in CAT

C.A.T.: Marquee Moon

Television – Marquee Moon (1977)

Since John took it upon himself to resurrect Classic Album Tuesdays, I figured I’d join in on welcoming back the CAT This week I’ll take a look at an album that I’m surprised I never mentioned on the blog before, considering it’s always been one of my all-time favorites ever since I first heard it back in the summer of 2005.

Television came out of the New York CBGB scene that produced artists such as Talking Heads, Patti Smith Group, and The Ramones among others. None of those bands have a whole lot in common, but Television may have been the most unique out of all the artists to come out of that scene. Where a lot of the New York bands where in favor of rejecting the instrumental complexity of the “arena rock” bands of the time, Television embraced their musical prowess and yet managed to create a sound all their own.
On their debut Marquee Moon, you can certainly hear traces of the punk aesthetic that a lot of their contemporaries where exploring. But I think at the heart of it, Television where less angsty young rebels and more just a bunch of disillusioned guitar nerds. And what they created with Marquee Moon is if not one of the best, certainly one of the most influential guitar albums ever recorded. I mean you can hear the influence of Television on the guitar work of everyone from U2 to The Strokes.
The dueling guitar work of Richard Lloyd and singer Tom Verlaine relies on a very clean sound combined with these very un-rock n’ roll musical scales that give the songs an almost etherial sound. This approach culminates on the album’s title track, a nearly 11-minute jam that is probably one of my favorite songs of all-time, despite the fact that I rarely enjoy listening to rock musicians “jam”.
Hey, this week I did an album from 1977 and last week John did one from 1976, maybe next week someone should do one from 1978. Just a thought.
Favorite Tracks: “See No Evil”, “Marquee Moon”, “Guiding Light”

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