Deep Dive: Tom Verlaine – The First Five Years
Today we celebrate the birthday of Tom Verlaine, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for his work with the band Television. Just because thatâs why heâs best known, however, doesnât mean that itâs all heâs done, which is why we thought weâd celebrate his birthday by doing a deep dive into the four albums he released during the first five years of his solo career.
â¢ TOM VERLAINE (1979): If you think Verlaineâs self-titled solo debut sounds more like a Television album than anything, well, thereâs a reason for that: several of the songs were originally intended for the band. In the end, that didnât happen, but they still turned out to be classic entries into Verlaineâs solo catalog, kicking off his album in critically-acclaimed fashion. Probably the most notable track on the album is âKingdom Come,â as it was subsequently covered by David Bowie on his SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) album.
â¢ DREAMTIME (1981): Creatively speaking, Verlaine clearly was in no slump when he released his sophomore album. Even better, it provided him with his first solo entry into the Billboard 200, with the album climbing to #177. Yes, we know, itâs not like it went triple platinum, but all things considered, thatâs still pretty amazing.
â¢ WORDS FROM THE FRONT (1982): While not as acclaimed as its predecessors, Verlaineâs third album was still greeted rapturously by the UK press, with New Musical Express citing it as one of the top 50 albums of 1982. Also notable is that fact that Lene Lovich guested on two tracks: âDays on the Mountainâ (on saxophone) and âPostcard from Waterlooâ (on vocals).
â¢ COVER (1984): Once again, a critical smash which wound up in NMEâs top 50 albums of the year, but it didnât make its way into the Billboard 200. On the other hand, it climbed all the way to #35 on the Swedish Albums chart. No, we donât know why. Well, you know, aside from the fact that Swedes have notoriously solid taste in music...