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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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When you think of the staggering influence America's TELEVISION has exerted over so many budding bands and songwriters - it's strange now in the glaring hindsight of 2014 to know that in the eye of the Punk and New Wave hurricane they were largely a British phenomenon. The New York band's 1977 debut LP barely scraped the lower 200 in the USA album charts but stood proudly at 28 in the UK. Both singles off the album - "Marquee Moon" (March 1977 on K 12251) and "Prove It" (July 1977 on K 12262) charted well in Blighty too (30 and 25). Their 2nd album "Adventure" from 1978 even went to No. 7. But none of it seemed to mean zip in the no-chart action States...

Whatever way chart-history judges them - I stare at this LP's rather dull artwork now and still get a sheer tingle of excitement. I've loved this record for nearly 40 years and it still sounds so ludicrously fresh to me when so many others have gone by the wayside. And dare I use that most clichéd of words - this album and their sound as a band is as influential now as The Clash, The Jam and even The Sex Pistols. So it's cool to see this superb expanded and remastered CD do that legacy proud. Here are the green-coloured vinyl details...

Released October 2003 on Rhino R2 73920 (Barcode 081227392024) - "Marquee Moon" by TELEVISION comes in a card digipak with an extra flap and this 'Extended Edition' CD pans out as follows (77:27 minutes):

1. See No Evil
2. Venus
3. Friction
4. Marquee Moon
5. Elevation
6. Guiding Light
7. Prove It
8. Torn Curtain
Tracks 1 to 8 are their debut album "Marquee Moon" - released February 1977 in the USA on Elektra Records 7E-1098 and K 52046 in the UK.

Tracks 9 to 13 are BONUSES new to CD:
Track 9 is "Little Johnny Jewel (Part 1 & 2)" - the A&B sides of their rare debut 7" single in the USA only on Ork Records 81975.
Tracks 10, 11 and 12 are 'Alternate' Versions of album tracks "See No Evil", "Friction" and "Marquee Moon"
Track 13 is called "Untitled Instrumental"

The 20-page colour booklet has liner notes by noted New York writer ALAN LICHT (even picturing that Ork Records 45 on Page 18) with snaps of Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Fred Smith and Billy Ficca and the CBGB's nightclub. The CD repros the Butterfly label of the original Elektra records America LP while the quality-remaster has been carried out by one of my favourite tape engineers GREG CALBI (assisted by Lee Hulko). For more of Calbi's fabulous work see reviews for Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" and Paul Simon's "Graceland". He's also done Bob Dylan (the SACD remasters), John Mayer, Paul McCartney and hundreds more. The audio is fabulous - full of muscle and presence without ever being overdone.

Neither Rock nor Punk - TELEVISION (like Talking Heads) were the very epitome of NEW WAVE and that jagged Yank edge they had seemed exotic to me then and still does. It some respects it's a perfect album - 8 great tracks that all work. It opens with the killer "See No Evil" (lyrics above) emblazoning that Television sound and melody into your heart. "Friction" still has that angry edge while the near eleven-minutes of "Marquee Moon" is stunning. The album finisher "Torn Curtain" has a melodrama that reminds me of Patti Smith's "Easter".

I had though the extras would be filler - but no. The alternate of "Friction" has more guitar work but it's sloppy and not as tight as the finished article - and you can hear why it was dropped for the more polished version. Fans will know that the title track was put out on 7" and especially 12" single in the UK on Elektra K 12252 with a MONO variant of "Marquee Moon" on the B-side (the STEREO album version is on the A). But it's not on here. Rhino have obviously decided to exclude that in favour of the Previously Unreleased Alternate Version (and a good choice it is too). The "Untitled Instrumental" would have made a great B-side - especially if some lyrics had been drummed up for it. Their next platter "Adventure" was good too but just lacked that edge of greatness the debut had.

So there you have it - what a band and what an album.

