THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Television-“I See No Evil”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Television-“I See No Evil” .

While the rise of the new wave/punk rock movement in the mid- to late ’70s helped to reaffirm the vital role of the electric guitar in rock & roll, the inspired amateurism of the scene didn’t produce many genuine virtuoso players. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, however, certainly earned that accolade, and “See No Evil,” the opening track of Television’s masterful debut album, Marquee Moon, immediately made it clear that these guys could play — and had something new and different up their sleeves. 

While falling short of a full-blown punk onslaught, from the first power chords “See No Evil” possesses a wiry energy that pulls the listener in, and Lloyd and Verlaine’s carefully interlocked guitar parts blend potent fretboard skill with a stripped-down, no-nonsense approach that proved a guitar hero didn’t have to sound pompous or self-absorbed.

It helped that Tom Verlaine wrote songs that were the perfect vehicle for the band’s twin-guitar workouts — simple on the surface, intricate upon examination, and with enough room for the players to flex their muscles without resorting to empty showboating.

“See No Evil” was enough to prove to many fans that Television were one of the greatest guitar band of the 1970s — and the album only got better from there.


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