February 8, 1977



punk rock


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

Album Tracks:

  1. See No Evil
  2. Venus
  3. Friction
  4. Marquee Moon
  5. Elevation
  6. Guiding Light
  7. Prove It
  8. Torn Curtain

Sales (in millions):




Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Marquee Moon (4/16/77) #30 UK
  • Prove It (7/30/77) #25 UK




Marquee Moon



Television’s Marquee Moon is “one of the most influential rock records: a sinuous, entrancing and gorgeous debut;” ZG “a classic bit of punk rock from 1977, that classic year of punk.” PKMarquee Moon is a revolutionary album, but it’s a subtle, understated revolution” STE 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” STE 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

They knew what they “needed to avoid – the cursory punk snarl.” TM Instead, their “debut amounts to 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

“Television completely strip away any sense of swing or groove, even when they are playing standard three-chord changes. Marquee Moon is comprised entirely of tense garage rockers that spiral into heady intellectual territory, which is achieved through the group’s long, interweaving instrumental sections, not through Verlaine’s words.” STE

“Of course, it wouldn’t have had such an impact if Verlaine hadn’t written an excellent set of songs that conveyed a fractured urban mythology unlike any of his contemporaries.” STE His “songs were thought-provoking, memorable, danceable, and unlike anything else going.” PK He “wrote punchy, concise lyrics that sounded as if they might have come from a Mike Hammer pulp detective novel.” RS

Prove It was the hit in England, but independent radio stations wore the grooves down on” PK, “the nervy opener, See No Evil, …the majestic title trackSTE, “and the stunningly brilliant Friction.” PK The latter two and Venus are examples of how Television can be “jagged, desperate and beautiful all at once.” RS

“There is simply not a bad song on the entire record. And what has kept Marquee Moon fresh over the years is how Television flesh out Verlaine’s poetry into sweeping sonic epics.” STEMarquee Moon [is] a trailblazing album – it’s impossible to imagine post-punk soundscapes without it.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

Television’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry

Marquee Moon (photo montage)

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Last updated February 8, 2012.