A two-Cd collector's edition - over 85 minutes long, digitally re-mastered and re-edited. All material on this recording was selected by Tom Verlaine from live tapes(circa 1978). Originally released as a Roir double length... more » cassette-only in 1982. Liner notes by Robert Christgau & John Piccarrella. Includes Extended versions of Little Johnny Jewel & Marquee Moon...over 14 minutes each.« less
A two-Cd collector's edition - over 85 minutes long, digitally re-mastered and re-edited. All material on this recording was selected by Tom Verlaine from live tapes(circa 1978). Originally released as a Roir double length cassette-only in 1982. Liner notes by Robert Christgau & John Piccarrella. Includes Extended versions of Little Johnny Jewel & Marquee Moon...over 14 minutes each.
"Television had a brief three year run that left a legacy of one of the most brillant debut albums in rock history ("Marquee Moon") an adequate follow up ("Adventure") a brillant 1975 45 only "Little Johnny Jewel" and for those of us who saw them live memories of a great live act. This album "The blow-up" has been floating around since 1979 in at least four diffent forms. While this album is one of the better documents of a Television concert it has always sufferred from a poor mix and fair to poor sound. Having said that this verson should be considered strongly for purchase by any serious Televison fan who does not own the prior versions or for guitar freaks.My original interest in this album stems form the fact that I saw the final show at The Bottom Line of Televisions' farewell 1978 tour. Suffice it to say it was the greatest live show I have ever seen. Therefore I have always searched with limited success for a great document of this tour. The original version was a 1979 bootleg on Arrow records which contains half of the current CD. The next three versons an ROIR tape and two CD's have all been the same and sound the same. In fact all three mislabel the opening cut "The BLow-Up" when in fact it is a cover of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators' "Fire Engine".Now to this version. It contains 13 songs recorded as best I can tell from at least differnt 1978 concerts with "all tracks selected by Tom Verlaine". Disk two has far better sound which is lucky because it opens with the absolute highlight of the package and most Television concerts an amazing 15 minutes of "little Jonny Jewel" which is not on either of the two Television Cds. The two guitar breaks should convince most that Verlaine is a world class guitarist. Other highlights include a cover of "Satisfaction" which contrary to the Amazon review is not ordinary. Listen carefuly to the first solo which is Lloyd. Live he would do un-worldly things with his guitar strings on this the final encore. Other highlights from the first poorer sounding disk include a first rate cover of "Knockin on Heavens Door" and a fine version of "Aint that Nothin' form "Adventure". Note to all. Do not give up when you hear the sound on the opening cut. It gets better as the CD goes on.Someday Electra will correctly re-master the first two cd's and perhaps even mix and clean up this live album. Maybe even collect an anthology of "LJJ",the early Neon Boys 45, the Eno produced demo tapes, the two cd,s and the many unrelleased tracks including "Double Exposure". Until then this CD "The blow up" as imperfect as it is, is all we have to document one of the most original and exciting live bands ever."
Wish I Was There!
Quinn | Oakland, CA United States | 06/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is simply one of the greatest recorded live performances I've ever heard and I spend a good deal of my life listening to live music in person and on CD.The downer is that the sound quality is pretty poor in spots, but does get better on some tracks. Consequently, listening to this on headphones definitely beats listening to it in your car. In short, the sound quality will annoy you at times, but if you listen carefully, I believe you'll find it well worth it.On "The Blow-Up" you hear a band that is literally fearless. It's a bit like watching four incredibly gifted artists sprint back and forth on a tightrope. Not only is the collective performance incredible, but Verlaine's material ranks with the finest in rock history. Yes, the guitars are awesome, but the rhythm section of Fred Smith and Billy Ficca is equally incredible. Buy Marquee Moon first (everyone should own a copy of that), but get this too to hear what Television were capable of live.If you can find a copy, I'd also highly recommend Television - Live At The Old Waldorf: San Francisco, 6/29/78. This disc is a much shorter show, but it was professionally recorded and the sound quality is top notch. The performance is excellent, but perhaps not quite as incendiary as on "The Blow-Up."Sadly, Rhino Handmade only issued 5,000 copies of "Live At the Old Waldorf," so you'll have to do some hunting on Ebay, etc. However, if you love great rock and roll, it's worth the trouble and expense."
The Best Guitar Band hands down!
Daniel F. Sokolski | New York, NY USA | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you havent heard Television and want to learn the origins of todays and tomorrows rock, than buy this record. Everyone seems to only mention Tom Verlaines work, but its the virtuosity of the guitar interplay that occurs between Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine (2 geniuses of the guitar) that make this band extraordinary (and Tom Verlains haunting vocals).
I am amazed by their last studio effort in '92 which almost surpasses Marquee Moon and Adventure. I saw them live in '92 at Roseland in NYC and was amazed how fresh and new this band still sounded. No other band compares. Kudo's to Bono for mentioning Television and Patti Smith as their main influences during this years rock and roll hall of fame. I wish other bands would admit their ideas were borrowed if not stolen from these legendary bands and composers.
Catch them while you can and buy their albums!"
An excellent companion to Marquee Moon
email@example.com | 08/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first Television album is all tension and restraint -- beautiful guitars slashing at each other over Verlaine's wavery voice and a thumping rhythm section. "Marquee Moon" is the sound of a world class garage band, and one of the great guitar bands of all rock music playing majestic music, nearly losing control at each curve, but catching themselves before they fell apart. This album strays at every opportunity. It's loud and indulgent. The playing is sometimes ridiculously sloppy, but when the band gets it right, as with the 15 minutes of "Little Johnny Jewel," it's as breathtaking as anything on "Marquee Moon." I still prefer the studio versions of every song on this album to the live ones, but this is the perfect companion to "Marquee Moon." Even though the album was recorded after "Marquee Moon" was released, it works well as a backdrop for that album. Compared to the insane experimentation here, the solo on the studio version of "Marquee Moon" sounds tame and structured. The full-blown feakout of "Friction" is compressed into a tight single in the studio. Which isn't to say the album doesn't stand on its own. As a double live album with low quality sound, it doesn't have much going for it in principle, but the guitars are fantastic. Very raw, very loud, and a lot of fun. Any fan of rock music owes it to themselves to buy "Marquee Moon" first (THAT'S the essential album), but this works well for those of us who can't get enough of a good thing."
Little Johnny Jewel, he's so cool
Galina Lvova | New York, NY | 03/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The whole show must have sounded great live, but on this cd it reaches greatness only in parts. However,it is worth owning just for those transcendental moments alone. If you've already heard Television's two studio albums, and love the sound of an electric guitar, the 14+ minute version of Little Johnny Jewel will astound you. I didn't think it was humanly possible to do what I've heard here with a mere guitar or two. Since the original studio version of LJJ is very hard to find, and this is the best live version of the song available, well, need I say more? The other amazing moment on this 2-cd set is Television's version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." This is the most exciting cover of that song I've ever heard, partly because Television make it sound as their own composition. The other songs are good to hear if you're a real fan, but most of them are marred by a poor recording quality. Coincedently, the two songs mentioned above, besides being superior performances, are also clearer in recording quality also, and are alone worth getting the 2-cd set. (Hint: try E-bay)"