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Looking Back: We Listened to Almost All of ‘Marquee Moon’

There is no more iconic post-punk album than proto-punk band Television’s 1977 art-punk epic, Marquee Moon. That’s just a fact I was told by my editor. So in honor of the album’s 40th anniversary, which was last year, I revisited this influential cult masterpiece.

Some of these songs are crazy long and kind of repetitive, and that’s a big part of their genius, I guess. A year went by and I still hadn’t found the right words to describe just how incredibly ahead of its time Marquee Moon was, or even what genre it is, or who’s in the band. Just like a great album, which Marquee Moon clearly is, an honest review takes time.

If you think about it, the amount of time it took me to finally get around to a celebration of this universally beloved album of guitar-driven songs that also feature a bass, some drums, and one or more people singing, is a testament to its raw power.

Just listen to those opening riffs of ‘See No Evil.’ They’re noodly but not pretentious, catchy but not simple, and man, they really just keep going with that riff, don’t they? I’m grinding my teeth a little bit. Like, I think just these eight seconds of guitar are going to be playing in my head on an endless loop when I can’t sleep tonight. It’s all just another part of their brilliance as musicians, vividly on display in this album, which I have listened to in its entirety.

But I’m not the only one. Because, as I stated, it is essential listening. I reached out to other Hard Times Television aficionados, and their thoughts are further testament to Marquee Moon’s legacy.

John Danek: This album changed my life. For years, I had never heard of Marquee Moon. Then, one day, I did hear of it.

Tom Peters: The guitar interplay blurred the line between rhythm and lead, and that’s usually as far as I get before someone else takes over the conversation.

Kyle Sekaquaptewa: I finished a whole season of Homeland while this album played in the background, and oh my god, have you seen Homeland? I’ll let you borrow the DVDs dude, it’s incredible.

Steven Casimer Kowalski: From the iconic font choice to the track listing on the back, this is an undisputed classic.

Dan Rice: All I know is that I am definitely a fan of Television the important band.

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