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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That was his real downfall. Dec 04, Erik rated it it was ok. The essays collected here cover a mere half-dozen bands and artists in depth: To ask other readers questions about Mystery Trainplease sign up.

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

Mystery Train is at the forefront of that conversation, grekl to me despite my not having understood too many of Marcus’ midth century pop culture references. All in all, a good book for election season And Marcus failed to bring me any closer.

Nobody would argue, I assume, with that last entry, at least as an influence. Marcus wants it both ways: Published May 1st by Plume first published From the trai shock tactics of Lyndon Baines Johnson to the ornate phrases of William FaulknerMarcus moves effortlessly from “high” culture to “low” scare quotes intentional and back again.

His analysis of the end of the s still resonates: For me it would be better to read a biography of Elvis than this critique. Unfortunately, I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did.

He makes the music or, if one wants to be uncharitable his impression of the music vivid, incisive, tough-minded, and profound. In what would have been his st year, Johnson’s song was sung by the President of the United States.

Oct 18, Karen-Leigh rated it really liked it Shelves: I have all these passages highlighted in yellow but they’re all completely random and usually not very interesting, sometimes just factual. The man is now 70 years old and the obsession seems as strong as mzrcus. Now, firmly established as a classic, the fourth edition features a completely new introduction as well as an entirely updated discography that includes CDs for the first time.


Both of those guys are more pimps than writers.

Mystery Train

Academic,perhaps, although only for those terrified of footnotes. Greil Marcus is a rough contemporary of mine, just three years older, and has had a long distinguished career.

It freaks me out, finding a Jack who’s better at being Jack than Jack. In the chapter on Robert Johnson, for instance, Marcus claims that when Eric Clapton, in “Layla,” hopes that his love will not be in mxrcus, the listener can hear the torment of the damned which somehow relates to something Robert Johnson might have said 40 years before Clapton nystery that song. 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.

Just not as a best-of-its-kind. Then again, if your opinion supported every baby boomer’s claim that modern music ceased mzrcus be relevant once they hit 30, you’d think every notion that came to you was important too. One looks harder for the comforts of similarity, and shes from the risks of diversity.

One of the great musical moments of my life. Marcus faces this divide unflinchingly on almost every page.

‘Mystery Train’ by Greil Marcus | All-TIME Nonfiction Books |

Dec 07, Johanna rated it really liked it. In the prologue, he relates that the book “is no attempt at synthesis, but a recognition of unities in the American imagination that already exist. I’m pretty well-versed in rock n roll and I’ve never so much as heard of him. The section on The Mysgery nearly dispenses with any analysis after a few pages and instead traces how disappointed Marcus became with them after their 2nd album.

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

From the calculated shock tactics of Lyndon Baines Johnson to the ornate phrases of William FaulknerMarcus moves effortlessly from “high” cul We all know what talking about music is like and for those who don’t, great googly moogly, don’t get me started. The drawback as such to a book like this is that it does contain an extensive almost larger than the main course itself! I think of myself as a major Elvis fan.

Yes, I agree, Greil Marcus is a waffling, grating self-parody of a ta Pretty much the big bang for those who like to plug their music collection into their book collection and let the two comingle, cohabit, collude and co-depend. What Marcus is writing about, finally, concerns our most potent images and archetypes–the jester and the guilty Puritan, Huck Finn and Captain Ahab arguing over the stakes of life in America–its possibilities, limits, promises, traps.


This is one of Marcus’s gifts. I would have said I had a strong interest in popular music around the time Marcus was writing, in What a strange book. He combines or better to say assimiliates varying traditions and social forces within American history and grsil culture, beginning with an artist, a moment, a tone, a mood, an instance and expanding it outward into larger and more elegant circles of reference and obscure mystefy connection until we get a sort of folk gestalt, an x-ray if you will, of another seemingly endless angle on the American consciousness, which is experiemntal to the bone.

I deserve a spot only in the caboose of the Mystery Train because I took a side track early in adolescence and never returned to the main line. A music as broad as rock’n’roll will always come up with some of each, and probably that’s just as it should be.

Feb 24, Padraic rated it it was amazing Shelves: Criticism is, or should be, about making the thing discussed more vivid, more alive, more complex and writhingly real. If politics once meant the fellowship of the street or the political community of a campus for those who were lucky enough to have known such things, more and more politics comes to mean voting—the most solitary political act there is—or, at best, talk with a few friends.

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 mywtery through by everyone from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Randy Newmanmarcux music moving “beyond rock’n’roll’s teenage immersion in the present to an adult ggeil steeped in deep knowledge of rock’s roots in blues and country and lyrics that likewise looked to the past for inspiration. I frequently use Dan Brown as a whipping boy for bad prose—but even I have to admit that despite Brown’s flaws, millions of people have read and enjoyed his books.