Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes
Out of a house called Big Pink came music that remains as seductive and baffling today as it was over thirty years ago.
‘Marcus’s contention is that there can be found in American folk a community as deep, as electric, as perverse and as conflicted as all America, and that the songs Dylan recorded out of the public eye, in a basement in Woodstock with the group who would later become The Band, are where that community as a whole gets to speak . . . Books this good should be burnt’ Mark Sinker, Wire
‘We owe God a death, and Greil Marcus owed all God’s children a lifework on Bob Dylan. And here it is, one heaven of a book . . . what Marcus brings to these songs is a variety of good things: fierce fervour, social convictions, a loving discrimination, never a touch of envy and an extraordinary ability to evoke in words the very feel (throaty, threatening, thorough, thick with thought) of a man’s voice, of this man’s voice’ Christopher Ricks, Guardian
‘You will want to read its most provoking parts over and over and chances are, twenty years from now, it will stand as one of the classics of American criticism’ Mikal Gilmore, Observer
‘A rare ability to describe the genesis of a song and make it sound better than any song you have ever heard’ Tim Adams, Times Literary Supplement
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Invisible republic: Bob Dylan's basement tapesUser Review - Book Verdict
Marcus here expands on his liner notes to the 1975 Basement Tapes album, the first official release of the legendary recordings by Bob Dylan and the Band in 1967. One of rock's most respected writers, Marcus (Ranters and Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-92, LJ 4/15/93) draws on a dizzying breadth of references that link Dylan's music with such disparate sources as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Jefferson, and Moby Dick. Strongest are the parallels drawn between the basement tapes and the Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music compilation album, which was the catalyst for the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately, Marcus often seems overly impressed by his own prose at the risk of obscuring his point: "The performance turned the wheel of its lassitude" sounds good, but what does it mean? Extremely useful is the annotated discography of all known recordings (more than 100) from the basement tapes sessions. Expect demands from fans of both the author and artist.--Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., Cal.
The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes
Greil Marcus,Bob Dylan
Limited preview - 2001