In Praise of Television

Posted in Dancing about architecture on July 17th, 2007 by bill

Someone took this picture of Television, and I thank them for it.

I stand here before you today to sing the praises of Television. Not the medium — though, yes, I love that too — but the band: Tom Verlaine (gtr/voc), Richard Lloyd (gtr), Fred Smith (bass), and Billy Ficca (drums). I specifically wish to single out for praise their debut and masterpiece, 1977’s Marquee Moon. Their second album, Adventure (1978), and self-titled comeback album (1991) are both worthy in their own ways, but Marquee Moon stands alone.

Ye Olde Jeffe Greene introduced me to this album some years ago via old-fashioned audio-magnetical cassette tape, and I was amazed at its sublime balance of aggression and precision. This year, Marquee Moon turns 30, and it has not dated one iota. I pulled the CD (well-scuffed and due for replacement) out of the stacks last week and haven’t been able to stop listening to it. I am listening to it right now. From the first hammering chords of “See No Evil” to the last wistful notes of “Torn Curtain,” this is that rarest of treasures: a full-length recording without a single weak point or misfire. All killer, as we used to say, and no filler.
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