initial shock factor of the late 60s punk coup began to fade in importance, this limiting facade gave way to reveal a number of brilliant pop acts that had been quietly maturing on the stage of CBGBs. Among these influential artists were the likes of the ultra quirky Talking Heads and the brutally under-recognized Television, freely referencing defunct pop geniuses like The Beatles and the Beach Boys to create a distinctive blend of 60s melodies and modern punk aggression.
In their short lived career, the original Television incarnation generated only two albums. Marquee Moon was perhaps the quintessential Television record, displaying an instrumental prowess and sonic complexity that was sorely lacking in punk music at the time, but it was not until the heavily underrated Adventure that Tom Verlaine's impressive songwriting skills truly came to full fruition.
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Format: Audio CD
Television's 1978 sophomore attempt has suffered from a double disadvantage in the eyes of critics, fans, and history. First, it has a production that does it something of a disservice - it somehow doesn't catch the grandeur, the magic of the songs. You miss the danger and the glory that these songs should, but don't quite, radiate. The other disadvantage is simpler: It's a follow up for one of the greatest albums in Rock history - 1977's Marquee Moon.
Yet this is quite a shame, because Adventure is, in its own small way, something very close to masterpiece. Like its predecessor, Adventure relies on the masterful songwriting of Tom Verlaine, whose prowess in that department has often been overshadowed by his genius hands at the fret.
Some of Verlaine's songs have been covered by Artists who brought out the pop-rock genius in them. But television always shies away from that; even at its catchiest, it maintains a cutting edge, a unique sound and music making ethic which make Verlaine's music a connoisseur's art.
The connoisseur has much to love in this release, one of the best in Verlaine's career. Opening with 'Glory', one of Verlaine's most rewarding rock'n'roll moments, a song which could have fitted nicely in Marquee Moon (It is only the only track off 'Adventure' which Television presently perform on a regular basis). We get a sing-along, but one which is remote nonetheless. If you can appreciate it, you'll love it, but it'll take a poppier cover for the uninitiated to appreciate the beauty in it.
As a lyricist, Verlaine is both profound and whimsical, his song often sound like the more poetic of Dylan's songs, but with a weirder sense of humor. See the lyrics of the epic closer 'Dream's Dream':
The elevator called me up.
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