Source: New Music Report, September 1992

By James Lien

It's often the artists with a handful of albums who turn out to be the most important. Television was one of those bands (the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, and Big Star were others) who only released a few albums during its heyday, but by which every person (especially future musicians) who heard them was profoundly influenced. In the '70s, Television was clearly one of the most visionary outfits of the decade, setting the stage for new wave, the '80s, and pretty much everything that followed. (If you don't already own Marquee Moon suffice to say it happens to be one of the greatest albums ever made.) So it's rare -in fact, virtually unprecedented- that a band so vastly influential should return in such sharp form over a decade later, with the original lineup intact and its creative juices flowing better than ever. Well, the reason may have something to do with the fact that contrary to popular belief, the band never broke up, merely took an extended sabbatical (granted, one of some 11 years!), and whether the members intended it or not, the wait enabled the rest of the world to catch up with the groundbreaking music they made. One listen through the eponymous Television is an incredibly relevatory experience, as Television past merges with Television present; guitars haven't sounded this good in years. Try "1880 Or So," "Mars," the enigmatic "Call Mr. Lee," and "No Glamour For Willi."