on December 30, 2003
To me, a classic album is one in which I can return to time and again and rediscover the joy and excitement I found in it the first time I played it. This is true with Television's 1977 masterpiece MARQUEE MOON. In addition, the bonus material adds over 30 minutes of music to the original release. The most significant being the inclusion of their 1975 independently released single "Little Johhny Jewel," a 7-minute song originally spread out over two sides of the original 45, now spliced together as a single track. The other bonus tracks are alternate versions of "See No Evil," "Friction" and "Marquee Moon," along with an untitled instrumental. Like the Velvet Underground, Television never sold many records, but their influence is significant. ESSENTIAL
on September 15, 2006
Marquee Moon was rated the #2 most oustanding/influential debuts by Q magazine and definitely deserves the title.
Television's music has the excitement and energy of the punk generation, but unlike most of their contempoaries (other regulars at CBGB's such as the Ramones and the New York Dolls), this band has technique and talent (gasp, yes).
Tom Verlaine is truly gifted in both songwriting and guitar playing. His lyrics are like triple entendres and thought-rovoking. Every note of his intricate guitar solos add to the song, never ostentatious.
The other members are no less adept in their respective instruments; Richard Lloyd is as much responsible as Verlaine for the record's beautiful entwining guitar passages. Fred Smith and Billy Ficca make up the rythm section, both very solid and fluid musicians.
Marquee Moon was worth every penny of the [...] i spent and more. Tom Verlaine's strange voice and the lengthy guitar solos may not be to everyone's taste, i agree, but personally i cannot imagine anyone not being blown away by the amazingness of this album. I listen to and love many bands, from the smiths to sonic youth to the beatles, but i have never been as captured by a sigle album as this one.
on May 8, 2004
So what are you looking for in this review? An affirmation of this band's place in history? I'm sorry, I cannot offer that. For you see, this band will be forgotten. When the mists of history come sweeping down, Television will be forgotten, but the Clash and the Sex Pistols will be remembered. But, for those who were ever still, sitting in silence with headphones wrapping them up, protecting them when Tom Verlaine's second solo in Marquee Moon hit... well, you know. His fingers needling those aluminum strings might as well as been plucking your heartstrings. This I know. I have never heard a guitar express sorrow such as this. Such furious, raging, flamboyant sorrow. Tom's playing on this album is ghost-like, otherwordly. His fingers are aliens transplanted from a world drowned by feeling. Cities under oceans of emotion. Richard Lloyd, Fred Smith, Billy Ficca are not background players here. They create the fabric of the dream, Tom's guitar couldn't play in the clouds if these three men didn't send him there with a beautiful rocket up his ass. Need proof? Listen to Television, then listen to Tom's solo albums. The music on this album is something, if given time, precious time, will in Oscar William's words, immortally wound you. It will stay in the folds of your heart until you're old, and the opening chords to Friction still give your crippled ass a januty step. The feeling and conveyance of sweet dread in Elevation will stick to the bottom of your feet forever. Prove It's rambling nature being saved by an insane solo will stir in you a belief of redemption. Torn Curtain's dark emotional melodrama will send you seeking scenes of your life in the stars. Every track here tells a ragged story of glory. Like Joe once shrieked, love and glory all becomes another story, but the question, will you.... listen to this story? If the Ramones were a beautiful drunken girl with huge (...) reading Dr. Seuess in a lovely voice, then Television was a Doestievski lookalike high on opium reading in a jittery voice some ancient text whose words, though wonderous, are no longer understood.... And, that's all I have to say.
on March 11, 2012
I am in love with this album. When I first heard Television, I hated them, it is definately an aquired taste. I heard See No Evill first and could not take it.. but the more I listened the more I fell in love with this band!
Guitar work in this is amazing, I love the singer more and more each time I hear him! They are not what you would classify as punk, although they emerged from that scene, they are more alternative, because their songs are alot slower and more "intense" than most punk. They sound similar to the Velvet Underground in a way.
The added tracks on this were interesting, they didnt really do anything for the album. I would have liked to just own the non extended version, but you can just not lsiten to the rest if you dont want to! It's interesting to hear other stuff.
