Punk rock is recognized as beginning with bands like Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned, but there were a lot of bands making their first appearances in the same time frame who weren’t necessarily punk, but were enough different from the mainstream that they were in the same exciting and creative orbit as the punk rockers. Such a band was Television. They waited until 1977 to put out their debut album, Marquee Moon, because they wanted it to sound the way they envisioned it, and they succeeded in this, although they didn’t sell many copies in the U.S. However, like the Velvet Underground before them, their influence and legacy has grown immensely throughout the years. Marquee Moon is cited as influential by bands like U2, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and many more. I love the interplay between the guitars of Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine, and the way both guitarists interact with the drums and bass, weaving all the melodic lines into a tasty tapestry of sound. Verlaine’s lyrics and vocal style were cool, too…poetic and cryptic at the same time. The listener isn’t always sure what he’s singing about, but he sounds interesting and holds your attention. The title song is absolute genius, and Torn Curtains, Friction, Venus, and Guiding Light are not far behind. If you can find a copy with Little Johnny Jewel (parts 1 and 2), grab it, because that song rules, too.
Written By Braddon S. Williams