Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music: Sixth Edition [Greil Marcus] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The perfect gift for. Mystery Train has ratings and reviews. Michael said: This is a masterpiece from Greil Marcus about what makes American rock-n-roll such a speci. Praise. Praise for Mystery Train: “Mystery Train changed a lot of things for me. Most basically, it plugged me into a lifetime’s worth of listening. Because of it, I.

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Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll

The thesis seems like a young person’s, to this young person– it draws maybe just a little too heavily a few core American texts I love Huck Finn and Moby-Dick and “Studies in Classic American Myystery too, but can they and they alone really be said to capture the American experience? I was blown away by the original Sun sessions of Elvis and grew an entirely new appreciation of Bob Dylan’s work with The Band, Sly Stone’s music as well as that of Mr. Just for openers there’s Harmonica Frank, the never-made-it white honky-tonker of the ’50’s and Robert Johnson whose restless, evil blues influenced everyone from Clapton to the Rolling Stones.

Unfortunately, that is Marcus’s most cogent chapter because he actually provides evidence for his “analysis” of Newman, which is more than I might say for his other chapters.

It has been fairly said of Marcus that “everything reminds him of everything else” Anyway, now I never ask or expect anything from anyone ever. It was the voice. One looks harder for the comforts of similarity, and shes from the risks of diversity. Trivia About Mystery Train: Mystery Trainaccording to one reviewer, reflects on what could be called “the historical turn” that rock took at the close of the 60sinitiated by Bob Dylan and the Bandand followed through by everyone from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Randy Newmanthe music moving “beyond rock’n’roll’s teenage immersion in the present to an adult sophistication steeped in deep knowledge of rock’s roots in blues and country and lyrics that likewise looked to the past for inspiration.

Nov 15, Harriett Milnes rated it really liked it Shelves: In contrast to the looming presence of race, however, another great dichotomy is simply invisible—in Marcus’ rock’n’roll, women do not exist except as audiences and backup singers.


And that’s an achievement I cannot entirely discount.

I do think it’s somewhat annoying to read discriptions of songs and records which you know you’ll never actually get around to hearing Hound dogs, Boomers and other makers of noise. This book was mainly useful to me born in 84 as a primary document of what it was like to live in the 7 This book may have been filled with interesting and relevant information, but the writing style was this terrible stream-of-consciousness nonsense, and the author kept comparing rock songs to classic lit books, like Moby Dick.

I’ve resisted the pull of Greil Marcus for years now. Worth tuning in, even if it requires some effort. Devil’s Music, Holy Rollers and Hillbillies.

If you are interested in the musicians listed on the cover Elvis, Sly Stone, The Band, Randy Newmanconsider a separate biography about them. But this book established the possibility for me of thinking deeply and knowledgeably about rock and roll as a cultural form. Sometimes, though, you want something more: There’s no clear thesis despite the subtitle of the b The latest edition is two books in one: This is half the book.

But the matcus edition is a triumph, and amply demonstrates why Marcus keeps going back to it once a decade or so. I like rock and roll, I like music, I probably listen to more genres of music than the average American, I like rock biographies, and I like American history – so why not read this book that is a modern classic and the reviews say I should read?

Mystery Train

It focuses on the origins of rock music in the blues and then profiles four completely different artists: Elvis, with his adoration for his mother and for the gospel songs she loved, was more our speed. And while as a fan I enjoyed seeing that Sly Stone was included as one trani the principals in the book, his section drifted from its named subject more so than any other, which was disappointing.

Open Preview See a Problem? Of course, Marcus must be right. Dec 30, Mike Bender rated it really liked it.

Greil Marcus: Mystery Train

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Mar 26, Paul Secor rated it did not like it. Had a new copy of this and decided to reread it.


All in all, a good book for election season The man is now 70 years old and the obsession seems as strong as ever. His version of every song—however wild and strange—became the defining one for me. Culture, as Robert Orsi following Geertz puts it, is the world that we make and sustain together, inheriting the work those before us have done while simultaneously taking it all for granted and working on that inheritance.

This page was last edited on 26 Marchat This is a masterpiece from Greil Marcus about what makes American rock-n-roll such a special beast. It becomes easier to think that nothing is new under the tfain, or that if there is, that one can no longer be a part of what is new.

The drawback as such to a book like this is that it does contain an extensive almost larger than the main course itself! This book was mainly useful to me born in 84 as a primary document of what it was like to live in the 70s.

Greil Marcus does a lot of dancing about architecture in this book, first published in and updated for this fifth edition in It is an odd, if all too common, blind spot for someone otherwise so observant.

Dec 07, Johanna rated it really liked it. I’ll underline a totally nugatory line right next to a brilliant observation. Sep 01, Tanya rated it it was amazing. This can be enthralling if you’re a fan or scholar of the artist in question- I was actually pretty riveted to his discussion of Robert Johnson. And Marcus failed to bring me any closer. His two albums of Country Western music opened up all of that, especially the original recordings of Hank Williams.

Jul 30, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was amazing Shelves: His imagination helps make Big Pink a better record. He makes me feel as if I never even turned on trajn radio. Ultimately, “Mystery Train” has its place in the pantheon of rock books as a first-of-its-kind, and as a decent history in places. Curious how Marcus nitpicks grei, the section: