I’m not really counting today as a “workout” per se, unless you figure it as an opportunity to work out the mush in my legs and flush the built up lactate acid from this weekend’s Chilly Half Marathon so slow and easy is definitely the intent for today’s mat session. Yes, it’s crotch shots for everybody (click HERE)!! And on that note, today’s recovery mat session then was fueled by the critically acclaimed ‘Marque Moon‘ album by Television.
This is their debut album released in February of 1977 by Elektra Records. After becoming a prominent act on the New York music scene (specifically at CBGB’s), Television enlisted engineer Andy Johns (interestingly enough, passing up on Brian Eno who produced their earlier demo’s which would be later featured on this album) who, along with frontman Tom Verlaine, produced the album in September 1976 at A & R Recording. Upon it’s release, it was critically acclaimed and achieved unexpected commercial success in the United Kingdom, but sold poorly in the United States. It has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest albums of the American punk rock movement and a cornerstone of alternative rock. My music Bible (Mojo, August 1995) lists it as #17 on their list of the 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made. The band’s innovative post-punk instrumentation on the album strongly influenced the indie rock and New Wave movements of the 1980’s, as well as rock guitarists such as The Edge (U2) and Will Sergeant (Echo & the Bunnymen). At the time, Patti Smith described Verlaine’s guitar playing as “a thousand bluebirds screaming”. Okaaaaaay. Thanks Patti.
For ‘Marquee Moon’, Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd eschewed contemporary punk rock’s power chords in favor of rock and acid jazz-inspired interplay, melodic lines, and counter-melodies. Verlaine’s lyrics combined urban and pastoral imagery, themes of adolescence, and even influences from French poetry. Think of it as ‘a thinking man’s punk rock‘ or, as in this case, ‘a sore, thinking man’s punk rock‘. Favorites include ‘Friction‘, ‘Little Johnny Jewel (Parts 1 & 2)’, and the epic 11-minute signature track ‘Marque Moon‘.