Television - The Blow Up
This 2CD set of the 1982 cassette only ROIR release of a 1978 show goes a long way to explaining what all the fuss was about concerning Television. Legends almost from the get-go in the NYC punk scene, their two records from that period did not do justice to the hype. While the guitar mastery of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd was evident, those records were more restrained art-rock jams than anything truly exploratory. On these live discs the power and inventiveness of the band is easy to see. The long jams on "Marquee Moon" and "Little Johnny Jewel" feature jaw-dropping guitar interplay and chord progressions. Their cover of "Satisfaction" is raw and straight-on, un-encumbered by the ironic take on a classic typical of the era. There is still that odd sense of distance and coldness in the live work too; while this set balances the questions raised by their studio work, it still leaves the jury out on what all the fuss was about. Much better, and to me more approachable and satisfying, is Lloyd’s solo work.
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