Marquee Moon

Marquee Moon (Eno Demo)
  • Marquee Moon (Eno Demo)
  • Television
  • Double Exposure
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Television - Marquee Moon (Brian Eno demo, 1974)

This is the ur-Marquee Moon.  There are those, who don’t know better (yet) who think of Television simply as post-punk, because most of their crucial records date from that precious refining period of 1977/78.  But most of their songs were written, and being performed, three years earlier.

December 1974, Richard Williams, an Island A&R  - having seen Television two months beforehand at a long-gone club in NY, fronted by a lacklustre Blondie; the Ramones having bailed - booked the foursome of Verlaine, Hell, Lloyd & Ficca into Good Vibrations at 1440 Broadway, NYC.  A studio in a glum 25 story towerblock.  He’d coralled an eager Brian Eno into flying the desk for the session but the result was disappointing for Verlaine.  He wasn’t impressed.  There was no animosity between him and Eno, they just didn’t gel.  And that is important with something so formative.

The result was that when Williams played the result back in London and tried to physically project his enthusiasm onto the label, they too were unimpressed.  Ultimately of course, as history has observed, their loss.

This is from the unofficial LP Double Exposure, named for the only one of the five songs from the Good Vibrations session that didn’t make it onto their debut album three years later.  The session has been bootlegged to death over the years but usually with completely erroneous source data attached.  Eno does not sing or play on here anywhere.  Any piano you hear is Verlaine.

Within weeks Hell had gone his own way taking the Television live songs that he wrote  - in particular -  Love Comes In Spurts and Blank Generation, with him.

So.  A different Marquee Moon.  A much earlier one.  But recognisable none the less.  I’m very fond of the later official track, but Chris Blackwell and the rest of the Island label circa 74 can bathe in their mistake; I like this.

Other Audioposts

See No Evil
  • See No Evil
  • Television
  • Marquee Moon
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Television - See No Evil [1977]

I saw Wild Flag cover this song last night and it made me like Television in a new way that I hadn’t before, but that I had always wanted to. So thanks, Wild Flag. Now that you’ve done all this other stuff for me could you please come over sometime and help me paint my dining room?

Happy 35th birthday to Television’s Marquee Moon.

Here are 35 songs that informed the band, the album, &/or the book I wrote about both. You can stream a shorter version of this set with commentary here. Either way, enjoy, and give the album itself a spin sometime today.

I was hearing, hearing something else: a mix for Marquee Moon at 35

Disc 1 [UPDATE: alternate link via mediafire]

1. Charles Mingus, “Hog Calling Blues”
2. Ornette Coleman, “Lonely Woman”
3. Ron Carter, “Bass Duet”
4. Bobby Peterson Quintet, “The Hunch”
5. The Rolling Stones, “19th Nervous Breakdown”
6. The Count Five, “Psychotic Reaction”
7. The Shangri-Las, “What’s a Girl Supposed to Do?”
8. Blondie, “Out in the Streets”
9. Mink DeVille, “Spanish Stroll”
10. Mumps, “Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That”
11. Television, “Prove It (Eno Demo)”
12. Dale Hawkins, “Tornado”
13. The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp”
14. The Who, “Call Me Lightning”
15. Miroslav Vitous, “Mountain in the Clouds”
16. Albert Ayler, “Our Prayer”
17. Tony Williams, “Emergency”
18. Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat”
19. 13th Floor Elevators, “Fire Engine”
20. Neon Boys, “Love Comes in Spurts”

Disc 2 [UPDATE: alternate link via mediafire]

1. The Modern Lovers, “96 Tears”
2. New York Dolls, “Trash”
3. The Music Machine, “Talk Talk”
4. Television, “I’m Gonna Find You”
5. Television, “What I Heard”
6. Television, “Change Your Channels”
7. Television, “Blank Generation”
8. Television, “Friction (Eno Demo)”
9. Television, “Double Exposure (Eno Demo)”
10. Patti Smith Group (ft. John Cale), “My Generation”
11. Mink DeVille, “Venus of Avenue D”
12. Television, “Hard On Love”
13. Patti Smith, “Break It Up”
14. Patti Smith Group, “We Three”
15. Television, “Marquee Moon” (live, Portland, 7/2/78)

UPDATE: Thanks to Todd Olmstead, you can stream most of these tracks on Spotify.