Monday, February 9, 2009
On Vinyl: Television - Marquee Moon
I never hear about this album, I don't know why. That's probably why it took me until my sophomore year of college to discover this band. I walked into Caliban Book Shop, my favorite indie record store in Pittsburgh (it wasn't even a record store just a small music corner in a book shop with very knowledgeable staff), and they were shocked that I never heard of Television.
The band's landmark album came in 1977, arguably one of the best years in music. 77 was defined by many experimental and punk rock n roll bands and Television finds itself right in the middle of the two. Trying to stick a type of music to the album doesn't do it justice, I think it's almost in it's own category, but rightly gets grouped into the progressive and punk music of that era.
The album has some of the most raw and incredible guitar work of any rock n roll album in the 70s, and probably of all time. Not jam-style guitar work, just very edgy and well crafted, melodic and overlapping, quirky and roughly produced, with simple drums, base, and keyboards to support. The vocals are perfect for the guitar, very edgy too, while some may find Verlaine's voice tough to listen to as they purposely leave the recording raw and the production low.
The vinyl catches many of the low polished sounds and makes it a pretty unique listening experience.
The whole album is incredible, there is not a bad song. Marquee Moon, the title track, has one of the quintessential guitar solos of all time, lasting over 5 minutes, with both guitar players playing off each other.