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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elevation
An outstanding electric guitar album that has well stood the test of time, I remember first buying this the end of winter 77, a hard up student in London, after seeing Nick Kent's review in NME. I asked the record shop proprietor his opinion, he said - yeah, it's good, his voice is a bit strange though. Let me play some of it for you. And so I listened.

All...
Published on 9 Jan 2009 by J. Macdonald

versus
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars tried something new.
Absolutely not my cup of tea but you never know unless you try different genre's, done this before & found gem's.
Published 3 months ago by rob


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elevation, 9 Jan 2009
By 
J. Macdonald (York, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
An outstanding electric guitar album that has well stood the test of time, I remember first buying this the end of winter 77, a hard up student in London, after seeing Nick Kent's review in NME. I asked the record shop proprietor his opinion, he said - yeah, it's good, his voice is a bit strange though. Let me play some of it for you. And so I listened.

All these years and several formats later I'm still regularly listening to it with that same awe struck thrill I had back then. At the time I was smugly pleased with myself because nobody I knew had heard of them and, still, to this day when people are name checking their favourite albums, this one never gets mentioned, which is a bit strange when you consider that it is unquestionably the finest long playing record ever made.

OK, perhaps a bit over the top there, but let's get to the facts, just the facts. Television is neither a punk nor metal band. Nor are they prog-rock despite the 10 minute long title track. Garage band? Maybe so, but the musicianship & structure of the songs is at odds with that particular genre although the bare stripped back sound is one of 4 guys playing in a room with most of it recorded in one take. Comparisons are futile, however Television have been the inspiration for many subsequent guitar based acts. That instantly recognisable riff from the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" is a close derivative of the bass part on "Elevation". Other bands of note under the influence of, I would say, early REM & U2, Yo La Tengo, the Blue Aeroplanes, Interpol, the Strokes, and probably Kings of Leon. You can also add to that list David Bowie in his "Scary Monsters" incarnation where he does a cover of one of Verlaine's later songs, "Kingdom Come".

What sets this band apart from the rest is the inventive twin guitar attack of Verlaine & Lloyd that has not been bettered or equalled before or since, although the Stones circa Taylor & Richards era come close, (Green/Kirwan?) In fact I wouldn't be surprised if one of their influences had been Mick Taylor, particularly if you listen to some of the solos on the albums "Goats Head Soup" & "Its Only Rock n Roll". There's a similar kind of languid fluidity and phrasing to their playing, the solos imbued with both melody and plot.

The interplay between the two (Fender Jazzmaster & Strat.)deviates from the conventional bloke rock swagger of lead & rhythm with infantile solos wrought from the top of the fret board at break neck speed. It is the exact opposite with Verlaine the more spontaneous & fluid, whilst Lloyd has a more considered style with all his parts meticulously worked out beforehand. Along with that haunting bass sound, particularly on "Elevation", one of the standout tracks for me, and crisp, precise drumming - listen to that clever counter-beat shuffle towards the end of "Friction" - these are "some of the greatest songs ever" (thank you Nick Kent).

However this album is not just about the guitars. Supplemented by plenty of backing vocals in classic call & response style, Verlaine's voice, nervous, edgy, perfect for these lyrics and these uncertain times - "I sleep light on these shores tonight" - "a whisper woke him up". Oblique, meaningless, elliptical some have said, there's nothing of the "my baby done gone & left me", or the splenetic vitriol of the cartoonish punk bands prevalent at that time, but instead their dark & moody nature adds a rich dimension to the angular spikiness of the songs putting you the listener in a position to imagine a meaning for yourself. "Tears...tears,rolling back the years. Years...years flowing by like tears. The tears I never shed, the years I've seen before" he sings passionately on the closing song "Torn Curtain" (of the original release), a tragic ballad of despair, the anguished cry of an inconsolable man lamenting a lost love and contemplating an already doomed future perhaps, and, as he invokes "burn it down...tears, tears, years, years" the music reaches its crescendo, the notes from Verlaine's guitar cascading with fury & finesse, the sonic, forlorn cry of a hunted whale, and Lloyd grinding out those weird chords amidst the crashing of the cymbals - "when beauty meets abuse". Astonishing.

This case is closed.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A place in every new wave heart, 20 Feb 2007
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
So much could have been learnt from Television, but if even Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd could never again get within a million light years of what this album achieved (not even by reforming the original line-up) there's nothing to learn. It was an album that came out of nowhere: Television had been tipped for greatness since 1974 but nothing they did before this album remotely hinted at it. There are not all that many albums that anyone ever calls their Favourite Ever. This is certainly one.

Best guitar-band album ever? I've not heard anything better in the 30 years since and as for before, only maybe the best 12 Led Zep & Stones tracks ever would challenge it - and they're not on one solid single flawless album, are they. (You know, of course, that I wouldn't have mentioned Jimmy Page in 1977 without spitting, but you grow up.) Otherwise the only reference points would be Jeff Buckley's "Grace" - the guitar-heavy, Zep-ish tracks; and a few tracks on "The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads" which hint, sadly, at what Verlaine/Lloyd may have gone on to if their guitar partnership had continued to develop instead of dissolving into, well, two blokes with guitars in the same band like on "Adventure."

