Television

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About Television

Television emerged from New York’s mid-’70s punk scene with an idiosyncratic sound that presaged the rise of alt-rock a decade later. Embracing the scene’s scrappy bohemianism but not its three-chord simplicity, the quartet instead fused Tom Verlaine’s bookish lyrics and snaking compositions with his and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd’s jazz-informed melodies and harmonics. Verlaine had originally co-founded Television with bassist and future punk icon Richard Hell, but Hell was gone by the recording of 1977's Marquee Moon. The album revealed a strange, new language that rewired the brain of just about any punk musician who encountered it. Sonic Youth’s guitar explorations, R.E.M.’s moody poetics, and Pavement’s quirky arrangements all find their origins in Television. The group disbanded in 1978 but not before releasing the subtly layered Adventure. Subsequent reunions resulted in 1992’s Television, released just as the alt-rock movement they had helped launch went mainstream, and, in the 21st century, a renewed interest in live performance that continued until Verlaine’s death in 2023.

ORIGIN
New York, NY, United States
FORMED
1973
GENRE
Alternative
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