Tom Verlaine’s 15 Essential Songs
Television, ‘Day’ (1978)
With key guitar hooks, pastoral choruses and vocal choruses, “Days” makes Television the closest approach to a pop single. However, that is not a compromise; it radiates an everyday mysticism.
Television, ‘Little Johnny Jewel – Living in San Francisco 1978’ (1978)
“Little Johnny Jewel” expands on both sides of the first TV single, in 1975, and on stage it expands even further, into a fun, sprawling, space-exploring track. never the same twice. Its base riff is a bit blunt — two three-note arpeggios — but all four members of the band were able to tease it, resist it, skim it or, at the start of about halfway through the long version These 12 minutes, unleash a guitar solo that climbs from a lament to a racing climax. The reaction, at a performance in 1978, was a standing ovation.
Tom Verlain, ‘Souvenirs from a dream’ (1979)
On his self-titled 1979 solo debut album, Verlaine welcomed the keyboard in his arrangement. The opening piano chords of “Souvenir From a Dream” bring a funny but dull tone to the song, prompting Verlaine to patiently explain: “Sir, you’ve gone the wrong way – I think you’d better turn around. again.”
Tom Verlain, ‘Kingdom Come’ (1979)
On a powerful marching beat, with guitar chords like distant fanfare, a prisoner prays for redemption. Verse by verse, the song moves from despair to hope.
Tom Verlain, ‘There’s a reason’ (1981)
In “There’s a Reason,” from Verlaine’s 1981 album “Dreamtime,” the feeling of infatuation feels like it’s being squeezed from every direction by feelings and emotions. It starts with a rough, seemingly simple riff, only to have that riff constantly get sidetracked by tremolo chords. And when the singer admits, “You are my vibration, honey,” the floodgates open and guitars and drums pour in.
Tom Verlain, ‘True story’ (1982)
“I’m so sorry, so sorry,” Verlaine sings, offering a desperate apology amid the pounding of guitar and drums – knife-like monochromatic notes, thorny lines, irreconcilable out-of-sync rhythms – does not promise any forgiveness.