The wonders of discovery never cease. I was unfamiliar with Television's second album, ADVENTURE (1978), until recently. I checked it out and have been immersed in it all week. One of the reasons that I was unaware of ADVENTURE is undoubtedly due to the long shadow that the band's debut, MARQUEE MOON (1977), casts. Not too long ago I was shopping at my neighborhood supermarket when "See No Evil" began to play on the store's PA. It seemed odd at first that a track from one of the seminal Punk albums should be playing as background music at a supermarket chain. But after a moment or two I realized that "See No Evil" sounded completely appropriate to our present social milieu, whatever name it may go by. ADVENTURE was the follow-up to MARQUEE MOON. And while it was favorably reviewed by Robert Christgau, who awarded it an A-minus, it didn't fare nearly as well on the charts as MARQUEE MOON. Then Television broke up the same year as ADVENTURE was released. The break-up was due to a combination of drugs and the clashing egos of the band's two guitarists, Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, both of whom would go on to record solo album's for Elektra. Television's break-up combined with the super-historicity of MARQUEE MOON are probably the two biggest reasons why ADVENTURE is not more broadly acknowledged as an excellent album and a vital document. The guitar playing is luminescent, sounding at times like Richard Thompson's work from the same period, or Nels Cline's stuff for present-day Wilco, and the song writing is revelatory. But there is a definite spaciness and ethereal vibe to the record. There seems to be a synthesizer anesthetizing in the background on many tracks. ADVENTURE isn't as sharp or exuberant as MARQUEE MOON. But if one plays the record repeatedly, a coherence emerges.
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