Focusing on a handful of performers - Harmonica Frank, Robert Johnson, the Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman, and Elvis Presley - Greil Marcus opens up the American story of ambition and defeat, dreams and lies. This fifth edition includes an updated version of the ever-expanding Notes and Discographies section, exploring the evolution and continuing impact of the performers and recordings featured in this book.
With this 1975 publication, an up-and-coming rock music writer transformed the landscape of critical musical dialog. Greil Marcus was only 30 when he published this dense, definitive, and defiant book tracing rock music's evolution from the blues. But what makes MYSTERY TRAIN truly a canonical work is the way Marcus infuses his discussions--of musical greats, as well as of lesser known figures--with personal passion and monumental claims about what rock music can tell us about American culture at large. Marcus divides his opus into two sections: "The Ancestors," in which he discusses innovative bluesmen Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson, and "The Inheritors," in which he looks at The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, Randy Newman, and Elvis. The careful balancing act between the personal and the political that Marcus rides throughout this book--the fanboy enthusiasm he reveals combined with grand, big-picture ideas--will be one of Marcus's defining critical characteristics that he will develop over a long career, and it all starts here.
- Social Science, Music, Biography + Autobiography
- Composers + Musicians, General, Popular Culture, History + Criticism, Genres + Styles / Rock
- March 25, 2008
- March 25, 2008
- Greil Marcus