Episode 10: Television - Marquee Moon

Marquee Moon album cover 400x400.jpg

We are headed to New York City and CBGB's in the Punk era of the mid-Seventies talking about the band Television--a group that broke up after just two albums. The title track of their debut effort, Marquee Moon, is the focus today. We'll discuss why the album, which was a commercial flop, has become such a cult classic and the inspiration for dozens of bands that followed. We'll also talk about the repetitive music and vague lyrics and what story they might be trying to tell. And why the band's cofounding member was kicked out before they even recorded their first record. All that and more on Episode 10 of Song Voyage. 

Show Notes

  1. Television Website
  2. Marquee Moon (album) on iTunes
  3. Marquee Moon (song) on iTunes
  4. Marquee Moon (song with lyrics) on YouTube
  5. CBGB Website
  6. "Bryan Eno Demo" of Marquee Moon on YouTube 
    1. Note: After recording the episode, we located this version on YouTube and noticed a comment from Richard Lloyd of Television. He says: "This was NOT produced by Brian Eno. Richard Williams from Island wanted to record the band and described that he would like to bring Eno along because Richard didn't know anything about how to record in studios. So we said OK, but didn't use a single idea that Eno brought. And then listening back we realized that Richard Meyers:(Hell) couldn't play bass with Billy all over the place so he soon after left and we brought in Fred Smith, and the music got much more stable. This version is too fast."
  7. Early Rehearsal version of Marquee Moon, 1974
  8. Seven song set at CBGB's in 1976 (Marquee Moon is the last song at 36:15)
  9. Marquee Moon in Portland, Oregon, 1978
  10. Version of Marquee Moon at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco, 1978
  11. Little Johnny Jewel
  12. Pitchfork article on Marquee Moon
  13. Earlier Pitchfork article on the "Eno Demo" (which includes the Lloyd comment we missed)
  14. Observer Music article, "How Television Made ‘Marquee Moon,’ the Best Punk Guitar Album Ever"
  15. Rolling Stone list of Top 100 Debut Albums (2013) with Marquee Moon at #40
  16. Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2003) with Marquee Moon at #130
  17. Pitchfork list of Top 100 Albums of the 1970s with Marquee Moon at #3(!)
  18. Uncut Magazine's 100 Best Debut Albums with Marquee Moon at #2
  19. VH1's Top 100 Greatest Albums of All Time (2001) with Marquee Moon at #83
  20. Google Books image of the 1989 SPIN magazine list ranking Marquee Moon #6 on its list of greatest albums of all time
  21. WhoSampled page on Television listing The Breakup Song as having sampled Elevation (crowd-sourced page, no official songwriting credit given to Verlaine/Lloyd, so take this with a grain of salt)
Mitchell OsterComment