Key moments:

Venus, all of it, the most Most MOST perfect guitar song in history;

the moment you nostalgically get, for the 3,000,001st time without tiring of it, that the beat of Marquee Moon isn't where you thought it was the first time you heard the intro;

the recurring bit in Guiding Light where the elegiac guitar solo sounds like it's going to burst into a dual-lead Wishbone Ash thing which is an illusion caused by a couple of guitar notes in the backing but still, 30 years later, I hope...;

the first four notes of the solo in Torn Curtain.

I love Little Johnny Jewel, and for that matter The Blow-Up and numerous bootlegs and the so-called Eno demos and the officially-released 70s live albums. But yes, Marquee Moon is the only album anyone actually needs by Television, or needs on a desert island actually. The extra tracks are not much cop - except LJJ of course; and it will never QUITE be the same again as your precious vinyl copy with Nick Kent's review torn out of the NME in the sleeve - oh, just me? But if you haven't heard this, do. If you like any kind of rock music you're very much more than likely to love it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genius beyond compare, 22 April 2006
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
Plausibly the best album ever made, from the spiky powerchord intro of 'see no evil' to the epic, operatic leviathan that is 'torn curtain', this album contains not a single bad track. spiky, jangly guitar lines, rumbling bass, some of the best drumming in contempory music and tom verlaine's strangled vocal all serve to drive the songs along in an edgy and yet decidedly enjoyable way. It also contains venus, a song which is, in my opinion, an example of that rare commodity- an infallibly perfect pop song.

essential stuff
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Venus of the new wave, 31 Aug 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
In 1977, a friend played me a 12" green vinyl single by a band I'd never heard of. It was 'Prove It'/'Venus' by Television. I taped it (as you did in those days) and discovered that I loved both sides. Before long, I was seeking out this album and played it over and over for days. Television shared a certain attitude with the other fashionable bands of the time, but their music otherwise had little in common with them. This is guitar rock with a lot of solos and no tracks under three minutes. Yet there's still an edge and an energy that sets it apart from the previous generation of rock bands.
There are punky rock songs ('See No Evil' and 'Friction'), dramatic songs ('Torn Curtain' and 'Elevation'), surrealism and wit ('Venus' and 'Prove It'), and a gentle interlude ('Guiding Light'). Then there's the ten-minute, epic title track, which builds layer upon layer and mesmerises you. Guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd share rhythm and lead duties, and their seemingly limitless supply of well-crafted and imaginative solos, combining the smooth and the slightly distorted, are a prominent feature of the album.
'Marquee Moon' is 45 minutes of unique rock music. As Tom Verlaine once observed, there are any number of ways to get from A to B on a guitar.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best albums ever just got better, 25 Aug 2004
By 
Mr. D. P. Lloyd "darrenlloyd2" (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
this is quite rightly critcally lauded.it has everything you would want from a classic album,brilliant instrumentation from a band at the peak of it's powers and superb lyrics from a poet/frontman.
the eight songs on the original album are probably the best eight guitar based songs you will ever hear.you'll get lost in the rippling rushing solos.you'll be anchored to the ground by tight work of the rhythm section.
anyway,this classic album just got better with the inclusion of little johnny jewel,the legendary single.
whooooa.
my advice,buy this cd,even if you have the original.
trust me,i'm a nurse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marquee Moon deserves its 5 stars, 22 Aug 2007
By 
P. S. Palmer (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
For once I have to agree with all the previous reviews and ratings. This is an absolutely superb album. I have just listened to it twice over for the first time and felt compelled to write. It's that good. Every song is different yet has the same breathtaking musicianship weaving its ways through the whole album. I won't go into details as others have comfortably done that. For me this is the joy of music - up until a few months ago I had never heard of Television. Then, through Patti Smith, I came across Television. Bought it on a whim and loved it the moment I heard it. Now I can't believe it has taken me so long to discover them!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 29 May 2007
By 
D. Thompson "tommo" (leeds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
I was reading a book by the jouranlist/broadcaster Paul Morley and he was speaking about the Strokes and how they have celverly created a new trend within the 'retro' field. Throughout the 90's we have seen bands take influence from styles and music of previous years, be it acid rock, garage, rock, 60's british invasion etc...

What the Strokes did which is very interesting is, to rather than directly associating themsleves directly to a band - (easiest example - oasis - beatles) they look like they harked back to some punk/rock band from the seventies - people think of the strokes and say "oh yes they are some retro punk, garage band - influenced by the seventies) - but when you actually look at it - they didnt actually look like any band from the seventies that much, neither did they make any direct link to a band through their style of music.

They kind of created a retro style to something that was never actually there - hence, actually creating a new style itself...a sort of false retro image and sound, creating the impression they were taking influence to something that was never actusally there in the first place.

Well the relevance to this album is that - Television are unique - they dont really sound all that much like any other band of their era, they have a sort of 60's 'garage' aesthetic but never sounded too shabby.

