Television Album Reviews

There were a plethora of musical acts that originated from the CBGBs club in New York in the mid-1970s; The Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and Blondie all went on to achieve acclaim, while all occupying different niches in punk and new wave spectrum. Television are probably the least well known of the above CBGBs acts, but they’ve received plenty of acclaim, especially for their 1977 debut Marquee Moon.

The pivotal part of Television’s sound is the guitar interplay of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd – both players are top drawer with their interlocking riffs and impressive solos. The two guitarists have contrasting styles; Verlaine more avant-garde and Lloyd more sweet and melodic. But despite their guitar virtuosity and Verlaine’s impressionistic lyrics, Television are part of the punk era, with its stripped down, DIY aesthetic; Verlaine’ strangled vocals are something of an acquired taste, while the rhythm section sound of drummer Billy Ficca and drummer Fred Smith is dry and uncluttered.

The band only produced two studio albums in their initial tenure – 1978’s Adventure was effectively the weaker half of their live set, and was less well received. The same lineup reunited for 1992’s self-titled album, and have continued intermittently as a live act, although Lloyd hasn’t been involved recently.

Ten Favourite Television Songs

Marquee Moon
Guiding Light
Elevation
Venus
Ain’t that Nothin’
Friction
Foxhole
Prove It
1880 Or So
Little Johnny Jewel