I have strong feelings about Marquee Moon. I’m beginning to realize it is nearly perfect. Have you listened to it recently? I hadn’t until this week. Side one was always my favorite. It packs quite a punch, with the first two songs especially. “See No Evil” is like starting a car in third gear. The guitars start off as the focus of the record and that never relents. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd should be praised. There should be a Jazzmaster-shaped altar in front of where CBGBs used to stand where you can go and pray. I’m serious. I’m not going to get into it track by track. “Venus” is the anthem. “Marquee Moon” is the precursor to “Youth of America” with guitar harmony, rhythms tighter than you could possibly imagine. The Dismemberment Plan read this book quite well. “Guiding Light” is a glorious, glorious piece of music. It’s like that song you’ll hear in a high school movie where they’re at the prom and they’re dancing and they’re about to have their first kiss and it pauses and the camera focuses on the two teenage lovers, the music pauses, and as the guitar solo kicks in, the camera starts to spin in circles and there are visible bursts of joy. That is the way “Guiding Light” feels to me. “Prove It” is Verlaine being playful. Lyrically, when I hear him say “This case is closed”, it’s with the biggest smirk you could possibly imagine. From what I’ve read, dude was a smirky guy. I love it. Love it. “Torn Curtain” revisits the mode of “Venus”. It’s so cohesive, fuck! There is a sense of playfulness on an album that’s so overwhelmingly serious, especially compared to the other things coming out of the same scene.
This is drivel, but I can’t get enough of the record. It’s been canonized for years, sure, but it still makes me jump around my living room and pretend I’ve got a Jazzmaster.
Also, re: Todd Rundgren’s Runt: are side 1 and side 2 seriously the same record?