"...Face to face with a world so alive..." - Verlaine sings on "Venus". Get this slice of New Wave Americana in your life pronto...
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on 27 August 2017
It seems to me that ever since its release in 1977 Marquee Moon has been appearing in lists of 500 all-time-best/must-have/hear-before-you-die albums, but it wasn't an album I picked-up on first time around. So casting around for a new aural challenge I popped a used copy of Marquee Moon in my basket, headed to the check-out and ticked-off another missing must-have-album (another one down but there's still a lot to go). So I'm sitting here in 2017 listening to Television's 1977 debut album for the first time, and you know what its pretty amazing and would have been innovative in its time, come to think of it would have been innovative in just about any time.

And being innovative it almost defies description, in fact it's probably easier to say what's It's not. So in the context of the music of its era: its not self-indulgent prog rock (although it contains a 10 minute song it just rocks and rocks), its not sing-a-longy glam rock, its not get-down and get-dirty motown, its not mums-and-dads soft rock, or teenage pop-rock, nor is it flimmy-flammy jazz fusion, and its not even four angry young men punk rock. What it is, is twin guitar-led rock with an edgy singer, a brilliant rhythm section and a set of well crafted songs (without a duffer amongst them) that are still as exciting and challenging as they were forty years ago.

If I had a time machine, I'd travel back to '77 to enjoy watching the impact that Television made when they launched Marquee Moon on an unsuspecting and ill-prepared world in those simple and naïve days now so long gone.
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When you think of the staggering influence America's TELEVISION has exerted over so many budding bands and songwriters - it's strange now in the glaring hindsight of 2014 to know that in the eye of the Punk and New Wave hurricane they were largely a British phenomenon. The New York band's 1977 debut LP barely scraped the lower 200 in the USA album charts but stood proudly at 28 in the UK. Both singles off the album - "Marquee Moon" (March 1977 on K 12251) and "Prove It" (July 1977 on K 12262) charted well in Blighty too (30 and 25). Their 2nd album "Adventure" from 1978 even went to No. 7. But none of it seemed to mean zip in the no-chart action States...

Whatever way chart-history judges them - I stare at this LP's rather dull artwork now and still get a sheer tingle of excitement. I've loved this record for nearly 40 years and it still sounds so ludicrously fresh to me when so many others have gone by the wayside. And dare I use that most clichéd of words - this album and their sound as a band is as influential now as The Clash, The Jam and even The Sex Pistols. So it's cool to see this superb expanded and remastered CD do that legacy proud. Here are the green-coloured vinyl details...

Released October 2003 on Rhino R2 73920 (Barcode 081227392024) in a card digipak with an extra flap - the CD pans out as follows (77:27 minutes):

1. See No Evil
2. Venus
3. Friction
4. Marquee Moon
5. Elevation
6. Guiding Light
7. Prove It
8. Torn Curtain
Tracks 1 to 8 are their debut album "Marquee Moon" - released February 1977 in the USA on Elektra Records 7E-1098 and K 52046 in the UK.
Tracks 9 to 13 are BONUSES new to CD:
Track 9 is "Little Johnny Jewel (Part 1 & 2)" - the A&B sides of their rare debut 7" single in the USA only on Ork Records 81975.
Tracks 10, 11 and 12 are 'Alternate' Versions of album tracks "See No Evil", "Friction" and "Marquee Moon"
Track 13 is called "Untitled Instrumental"

The 20-page colour booklet has liner notes by noted New York writer ALAN LICHT (even picturing that Ork Records 45 on Page 18) with snaps of Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Fred Smith and Billy Ficca and the CBGB's nightclub. The CD repros the Butterfly label of the original Elektra records America LP while the quality-remaster has been carried out by one of my favourite tape engineers GREG CALBI (assisted by Lee Hulko). For more of Calbi's fabulous work see reviews for Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" and Paul Simon's "Graceland". He's also done Bob Dylan (the SACD remasters), John Mayer, Paul McCartney and hundreds more. The audio is fabulous - full of muscle and presence without ever being overdone.