They get linked in with the ever widening 'Punk' - but do not expect brash, angry attitude and thrashing guitars here, - not a mohican in sight. They could be linked a little to Wire in terms of stylistics but they are more melodic and dynamic (and not quite so - just out of art school- sounding).

The punk labelling they get is most likely from the view that they were making music alongside other young adults who found little to do with their spare time/lives and and this is apparent in the lyrics - they are not depressing but neither to do not offer rhymes of love and happiness, they make references to "lets dress up as cops - lets see what we can do", an anti establishment gesture and way of having fun.

Television are like the strokes in 2 ways - they too neither make any direct reference to a style of music or obvious predessecor but if the strokes were to linked to any band i would say they were like Television. They do not sound directly like them but their spiking style of music is sort of similar but television are not as up-tempo as the strokes and there is some similarity in the way the lyrics are sung too.

This album is not a typical 'punk' album, but an absolute classic of the time - is it clever, witty, thoughtful, spiky, melodic, brash and memorably different.

if often features in top 100 lists coz it really is it worth it - despite its lack of commercial sucess.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebirth of 1977s musical landmark..., 7 Nov 2003
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
In the days of punk, new wave or alternative music (all terms I hate) a beacon of music appeared in the form of Television.

This band along with the Talking Heads came around from the same place, 70's New York(CBGB's night club).
As this their début album shows these guys were different from the other bands around at the time, they played more than 3 chords.

I must agree with other reviewers that Rhino do superb re issue's, but in saying that,I personally would have preferred to have the original album on it's own and the bonus tracks on a separate disc.
The sound on this disc is so much better than the original issue that I can forgive this oversight,words can't do justice to tell you how much better the music sounds.
Gone is the thin weedy sound of old and now the album sounds so rich sounding and full of detail.
The opening track "See no evil" is just full of guitars and more guitars, the whole album is like this.
The 10 minutes and 40 seconds that make up Marquee Moon is even more staggering in it's sound and shimmering beauty than before with the improvement in sound that this disc offers the listener.

This re-issue has found the perfect home for the song "Little Jimmy Jewel (parts 1 and 2)" which was a single released before the album, it's great to hear it at the beginning of the bonus tracks.

The alternative versions of "See no Evil","Friction" and "Marquee Moon" are great to hear but add nothing new to the power of the original album,this album remains one of the most influential of it's generation and this re-issue shouldn't be missed...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The other reviewers are WRONG, 18 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
This is a SIX STAR album, without a doubt. The line "Broadway looked so mediaeval, it seemed to flap like little pages" in "Venus"... enigmatic, poetic, humorous, disturbing.... I have known and loved this album for 23 years, and even in dreadful middle age (mine!) it still has the power to enchant and entrance. Rock music at the height of its powers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `I remember how the darkness doubled...`, 16 Feb 2011
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Marquee Moon (Audio CD)
`...I recall - lightnin` struck itself...`

I was oh-so-lucky enough, in 2004, to see Television on a rare British tour, supporting a radiant Patti Smith in Manchester. Patti was terrific, but Tom, Richard, Fred & Billy - the original line-up! - were ecstatically wondrous. They played most of Marquee Moon, their finest hour, and at least one of the jam-packed, beery crowd was swooning with wide-eyed, indeed misty-eyed, delight simply to be in the same room as these semi-legendary musicians. To be in the presence of Tom Verlaine was - well, it felt as special as the time I attended a book signing by crime novelist supremo Elmore Leonard, where he signed my copy of Get Shorty. But I digress.
MM is one of those untouchably great rock albums that transcends labels to create something utterly unique, timeless & eternally memorable. We`re talking Astral Weeks, Blonde on Blonde, Sailin` Shoes, Born to Run...name your poison.
The twin guitars of Tom Verlaine & Richard Lloyd (who hasn`t been given enough credit for his contributions - live, he was certainly the equal of TV as a very tasty guitarist) sound like showers of rain. TV has a vocal technique, if you could call it that, which shouldn`t work, but is perfect for this frantic-poetic late 70s New York reinvention of rock music. I remember when I bought the LP in 1977 when I was a mere lad of 26, I`d never heard anything like it. Still haven`t really, except
for Verlaine`s solo album - his best - The Wonder, which remains disgracefully unavailable. (Can`t a mass protest be organised to get The Wonder, Tim Buckley`s Starsailor, Beefheart`s Lick My Decals Off Baby & Neil Young`s Time Fades Away back in circulation? Record companies: pull your fingers out!)
A word about Billy Ficca. There is/was Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, Artie Tripp, John Bonham...and Billy Ficca. All idiosyncratic drummers who take your breath away with their audacity, inventiveness & sheer bloody brilliance. Ficca could make a single drumbeat - for example, just after TV yells "Prove it!" on the song of that name - sound as crisp and even as a thunder crack. He can play clusters of drumbeats like Coltrane played clusters of notes on his sax, a complement in fact to the rippling showers of notes coming from the guitars of TV & RL.

Eight unimprovable songs, plus (on the 2003 remastered edition which I`m reviewing) a few extra tracks. Marquee Moon is one of the reasons music can move mountains.

`I see - I see no - evil!`
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