Television (band)

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Television 2014 in Portugal
Television 2014 in Portugal
General information
origin New York City , United States
Genre (s) Protopunk , Art-Punk , Post-Punk
founding 1973, 1991, 2001
resolution 1978, 1993
Founding members
Tom Verlaine
Richard Lloyd (until 2007)
Richard Hell (until 1975)
Billy Ficca
Current occupation
Vocals, guitar
Tom Verlaine
Jimmy Ripp (since 2007)
Fred Smith (since 1975)
Billy Ficca

Television is an American rock band formed in New York City in 1973 . Although Television only released three studio albums in 14 years, they are considered an extremely influential and style-defining band. Television, like the Ramones and Patti Smith , came from the New York proto-punk scene. The combination of urban rock with the duels of guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and the voice of Tom Verlaine reminiscent of Lou Reed exerted an influence on post-punk bands that should not be underestimated .


The origins of Television go back to 1972. Under the name “The Neon Boys” Verlaine, Hell and Ficca played in a band that also recorded some singles . After the dissolution, they formed anew in 1973 under the name Television. Richard Lloyd was added as the second guitarist . Quickly building a reputation as an excellent live band, they made several appearances in New York venues. Television was also the first CBGB band to appear regularly in the music club of the same name.

In 1975 they released their debut single Little Johnny Jewel on the independent label Ork Records. Since the song was too long for a conventional single, it was published over two single pages.

In 1977 the debut album Marquee Moon was released on Elektra Records, which was particularly popular with audiences and critics in Great Britain. In 2010 Rolling Stone voted this album at number 381 of the 500 best albums of all time . In 1978 the successor, Adventure, appeared . Shortly thereafter, the band broke up due to musical differences and Richard Lloyd's alleged drug addiction. Members pursued solo careers, with Verlaine and Lloyd releasing solo albums. In 1992, Television recorded a new album titled Television and has been sporadic since then.


In the punk scene, the virtuoso, jazz-influenced interplay between Lloyd and Verlaine was previously unheard of. You have done away with the separation of lead and rhythm guitar in favor of complex, interlocking, contrapuntal structures. The guitars complement each other even though they often play radically different material in terms of tone and rhythm. This type of guitar arrangement had a major influence on The Police , U2 , Dream Syndicate , Rain Parade , Russ Tolman's True West and The Church . In recent times, many young guitar bands have again orientated themselves to the television model, including The Strokes .


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Marquee Moon
  UK 28 
03/26/1977 (13 weeks)
  UK 7th 04/29/1978 (4 weeks)
Marquee Moon
  UK 30th 04/16/1977 (4 weeks)
Prove It
  UK 25th 07/30/1977 (4 weeks)
  UK 36 04/22/1978 (2 weeks)

Studio albums

Live albums

  • 1982: The Blow-Up (recorded in 1978)
  • 2003: Live at the Old Waldorf: San Francisco, 6/29/78 (recording: San Francisco, June 29, 1978)
  • 2003: Live at the Academy NYC April 12, 1992 (Recording: New York City, December 4, 1992)


  • 1998: The Best of Television & Tom Verlaine (with Tom Verlaine )


  • 1975: Little Johnny
  • 1977: Marquee Moon (release: April)
  • 1977: Prove It (release: July)
  • 1977: Venus
  • 1978: Foxhole (release: April)
  • 1978: Glory (released June)
  • 1978: Ain't That Nothin '
  • 1992: Call Mr. Lee
  • 1992: In World
  • 1992: The Revolution

Individual evidence

  1. RS500 Songs (List 2010)
  2. a b UK chart data
  3. Music Sales Awards: UK

Web links