Marquee Moon

Feb 1977

This album brought raw immediacy back to music

American New Wave and Punk

Despite the staggering influence this New York band has had since its heyday, they were largely a British phenomenon at the time.

Television's 1977 debut barely scraped the lower 200 in the US album charts but got to 28 in the UK. Both singles off the album, Marquee Moon and Prove It, charted well in Blighty too.

As I stare at this LP's rather dull artwork now I still get a tingle of excitement. It sounds so ludicrously fresh when so many others have gone by the wayside. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s as influential now as The Clash, The Jam and even The Sex Pistols.

It’s also a new wave stunner that was superlatively recorded by Andy Johns and the band’s main songwriter Tom Verlaine. it has a dry edgy clarity that totally rejected the polish of contemporary releases in favour of a sharp, intense sound. Remaster supremo Greg Calbi has been involved with the CD and vinyl reissues – as a result they have a power and intensity that few in the genre can match.

Neither rock nor punk - Television (like Talking Heads) was the very epitome of new wave – old yet newly exotic. Marquee Moon opens with the killer See No Evil burning the band’s sound and melody into your heart. Friction still has that angry edge while the near eleven-minutes of the title track is stunning. The album finisher Torn Curtain has a melodrama that’s reminiscent of Patti Smith's Easter.