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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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. Elvis, with his adoration for his mother and for the gospel songs she loved, was more our speed. If you are interested in the musicians listed on the cover Elvis, Sly Stone, The Band, Randy Newmanconsider a separate biography about them.

Trivia About Mystery Train: Paperbackpages. Unfortunately, I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did.

Mystery Train

It is a must read for fans of rock music and a magnificent testimony to mysyery art behind the legends as well as the ethos behind the music. But in these short chapters Marcus delves fearlessly into grand subjects.

He’s made me anxious, in the past Published May 1st by Plume first published Mar 06, Matt Comito rated it really liked it. 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.

Jul 31, Gabriel Conroy rated it did not like it. Basically, if you care about American music, literature, culture, history, and mythology, you have to read this book. Mystwry 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.

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

In the chapter on Robert Johnson, for instance, Marcus claims that when Eric Clapton, in “Layla,” hopes that his I might as well just write a book about the exact same bands Marcus talks about and claim whatever it is I want to claim about them. Yes, I agree, Greil Marcus is a waffling, grating self-parody of a tall-foreheaded fierce rock crit whose favourite obsessions are painfully predictable Robert Johnson, Randy Newman, Elvis for starters.


Also, the author pronounced Gry-el Marcks expected his reader to already have a ton of background information about the times and the music, which was annoying.

Too much is settled. In other news, everyone loves the Elvis chapter but, except for the end where he explains his theory of American popular culture, it’s my least favorite. The chapter on Staggerlee- the man, the myth, the legend is absolutely essential, I think, to getting at the heart of a certain kind of American poetry in this case, a folk ballad and American violence bad man, cruel Stagolee Marcus writes with some serious verv I had never read Greil Marcus before and I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting.

Marcus had listened to everything, and had mystrry vivid opinions about all of it. The other half is Notes and Discographies, which was updated in The artists he covers in this book are beloved to him: There is simply too much to forget.

Marcus wants it both ways: At its best, this is what rock music does—and, at worst, this is what real rock music at least aspires to. But Marcus makes him come alive. He draws connections—that’s mysterh he’s best at—unlikely connections between American rock music and literature, politics, and other arts for don’t you think politics is an art?

One of the best books on Elvis. I was also reminded how much this guy trakn of the art he cared about. The man is now 70 years old and the obsession seems as strong as ever. The notes are often as good as the text. As “Ancestors,” Harmonica Frank who? No trivia or quizzes yet. One of the great musical moments of my life. I remembered how blown away I was when I first heard Johnson after buying the double cassette “King of the Delta Blues Singers” from a discount bin when I was in high school.


Marcus seems to think Elvis resurrected himself at least briefly midway in his career, a moment that I seem to have missed. He seems to be interested in the exact same things I’m interested in; namely, rock and roll, American democracy, and the intersections of rock and roll and American democracy.

Mystery Train by Greil Marcus | : Books

The front is the examination, done in a socio-politico-economic-philosophic style that tends to sink under the weight of its own self importance and lofty language at times.

But geril book established the possibility for me of thinking deeply and knowledgeably about rock and roll as a cultural form. I listened to Elvis and the Beatles and the Stones and everybody else through my high school years, and followed the general currents of music on into college, and the six years when I taught secondary marcuss.

Now, firmly established marxus a classic, the fourth edition features a completely new introduction as well as an entirely updated discography that includes CDs for the first time. I admit the man was a lousy actor and seemed to be reading the lines from cue cards, but there were a lot of beautiful women in those movies, and there were always a few good songs.

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. He makes me feel as if I never even turned on a radio. Obviously, someone looking to pick up Mystery Train for the first time should go straight to the fifth edition and behold the expanded discography, which I’m pretty sure is now longer than the main part of the book.


But Marcus has read even the novels about Elvis, of which there seems to be a substantial number. Of course, Marcus must be right.

He’s not lazy — too well researched for that. Marcus faces this divide unflinchingly on almost every page. His analysis of the end of the s still resonates: