Posts Tagged ‘Marquee Moon’

MARQUEE MOON - LIVE! Yes! I’m sure someone, somewhere has done this before. But I haven’t! So here you go, Marquee Moon performed live onstage by Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Billy Ficca and Fred Smith, 1976-77. Most of the album’s eight songs became...

The last thing you’d expect to rise from the world of ’70s punk would be a band centered on snaking, psychedelic guitar solos. But that’s just what the very first of the CBGB bands, Television, put forth. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd jammed at lengths you’d sooner expect from the Grateful Dead than the Dead Boys. In the process, they offered a terse rebuke to anyone who conflates every early “punk” band. Their 1977 debut Marquee Moon  remains one of the smartest, and catchiest, salutes to the six-string guitar ever released. All of its songs anchor on interlocking riffs as catchy and tight. Songs like “See No Evil” or “Prove It”  coil their double guitar riffs intricately.  The greatest solo showcase appeared in the album’s luminescent title track. At over 10 minutes, “Marquee Moon” centered on two serrated riffs which flickered over a funky rhythm section. Lloyd took the first run, which rises after the second chorus; Verlaine peeled out after the third verse in a stretch that eats up half of the song. Lloyd’s showcase may be brief, but it’s bracing, while Verlaine’s more generous stretch touches the hem of the heavens. For those who want even more interplay, there’s  a near fifteen minute version of the song on the live album “Blow Up” recorded in 1978. The sound quality here may be harsh but the versions of songs off the ‘Marquee Moon’ album and its ravishing follow-up, “Adventure” , allows each guitarist to showcase his style in its most explorative guise.

Marquee Moon performed live onstage by Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Billy Ficca and Fred Smith, 1976-77. Most of the album’s eight songs became standard inclusions in Television’s sets, with the exception of “Torn Curtain” (which they rarely played after the album was released) and “Guiding Light” (which was only played a handful of times). I think this live companion runs a bit shorter than the album track  Don’t worry, though, dudes, it’s still totally epic.

Marquee Moon – LIVE!

1. See No Evil (1977-04-05 Whiskey A Go Go, LA)
2. Venus de Milo (1977-08-31, 1st Set, Hartsdale, NY)
3. Friction (1977-03-13 Masonic Auditorium, Detroit)
4. Marquee Moon (1976-12-29 CBGB, NYC)
5. Elevation (1976-12-29 CBGB, NYC)
6. Guiding Light (1976-03-11 CBGB, NYC)
7. Prove It (1977-03-13 Masonic Auditorium, Detroit)
8. Torn Curtain (1976-07-31 CBGB, NYC)

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Television, St.Marks Place NYC 1977 L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd

Released on February 8th in 1977: New York CBGB’s-scene band Television released one of rock’s all-time most influential guitar albums, ‘Marquee Moon’, on Elektra Records; made up of tense garage rockers that spiral into heady intellectual territory, the band fused blues structures with avant-garde flourishes while stripping away any sense of swing or groove; led by the 10:40 title track, the dual guitar work of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd abandoned power chords in favor of almost jazz-like interplay, melodic lines & counter-melodies; it was crucial to the development of the post punk scene that followed; though critically-acclaimed at the time of release, it was not a commercial success – it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest & most influential statements in the history of alternative rock music…As founding fathers of the ’70s New York City underground rock scene, among the first bands who played CBGB, Television found themselves sticking out even among the out crowd.

Television delivered a tangled, serpentine guitar spar over Marquee Moon‘s eight sprawling songs, and in twice the length of your conventional punk album, the final running time coming in at 46 minutes (and more than 10 of those minutes are reserved for the title track alone).

While that all might sound like a formula for an esoteric mess, guitarist/frontman Tom Verlaine, his six-string foil Richard Lloyd, and the indomitable rhythm section of Fred Smith on bass and Billy Ficca on drums could just as easily write catchy songs. The album’s longest track, its title cut, comes across as a sort of sonic response to Verlaine’s old girlfriend Patti Smith and her 1975 solo debut masterpiece Horses in its patterns and rhythms.

The band chose acclaimed English engineer Andy Johns to produce the album on account of his work on such early-’70s classics as Mott The Hoople’s Brain Capers and the Stones “Goats Head Soup” . However a lifestyle clash with Johns and Television produced studio tension from the outset. Once they got on the same page, Johns and Television created a literal master’s class in the kind of crisp yet sharp production that enhanced the angularity of their rhythms without losing their sense of melody and pop appeal.

“We wanted to rent a rotating speaker to get the sound for [‘Elevation’],” Lloyd explained. “But the rental people wanted way too much. So Andy came up with an idea. He took a microphone, and while I did the guitar solo to ‘Elevation,’ he stood in front of me in the studio, swinging this microphone around his head like a lasso. He nearly took my fucking nose off. I was backing up while I was playing.”

The risks Johns and the band took in the studio paid off. Marquee Moon became an iconic record for its mythical, godlike status amongst both music critics and young musicians, a select few of whom would go on to form bands

Television are an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973 and considered influential in the development of punk music.

Television was part of the 1970s New York rock scene along with musical acts like the Patti Smith Group, the Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Talking Heads. Although they recorded in a raw manner similar to their contemporaries, minimizing the use of studio techniques, sound effects and atypical instruments, Television’s music was technically proficient, defined by guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd. The group’s debut album, Marquee Moon, is often considered one of the defining releases of the punk era.

One of the songs you had to wait a whole lifetime to hear it again performed live… and it’s even better than expected. Tom Verlaine and Television arrived for the second time in 40 years in Italy. They performed their masterpiece album “Marquee Moon” plus extras and outtakes. Here they are with their most emblematic song. Exellent!!! Television are: Tom Verlaine, vocals and Guitar, Jimmy Rip, guitar, voice, Billy Ficca, drum, Fred Smith, bass, voice

television

TELEVISION played their first gig together as a band 40 years ago today, their first gig at the famous CBGB’s started a residency starting each sunday for a month adding nights Friday/saturday they picked various support bands local to the scene, TALKING HEADS, BLONDIE, MINK DE-VILLE, the dEAD BOYS, SUICIDE and the RAMONES