Fusing pyschedelia with Velvets drone, the 10 minute plus "Marquee Moon" is a staggering piece of music from one of the best albums of the NY punk movement. I'm not usually a far of virtuoso guitar heroics, but here it works so well ... with Richard Lloyd & Tom Verlaine's distinctive guitar technique seemingly battling it out for supremacy. Many bands have based their entire career on this song.
The title track of Television's 1975 album is the greatest statement of their cumulative abilities as a band. A majestic epic of dual guitar interplay, metronome bass playing, unconventional jazz drumming, and the strangled vocal screeds of Tom Verlaine, Marquee Moon begins with a double-stop riff. A second tangled guitar weaves in, a bass thuds upward, and a lockstep rhythm forms behind the surreal lyrics. From the chorus to the long, flowing jams that follow the third verse, the guitar interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd amazes again and again. Instead of rhythm and lead guitar, the two guitarists trade solos and phrases, tones and colors. Even when Richard Lloyd plays simply, he dominates the color and tone of the solo he underscores, and when he lets loose a solo, it flows like poetry, phrasing and declaiming the beauty of the notes it contains. Band leader Tom Verlaine twists and curves his notes all over here, careening in on himself and threatening to implode before finding a perfect spot. The majestic peaks this song climbs to seem almost impossible, and it very nearly stumbles by running long. However, nothing can detract from the climactic jams that culminate in Tom Verlaine's singing bird-call guitar notes and gentle spills of warbling riffs.