All in all, best album I have EVER bought! BUY IT!
on December 11, 2005
I bought this album two weeks ago and I can't stop listening to it...whatever, its not punk, who cares? Even when I'm not listening to it I find the music and the lyrics stay embedded in my brain. I usually hate long drawn out solos but I love the 10 minute Marquee Moon and then the bonus track Little Johnny Jewel. I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop listening to this album.
on April 4, 1999
This music fan first heard Marquee Moon in its vynil incarnation some twelve years ago, a decade after its original release. I had never heard anything quite like it before, and have not since. It evokes the same creepy, half-lit emotional territory as the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat, but without that LP's willful primitivism. Guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd exhibit the melodic inventiveness and improvisitional skill of Duane Allman or Richard Thompson, and the rhythm section of drummer Billy Ficca and bassist Fred Smith is as precise and relentless as any other in rock and roll. The instrumental sections, especially the guitar solos on "Venus" and "Elevation," and the breathtaking four-minute workout in the title track, nudge these songs out of the realm of rock and roll and point them somewhere closer to John Coltrane territory. Marquee Moon is what psychedelic rock was always meant to be. When looking for other albums to compare this one to, one doesn't think of rock and roll titles, except maybe for White Light/White Heat or the Stooges' Fun House; rather, one thinks of Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Miles Davis's In A Silent Way, or Paul Gonsalves's saxophone solo on Ellington At Newport. Also noteworthy is the cover photograph by none other than Robert Mapplethorpe, and the addition of the last, previously unissued minute of "Marquee Moon"; where it faded out at 9:57 on the record, it ends at about eleven minutes on the CD, which is definitely an improvement.
on April 15, 2000
Combine interlocking, intricate guitars, melodic bass and drums, the edgy nervousness of Tom Verlain's voice, and often oblique, poetic lyrics, and you get one of the great rock albums of all time? Well yes, actually, though for many it will lack immediate appeal. You may have to get used to it, play it a few times, but it will repay the effort in the end.
With a record like this, there's a danger of making it sound good for you rather than good. But it's the music, rather than what Marquee Moon shows about the possibilities of rock as an art form, that makes it great. Let me reassure anyone who fears that people like it only because critics tell them to. I thought it was great for years before I read any review.
See also: Tom Verlain has a number of solo albums. All are worth a listen, but most are out of print. Richard Lloyd, Television's second guitar after Tom Verlain, plays on several of Matthew Sweet's albums as well as on solo albums of his own. Lloyd Cole has a similar vocal style to Tom Verlain's but is by conventional standards a much better singer. And for a rawer yet still intricate and effective dual-guitar sound, check out Sleater-Kinney.
on February 1, 2003
I bought the record way back in 1977. I was in bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We covered See No Evil and later Tom Verlaine's Breakin In My Heart and Red Leaves.
Television was two different guitarists (after Richard Lloyd joined the group) and one of the best rythym sections in rock. But I listened to the guitarists. They almost mechanically constructed these songs but the play off each other was so amazing. Richard Lloyd's solos would knock me down. The solos were so good and so lyrical. His solo on Elevation is my favorite guitar solo ever closely followed by his solos on Aint That Nothing and Days. Then Tom Verlaine's meandering emotional solos that you had to listen to and stay with. Perhaps it was Tom Verlaine's voice that prevented perhaps the best band from the "new wave" from making it. I understood that almost no one bought this album. However, it profoundly influenced me as well as almost any other musician I knew of those days. Try it and stay with it. It will make your life a bit more colorful.
on August 17, 2002
Critical acclaim does not always an album make... but the magazines and VH1 hit the nail on the head here. This New York group who came out of most fertile time and place for punk (mid 70's CBGB) certainly stand apart from their Ramones, Voidoids, and Lou Reed brethren. Not to say they are any better or more "essential" (both the Ramones and Lou Reed, solo and Velvet Underground were genius) but their overall sound was much different and distinctive. The volume of punk with a sleek sound, intellect and virtuoso guitar playing, add Tom Verlaine's shrill howl and abstract lyrics and a loose rhythm section, and you have Television.
Songs like 'See No Evil,' and 'Friction' had a harder-edged, punk feel to them, while the epic 'Marquee Moon' had a progessive sound with some loose jamming guitar lines. 'Prove It' has a quirky feel to it that would make it ALMOST fit in an early Talking Heads album. The slower selections keep you interested just as much, like 'Elevation' and the somewhat gloomy 'Torn Curtain,' a song that Joy Division, I'm sure, would love. All in all this should be a mandatory listen for those interested in how alternative music was berthed. And why, Amazon.com, isn't this one of your "essential recordings?"
on April 18, 2002
Marquee Moon is one of the great albums of the 70's from the overlooked band Television. Born out of the mid 70's New York rock scene that produced the Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie and others, the band was led by guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd. The band's sound was different from the others thanks in part to superb guitar interplay between Mr. Verlaine & Mr. Lloyd, but also they didn't pump out quick 3 minute songs, but had a jazzy edge. The title cut and "Torn Curtain" are both lengthy numbers (close to 10 minutes each) and show off the band's sharp musicianship. Mr. Verlaine is a sharp lyricist and his songs has a wry sense of humor. "Venus" is probably the best track on the album and contains a classic line "fell into the arms of Venus DeMilo". Television never gained the mass appeal of Blondie or the Heads or icon status of the Ramones, but Marquee Moon is better than any album to come out from that music scene and deserves to be heard by a wider audience.