Adventure by Television

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Adventure by Television
Adventure by Television

Album Released: 1978 (Chart)

Adventure ::: Artwork

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5.Carried Away5:09
6.The Fire5:54
7.Ain't That Nothin'4:52
8.The Dream's Dream6:39


Having released one of the Greatest Albums of All Time, Television release a follow-up that's ... pretty good. Actually, it's more than pretty good, it's close to excellent.

Adventure initially seems underwhelming because Television have gone for a softer, mellower sound, and in contrast to Marquee Moon's stark audio fidelity, the considerably lusher production job here sounds overproduced.

The problem comes down to the songwriting. The very obvious highlight is the Richard Lloyd tune "Days", rather than of Verlaine's seven contributions. "Days" is transcendently wistful, glorious pop, quality enough to rival even Ray Davies' tune bearing the same title, though closer in spirit to the Gene Clark side of The Byrds rather than The Kinks.

The rest of the songs simply aren't in the same league. Adventure doesn't reach the stellar highs of the previous album's "Venus", or even "Guiding Light". Verlaine's songs are either pleasant trifles such as the boppy opener "Glory". Or the boppy "Careful". Or the boppy "Ain't That Nothin'" (I think I'm beginning to see a pattern), else they're overblown epics such as "Foxhole" (which works, love that soldier boy! yell smack in the middle), and "The Fire" (which doesn't, nice eerie atmospherics though).

The album closes with the drifting, almost listless, yet lovely "The Dream's Dream", which at 6:39 is the longest track with the longest guitar solos; "Marquee Moon" it ain't, but leaving that comparison aside (which I doubt was possible for any listener in 1978) and it's a fine composition in its own right.

In short this is a good album, just not a great album. It's a sleeper, one that gets under-rated because it exists in the shadow of its predecessor, but listeners coming in no expectations might be surprised by how pleasant and in spots excellent this album is.

Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Creative Noise (blogging at Creative Noise)
13th June 2017

I couldn't help but be a little bit disappointed on first hearing this album. Even though I'd already read all the 'it's just not as good as the first one' comments, I was still surprised at how conventional it sounds compared to Marquee Moon.

The songs are almost self-consciously simple, and the darkness and mood of the debut are altogether missing, and - even more of a crime - so is most of the interesting guitar work. I wouldn't say Television were necessarily trying for a hit - they're too obtuse for such crassness - but they sure weren't feeling the same emotions that led them down such passionate roads in the past.

So, approaching Adventure expecting Marquee Moon Pt.2 will result in being lost from the first note. But if you go in looking for a tuneful well-crafted album of skewed pop songs, you're going to have a great time - think less 'earth quaking paranoia' and more 'mid-80s REM', and you're halfway there.

Coming from such a morbid group of dudes, Adventure is a very cheery album, and is oddly free of art-moves. The band just went into the studio with some tunes, and then tried their darndest to lift the heavy air left by their last album.

But if you must have your Television dark and shocking, listen to "Foxhole" first, as it's as close as Adventure gets to gripping city drama. It's driven by an almost Cheap Trick-ish feel, and Verlaine's guitar is definitely marked 'lead' in this instance. The solo is original too, and just different enough to keep me guessing - I hear it growing from Neil Young this time round, rather than San Francisco acid/rock.

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by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza (blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct])
12th October 2017