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Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Fifth Edition
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Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Fifth Edition [Format Kindle]

Greil Marcus

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Catch a train to the heart of rock ?n? roll with this essential study of the quintessential American art form. First published in 1975, Greil Marcus?s Mystery Train remains a benchmark study of rock ?n? roll and a classic in the field of music criticism. Focusing on six key artists?Robert Johnson, Harmonica Frank, Randy Newman, the Band, Sly Stone, and Elvis Presley?Marcus explores the evolution and impact of rock ?n? roll and its unique place in American culture. This fifth edition of Mystery Train includes an updated and rewritten Notes and Discographies section, exploring the evolution and continuing impact of the recordings featured in the book.

Quatrième de couverture

«C'est donc un livre sur le rock'n'roll - une partie du rock'n'roll - et sur l'Amérique. Ce n'est pas une analyse historique ou purement musicale, ni une galerie de portraits. J'ai essayé d'élargir le contexte dans lequel on écoute la musique, d'analyser le rock non pas comme expression de la jeunesse, ou de la contre-culture, mais de la culture américaine elle-même.Les artistes sur lesquels j'ai choisi d'écrire m'intéressent en particulier parce qu'ils ont plus d'ambition que les autres et qu'ils prennent plus de risques. Ils prennent le risque du désastre artistique (dans le vocabulaire du rock : la prétention), de se mettre à dos un public qu'il est plus facile de flatter que de provoquer - leurs ambitions ont beaucoup à voir avec celles que Robbie Robertson avait pour le Band : "La musique ne doit jamais être inoffensive." Ce qui m'attire encore plus chez le Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman et Elvis, c'est que je pense qu'ils se voient comme des Américains symboliques. Pour moi, ils essaient, avec leur musique, d'être à la hauteur de ce rôle.»Greil Marcus.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1699 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 429 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : B00FUMKHKQ
  • Editeur : Plume; Édition : Fifth Edition, Revised (25 mars 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.3 étoiles sur 5  32 commentaires
32 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book for the lover of the rock and roll idiom 2 août 2000
Par Olly Buxton - Publié sur
Founding rolling stone writer Greil Marcus is what you'd describe, were you English and of a certain age, as an "Anorak". He's an obsessive, passionate, academic lover of rock 'n' roll in all its many forms. Here he sketches out a book structured in a loose fashion like the bible, in that it has an "old testament" surveying two of rock's 'ancestors' and a "new testament" on five of their 'inheritors'. It's a book about rock 'n' roll. In short, Marcus waxes long and with great hyperbole on things which most grown ups in this day and age find rather trifling.
Well, I don't, and I think this is a fantastic book. It's subjects are eclectic as can be: Robert Johnson is a reasonable enough choice for "ancestor of the rock 'n' roll tradition" but it would be a brave man who would pick one-man band "Harmonica Frank" Floyd, from Toccopola Mississippi, as the other. But Marcus does, and creates a fascinating case for his inclusion.
The threads he picks up of rock iconography are incredible - the myth of Stagger Lee, blended into the history of Sly Stone was something I'd never heard of, but it prompted me to head off in that direction and see what I could find. Likewise the short chapter on Robert Johnson.
In a lot of ways, that's the beauty of this book: For all its obsession-shot prose, it functions as a bunch of references; directions which the reader can follow up at leisure, and Marcus's effervescent writing style functions like a firm push between the shoulder blades. The bibliography is almost as long as the text, and it's well worth the read.
There are some who find Marcus' style too garish, and there is a view that he is too much of a boffin - an anorak, if you will - for his own good. I don't agree with that - Marcus is self-aware enough to see the funny side of himself and his subject matter, and he is always so enthusiastic that it isn't fair to say he misses the point, or the energy, of what he's writing about.
Marcus' later work, especially on punk rock, is well worth investigating too. Don't believe the nay-sayers who don't like his "straying" into punk: "In the Fascist Bathroom", Marcus' anthology of essays on punk rock is one of the funniest, most compelling reads I've had in a long while.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 In The American Grain 17 octobre 2000
Par Papa Hemingway - Publié sur
I am a 20yr old English American Studies student, a verified "america-phile" (this is how i've been described by americans in my year abroad at an american university, shocked as they are by my fascination w/ american culture)...this is one of the things that started it all for me. I first became interested in american culture through the music of the country and this book convinced me that american music could be seen "not as youth culture, or counterculture, but simply as American culture." (for me the book's key line, its thesis, the simplist and yet greatest explanation for the worth of studying popular music as you would literature or even film)...yes, i admit, the book is often complex and obscure, imprenatrable (most of it rests on Marcus's own assumptions and overriding optimism for the promise of the American dream), assuming a great deal of knowledge of american history and culture (as i learn more about this country, i find it extraordinarily rewarding to keep re-reading it, to pick up on more of the allusions) and yet it is still possibly the most rewarding and influential (to me anyway) book i have ever read, reminding me time and time again of the social-cultural-human power in american music, rather than simply its commercial power (which a lot of popular music studies, ie media studies, seem to focus on)...and the discography! this is worth the price of purchase alone! its like TS Eliots notes to 'The Waste Land'! So many albums I have bought simply from reading about them here...i recommend that anyone interested in american culture and rock n roll read this! and then peter gularnick's "sweet soul music" etc etc...
