Review Revue: Television – Marquee Moon

Lately I’ve been kind of obsessed with this album, the 1977 debut from NYC post-punk geniuses Television. I’ve been enjoying it for over a decade – it’s one of those albums that, whenever you put it on, you think “why don’t I listen to this every day?” – but recently, perhaps prompted by this wonderful piece in The Stranger, I’ve been listening to it more regularly. Maybe eventually I’ll move up to “ahh, this is why I listen to this every day!”

A couple weeks ago, I thought that it would be really nice to own my own copy of Marquee Moon on vinyl – I thought I might even stumble upon it in the bins at a local record store – but a little internet searching cured me of that delusion right quick. Even copies of a 2003 reissue fetch well north of $100, which is way too rich for my blood. Sounds like someone needs to re-reissue it, if you ask me (Light in the Attic, you listening?). In the meantime, I hope my friends at KEXP will ensure this copy is safe and sound, while also bringing it out for the occasional (daily) spin. It does my heart good to see such unabashed gushing for this beautiful album from the usually cynical likes of college radio DJs.

“Another classic finds its way into the library. Television’s first LP. -> 1977″ [I would just like to point out that this was added to the library in 1983, a mere six years after the album’s release, and it had already attained classic status. I’m trying to think of a 2006 album that would make the same impression today. There are certainly some greats, but I don’t think anyone’s ready to call, say, Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House a classic just yet.]

“Wow! More Television! Good.”

“‘Prove it’!”




“Elevation is Cool!!!”

“So is this band.”

“So are U Faith!”

“Title cut is well worth 9:58.” [Historical note: The song ‘Marquee Moon’ was actually truncated a bit in order to fit on an LP side for its original release. The full version is also well worth its 10:40 running time.]


“This mass killer great!”

“This is so, so incredible!!”

“It’s fucking awesome!”

“It’s fucking facemelting!”

“It’s fucking awesomely facemelting!”

“‘Marquee Moon’ is the definition of rock ‘n’ roll music.”

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  1. Damon Creed
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    “I remember how the darkness doubled, I recall lightning struck itself.” All 10:45 of “Marquee Moon” is on the list of 100 songs to hear before you shuffle off this mortal coil. The first :30 secs of the song is among the most mesmerizing openings you’ll ever hear. The twinkling lights that resolve the big crescendo @ 8:40 and just when you thought you’ve caught your breath, drummer Billy Ficca comes back in with Fred Smith’s bass right under and the opening guitar riffs are repeated bringing you back home. “I was listening, listening to the rain. I was hearing, hearing something else.” Something else indeed.

  2. Levi
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    So true, Damon.

    I should have mentioned, too, that there’s a very nice recent CD version that replicates the LP art in smaller scale and is available at our finer music boutiques for 10 bucks. Get it!

  3. Mary Kelley
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Hi, Levi. Thanks for your praise for my chestnut EP, Mary Kelley Greetings 5.
    This band, live at the Old Waldorf, SF, CA and this vinyl blasted me into my musical…hmm…career. Mary Kelley

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