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(TV) Ink Blot magazine.com
A warning: the sleeve to Marquee Moon lists not
only songwriting and instrumental credits, it lists
guitar solo credits. Blues riffing duels with stately
arpeggios, Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd bend
notes beyond recognition, and songs stretch well
beyond the five-minute mark. But Marquee Moon is not music for guitar shop
clerks. Punk rockers, maybe. Poets, probably.
People who appreciate melody piled on melody,
and songs crammed full of an album's worth of
ideas - definitely. Verlaine and Television were
originals in 1977, and Marquee Moon still sounds
special today. You can hear them defining punk
and new wave: "I get your point/You're so sharp"
from "See No Evil" pretty much invented the new
wave lyric, and the occasional afterbeat guitars
and and high hat shuffles show them
experimenting with reggae before The Clash
brought it to the punk masses. Meanwhile, the
guitars spiral into a different atmosphere
altogether. Verlaine and Lloyd push at the edges of
"Friction," "Marquee Moon" and "Guiding Light,"
stuffing them full of melodic invention but never
cutting the tethers that keep them grounded in
simple, classic rock 'n' roll. Excited but focused,
this may be the best guitar playing ever put to a
rock record, and it makes a special set of songs
into a magical, must-have album.
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