If you want to hear the precursor of '80s alternative, pick up the first two Television albums. With the advantage of over 25 years of hindsight, it's easy to see where bands like Talking Heads and The Clash picked up a heavy dose of inspiration. "Marquee Moon," Television's first release, is not as polished as "Adventure," but more immediate, a trait ascribed to the fact that the band had been playing songs like "Friction" and "See No Evil" for years around the clubs of New York City. "Adventure" was recorded less than a year later, but didn't benefit from the tighter production and added instrumentation. The band didn't make it through a third album, although they have reunited recently. They never enjoyed much commercial success (though they're a long-standing critical barometer of cool); the only song that may sound vaguely familiar is the title track from "Marquee Moon." Regardless, both of these discs are worth (re)familiarizing yourself with.
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