Neither Rock nor Punk - TELEVISION (like Talking Heads) were the very epitome of NEW WAVE and that jagged Yank edge they had seemed exotic to me then and still does. It some respects it's a perfect album - 8 great tracks that all work. It opens with the killer "See No Evil" (lyrics above) emblazoning that Television sound and melody into your heart. "Friction" still has that angry edge while the near eleven-minutes of "Marquee Moon" is stunning. The album finisher "Torn Curtain" has a melodrama that reminds me of Patti Smith's "Easter".

I had though the extras would be filler - but no. The alternate of "Friction" has more guitar work but it's sloppy and not as tight as the finished article - and you can hear why it was dropped for the more polished version. Fans will know that the title track was put out on 7" and especially 12" single in the UK on Elektra K 12252 with a MONO variant of "Marquee Moon" on the B-side (the STEREO album version is on the A). But it's not on here. Rhino have obviously decided to exclude that in favour of the Previously Unreleased Alternate Version (and a good choice it is too). The "Untitled Instrumental" would have made a great B-side - especially if some lyrics had been drummed up for it. Their next platter "Adventure" was good too but just lacked that edge of greatness the debut had.

So there you have it - what a band and what an album.

"...Face to face with a world so alive..." - Verlaine sings on "Venus". Get this slice of New Wave Americana in your life pronto...
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on 8 January 2015
Of course musically this is a five star album.

I just wanted to leave a comment to say - if you love this album, this is the version you need to have. It goes without saying that the sound is great, mastered perfectly. But the advantages of this one goes beyond that. Firstly it's a digipac that replicates the original vinyl, with lyrics in the center panels. Then you get a fantastic booklet that is jam packed with information on the background to the album, including quotes from band members.

Finally there's the bonus material. Little Johnny Jewel, And alternative versions of See No Evil, Friction, Marquee Moon, and an untitled instrumental. Wow.

Really, this is the only CD you'll need. And don't forget, they released a similar release for the follow up, Adventure, along with a live album from 1978. As a Television fan, if you never went for these reissues from more than ten years ago, then make sure you do before they get even more expensive.
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on 6 December 2014
The first time I heard this lot I was in a rare state. I was somewhat given to certain illegal substances in those (strange) days, the type you smoke in a cigarette, or a plastic bottle in a bucket of water, and the kind you swallow or stick in your eye. You get 'high' the first few times and then it's down all the way, old friend, believe you me. In the end I was doing so much that the world looked unto me like one of those crazy pictures of Blake's.
Anyway, with all the money (mostly stolen) going, literally, up in smoke, there wasn't anything left to buy music with, so me and my housemate, Ron Mueller, would borrow records and CDs from the library, and tape them. We got some good stuff that way, believe me. And it was Ronnie that brought this back, and to be honest I wasn't that impressed. Tom Verlaine's voice just didn't appeal to me. I couldn't get into Patti Smith, either. But, clear of all that mind fogging nonsense for years now, I heard the title track on the car radio one day and decided to give them another chance, and I'm glad I did. Maybe I'll look up old Ronnie one of these too.
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on 28 January 2017
This is that rarest of things - a perfect album. Thanks to the clear and unfussy production, it still sounds great today and will still sound great in the future. This is guitar driven new wave rock at its zenith, fantastic interplay, great bass and drums and great songs that bristle with cool insouciance and intelligence. For me, this is one of the greatest albums not only of the 70s, but of all time.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 February 2011
'I recall. . .lightning 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 glorious 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 really 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 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 26, I'd never heard anything like it. Still haven't really, except for one or two of Verlaine's solo albums, for example The Wonder ~ which remains disgracefully unavailable save at exorbitant prices. {Couldn'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 on CD? 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 precious extra tracks. Marquee Moon is one of the reasons music can move mountains.
This is a masterpiece, transcending genres.

`I see. . . I see no. . .evil!`
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on 22 August 2007
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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on 7 April 2017
This music rings out with crystal clear precise guitar playing. Its one of the best things ever done. I think Television only had one great album in them. The follow up Adventure wasnt great. So Marquee Moon was Televisions one big statement. Its awesome. A bit like Never mind the bollocks its one amazing album and thats it.
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on 8 September 2017
Superb vinyl
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