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 In Mr. Marcus, I, For One, Hear America Singing 29 avril 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Mystery Train is much more than just a very good piece of rock criticism, nor should it be remembered as perhaps the Father of Rock Criticism. This book is astounding because what Marcus is able to do is get inside a piece of music, an artist, a certain place in time, a brief second inside a recording studio or on a movie screen, and not only recall the moment (or what the moment might have resembled) but also manage to make the moment real for the reader. So often, when reading music criticism, one feels a distance between the work of art itself and the criticism in front of you. Seldom is the excitement, passion, or wonderful possibilities of art well discussed and analyzed, because most authors are unable to find that fine balance between salivating fan and distanced critic. In Mystery Train (and in his other books as well), Greil Marcus has found that balance - or, more precisely, he has refused to accept the balance as necessary. Whatever Marcus trains his eye upon becomes fascinating and important because he sees every possibility, every ramifcation, every opportunity to return to the overriding theme, which is America. After reading Mystery Train, I not only wanted to track down those old Harmonica Frank tapes and re-listen to my Robert Johnson record, and scrutinize The Band's "Brown Album"and Sly Stone and Randy Newman and Elvis - I also wanted to go beyond the book, to attempt to apply Marcus' vision to what I saw around me. For some reason, this book reminds me of the works of Thomas Pynchon, but not just because they're both regularly classified as "post-modernists" by critics and profs. Rather, I find that after reading Marcus and Pynchon, I find myself looking at things differently, recognizing possible patterns around me, being amazed at the myriad possibilities and variety of life. Mystery Train is not simply "a book about rock and roll." It is a work which exists on its own, a work which is both dependent upon and an improvement on the works it discusses and analyzes. Certainly, in 50 years, this book will be looked at as one of the finer moments in American criticism.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Landmark Randy Newman Chapter 26 juillet 2000
Par R. W. Rasband - Publié sur
Many people love this book for "Presleyiad", the lengthy mythic analysis of Presley's career. Others like the Sly Stone chapter, or the riveting section on Robert Johnson. What makes this book special for me, however, is the Randy Newman chapter. Marcus may have been the first critic to propose that Newman was a great American composer and he makes a passionate, convincing case. In recent years Newman may have been embarrassed at being singled out so strongly by Marcus, and Marcus may disparage Newman's most recent work (unjustly, I think.) That doesn't change the landmark character of Marcus' great book. Too bad he went off the deep end with punk and "Lipstick Traces."
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Still one of the truly great Rock 'n' Roll books 14 octobre 2002
Par Robert Moore - Publié sur
The first edition of MYSTERY TRAIN appeared in 1975, and now appears in its 4th Edition. That a study of rock 'n' roll should appear in a 4th edition shows the ongoing appeal of this book, which easily makes any short list of the great books or rock criticism ever written.
Throughout all his work, Greil Marcus has been concerned not merely with rock 'n' roll on its own, divorced from the greater culture, but with the role it plays in the cultural life of America as a whole. For many cultural critics, Elvis was a disruption with what came before. For Marcus, Elvis is a natural outgrowth of primary trends in American life. No section of the book illustrates this as well as the one on Robert Johnson, in which he emerges as the natural heir to the Puritans, because, like them, Johnson takes the Devil seriously. No just in writing about Johnson or Elvis, Marcus seems to believe that there is something uniquely American about rock 'n' roll, as if it were an outgrowth of the American spirit and soul. It is a part of American history in a way that it is not a part of English history, even if many British bands could take up rock 'n' roll and play it as well or better than its American creators.
Marcus never fails to write with great intelligence and insight, and if he sometimes seems to make a point go further than it wants to go, it should be viewed as evidence of his trying to make as much sense out of the subject as he can. Marcus isn't content to write superficial, glib criticism. He wants to go below surfaces to what lies beneath. If he tries to make connections that one might not quite agree are there, I find that preferable to a kind of criticisms that isn't capable of seeing larger connections at all.
This is also in advertently sad book. Most of the figures he wrote about in 1975 were all still alive and were most were still active. Indeed, many of them seemed capable of continuing to produce great music. But none of the major figures discussed in the book are today alive and active in producing rock 'n' roll. Elvis would be dead two years after the publication of the first edition. The Band would disband and key figures in the band would die. Sly Stone would become embroiled in drugs and then disappear from the public eye entirely. Randy Newman would produce a few more albums, but would eventually leave rock to write movie soundtracks like his uncles Alfred, Emil, and Lionel. Marcus wasn't aware that he was writing about the past when he completed the first draft in 1974, but he was.
Still, if one wants highly intelligent, literate, sophisticated rock criticism, a kind of incisive writing that cannot today be found in ROLLING STONE or SPIN or anywhere else, this is the place to go. I actually prefer some of Marcus's other books to this one (in particular, LIPSTICK TRACES), but this remains his best overall book on rock.
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