1. Television : 'Marquee Moon' (1977)

Achieving their initial notoriety while playing at CBGBs in lower Manhattan, Television's debut album was both audacious and unsettling. Leader Tom Verlaine wrote all the songs, co-produced with Andy Johns, plays lead guitar in a harrowingly style and generally dominates proceedings. 'Marquee Moon' was a record that almost never was. The original sessions, produced by Eno, were apparently almost unlistenable - an amateurish mess by all accounts. The album was re-recorded and that guitar riff which opens the title track immediately captures your imagination - it's so edgy and angular. Tom Verlaine's playing is really what stands him out from the crowd. Emotive and unusual. Many Verlaine solos, at first listen, make you feel that a real risk is being taken - stark, repetitive riffs that build in every one of the eight songs to nearly out-of-control climaxes. And they stick to the back of your skull.

Of course, Verlaine's voice is another strength. And the album contains such peculiar songs, which somehow seep into your consciousness, often concerning concepts or inanimate objects: 'Friction', 'Elevation', 'Venus' (de Milo, that is). They prove to be only non-sequiturs, or phrases that fit metrically but express little (the chorus of 'Prove It' repeats "Prove it / Just the facts / The confidential" )

Back in the late 70's, very few Punks had any real idea of what the music would seem like further down the line. Television was different, with a complexity which went against the grain. They were the first 'punk' band that forged a truly original sound which worked both at a high technical and aesthetic level. 'Marquee Moon' had a profound effect, especially within the climate of those times. The music of the era had changed, and was restoring a sense of discovery and freedom that had long disappeared.


01. Television : 'Marquee Moon' (1977)
02. Lou Reed : 'Berlin' (1973)
03. Public Image Ltd. : 'MetalBox' (1979)
04. Talk Talk : 'Spirit Of Eden' (1988)
05. Steve Reich : 'Reich: The Desert Music' (1997)
06. David Bowie : 'Aladdin Sane' (1973)
07. Radiohead : 'OK Computer' (1997)
08. Massive Attack : 'Collected' (1998)
09. Morrissey : 'You Are The Quarry' (2004)
10. Eno : 'Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy' (1974)
11. The Beatles : 'The White album' (1968)
12. Górecki : 'Symphony #3, Op. 36' (1992)
13. Pink Floyd : 'Meddle' (1971)