Tuesday, February 8, 1977

Television released Marquee Moon

First posted 2/8/2012; updated 2/2/2020.

Marquee Moon


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Released: February 8, 1977

Peak: -- US, 28 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: punk rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. See No Evil [3:56]
  2. Venus [3:48]
  3. Friction [4:43]
  4. Marquee Moon [9:58] (4/16/77, #30 UK)
  5. Elevation [5:08]
  6. Guiding Light [5:36] (Tom Verlaine/Richard Lloyd)
  7. Prove It [5:04] (7/30/77, #25 UK)
  8. Torn Curtain [7:00]

All songs written by Tom Verlaine unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 45:54

The Players:

  • Tom Verlaine (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Richard Lloyd (guitar)
  • Fred Smith (bass)
  • Billy Ficca (drums)


4.743 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

Quotable: “A trailblazing album — it's impossible to imagine post-punk soundscapes without it.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


About the Album:

Television’s Marquee Moon didn’t even chart in the U.S., but this “classic bit of punk rock from 1977” PK is “a trailblazing album,” AMG “a sinuous, entrancing and gorgeous debut.” ZG “It’s impossible to imagine post-punk soundscapes without it.” AMG It “is a revolutionary album, but it’s a subtle, understated revolution” AMG built on “an incongruous, soaring amalgam of genres.” RS “Where their predecessors in the New York punk scene, most notably the Velvet Underground, had fused blues structures with avant-garde flourishes” AMG and their “peers turned up the distortion, revved up the tempo, and stripped their songs down to tight three-chord anthems, Television did something startlingly different.” PK

Marquee Moon is comprised entirely of tense garage rockers that spiral into heady intellectual territory.” AMG Television “completely strip away any sense of swing or groove, even when they are playing standard three-chord changes.” AMG They smartly “avoid the cursory punk snarl” TM by employing “a radical rethinking of rock guitar” TM which is as “exhilarating in its ambitions as the Ramones’ debut was in its simplicity.” RS Singer/songwriter Tom Verlaine and lead guitarist Richard Lloyd didn’t “bludgeon listeners” TM with their guitar interplay, but used the two guitars to, as Lloyd himself said, to “play rhythm and melody back and forth” TM with “the precise alignment of several contrasting motifs: Verlaine would establish a rhythmic phrase, against which Lloyd would splatter defiant, often deliriously dissonant, melodies.” TM

Verlaine supplied “an excellent set of songs that conveyed a fractured urban mythology unlike any of his contemporaries.” AMG The songs “were thought-provoking, memorable, danceable” PK and “sounded as if they might have come from a Mike Hammer pulp detective novel.” RS

The rest of the group “flesh out Verlaine’s poetry into sweeping sonic epics.” AMG via “long, interweaving instrumental sections.” AMG “There is simply not a bad song on the entire record.” AMG


A 2003 reissue added alternate versions of “See No Evil,” “Friction,” and “Marquee Moon” as well as an untitled instrumental and the single “Little Johnny Jewel (Parts 1 & 2).”

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