Revue de presse
'Marcus's approach yields fresh insight into one of pop's most complex personas.' San Francisco Chronicle
'Beautifully written.' Portland Oregonian
'[Marcus is] literate, brainy and fearless in making cross-genre comparisons.' Portland Mercury
'One of the most interesting rock scribes of the past quarter-century.' --Washington City Paper
'No critical testimonial is more welcome than this assessment of Morrison's work by one of America's most astute cultural critics.... Marcus is informed and insightful. Particularly illuminating are his observations on the tensions between Morrison's roles as singer and songwriter, and on Morrison's ongoing 'quest for the yarragh' --Booklist
'This is a journey worth taking, an exploration of the Irishness central to the most perplexing individual who ever came off that island with suitcase and guitar in hand ... You will search for a long time before you read a more enthralling and original interpretation of 'Madame George', Morrison's grand lament on Astral Weeks. Over 16 pages he dissects this incredible song with the care of a lover and skill of a surgeon.' -- Kevin Mitchell, Observer
'Writing about the songs of Van Morrison is rightly seen as something of a paradox. Perhaps that's because, for all his scholarly use of multiple musical styles and his references to Yeats and Joyce, the Belfast Cowboy's work is more sensual than it is intellectual. Which makes the renowned rock critic Greil Marcus, who's written definitively on Elvis and Bob Dylan, the right man to plumb that work. Combining an incantatory prose style with careful reporting and inventive, sometimes infuriating judgments, Marcus manages to illuminate Morrison's cerebral soul music - even if, as the singer once claimed, 'the process is beyond words' ... Still, that's what the most thoughtful music critics make you do: argue like crazy about their choices and ideas. And it's what Marcus does here - reminding us, even as he antagonizes us, why we listen to Morrison in the first place.' --New York Times
'There's a fascinating 20-page essay on Astral Weeks, an album much written about but rarely as perceptively or as thoughtfully as here ... [This book] is clearly the product of many, many years of listening and thinking and of a deep love of the music. It's also wondrously bold and ambitious.' --Marcus Berkman, Spectator
Présentation de l'éditeur
'Van Morrison,' says Greil Marcus, 'remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of modern popular music.' When Astral Weeks was released in 1968, it was largely ignored. When it was re-released as a live album in 2009 it reached the top of the Billboard charts, a first for any Van Morrison recording. The wild swings in the music, mirroring the swings in Morrison's success and in people's appreciation (or lack of it) of his music, make Van Morrison one of the most perplexing and mysterious figures in popular modern music, and a perfect subject for the wise and insightful scrutiny of Greil Marcus, one of America's most dedicated cultural critics.
This book is Marcus's quest to understand Van Morrison's particular genius through the extraordinary and unclassifiable moments in his long career, beginning in 1965 and continuing in full force to this day. In these dislocations Marcus finds the singer on his own artistic quest precisely to reach some extreme musical threshold, the moments that are not enclosed by the will or the intention of the performer but which somehow emerge at the limits of the musician and his song.