New Release Books by Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is the author of More Real Life Rock (2022), The Manchurian Candidate (2020), Under the Red White and Blue (2021), Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations (2015) and other 65 books.

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More Real Life Rock

release date: Mar 29, 2022
More Real Life Rock
A funny, fierce, and uninhibited musical chronicle of the convulsive past six years, from one of our finest cultural critics

The Manchurian Candidate

release date: May 14, 2020
The Manchurian Candidate
"It may be the most sophisticated political thriller ever made in Hollywood," film critic Pauline Kael wrote of John Frankenheimer''s terrifying 1962 political thriller about an American serviceman brainwashed in Korea and made into an assassin. Sophisticated to be sure, it''s also a headlong fall through the looking-glass of American politics and the most deeply prophetic film of the second half of the American century. As Greil Marcus reconstructs the drama, The Manchurian Candidate is a movie in which the director and actors, including Laurence Harvey, Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury in an Academy Award-nominated performance, were suddenly capable of anything, beyond any expectations. This edition includes a new foreword highlighting the movie''s terrifying contemporary relevance in the age of Trump and Russian interference in the US Presidential election.

Under the Red White and Blue

release date: Sep 21, 2021
Under the Red White and Blue
A deep dive into how F. Scott Fitzgerald''s vision of the American Dream has been understood, portrayed, distorted, misused, and kept alive An "astute, challenging, and far-reaching" look (Kirkus Reviews, starred) at how F. Scott Fitzgerald''s vision of the American Dream has been understood, portrayed, distorted, misused, and kept alive "Now more than ever, we need to think long and hard about our collective national fantasies. There''s no one better suited to this task than Greil Marcus."--David Treuer, author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Renowned critic Greil Marcus takes on the fascinating legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald''s The Great Gatsby. An enthralling parable (or a cheap metaphor) of the American Dream as a beckoning finger toward a con game, a kind of virus infecting artists of all sorts over nearly a century, Fitzgerald''s story has become a key to American culture and American life itself. Marcus follows the arc of The Great Gatsby from 1925 into the ways it has insinuated itself into works by writers such as Philip Roth and Raymond Chandler; found echoes in the work of performers from Jelly Roll Morton to Lana Del Rey; and continued to rewrite both its own story and that of the country at large in the hands of dramatists and filmmakers from the 1920s to John Collins''s 2006 Gatz and Baz Luhrmann''s critically reviled (here celebrated) 2013 movie version--the fourth, so far.

Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations

release date: Oct 07, 2015
Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations
Greil Marcus delves into three distinct episodes in the history of American commonplace song and shows how each one manages to convey the uncanny sense that it was written by no one. In these seemingly anonymous productions, we discover three different ways of talking about the United States, and three separate nations within its borders.

Mystery Train

release date: Jun 04, 2015
Mystery Train
Greil Marcus''s study of American rock ''n'' roll is justly regarded as one of the most accomplished examples of contemporary music writing. Using a handful of artists -- a brace of bluesmen, The Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman and Elvis Presley -- Marcus illuminates and interprets the American Dream in rigorous prose, touching on myth, landscape and oral tradition. The result is an invigorating and wholly original study -- here in its revised, sixth edition -- that remains a high watermark in cultural criticism.

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones

release date: Oct 01, 2014
The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones
Stanley Booth, a member of the Rolling Stones'' inner circle, met the band just a few months before Brian Jones drowned in a swimming pool in 1968. He lived with them throughout their 1969 tour across the United States, staying up all night together listening to blues, talking about music, ingesting drugs, and consorting with groupies. His thrilling account culminates with their final concert at Altamont Speedway—a nightmare of beating, stabbing, and killing that would signal the end of a generation''s dreams of peace and freedom. But while this book renders in fine detail the entire history of the Stones, paying special attention to the tragedy of Brian Jones, it is about much more than a writer and a rock band. It has been called—by Harold Brodkey and Robert Stone, among others—the best book ever written about the 1960s. In Booth''s afterword, he finally explains why it took him 15 years to write the book, relating an astonishing story of drugs, jails, and disasters. Updated to include a foreword by Greil Marcus, this 30th anniversary edition is for Rolling Stones fans everywhere.

History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

release date: Sep 02, 2014
History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs
The legendary critic and author of Mystery Train “ingeniously retells the tale of rock and roll” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Unlike previous versions of rock ’n’ roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs and dramatizes how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun. “Transmission” by Joy Division. “All I Could Do Was Cry” by Etta James and then Beyoncé. “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” first by the Teddy Bears and almost half a century later by Amy Winehouse. In Marcus’s hands these and other songs tell the story of the music, which is, at bottom, the story of the desire for freedom in all its unruly and liberating glory. Slipping the constraints of chronology, Marcus braids together past and present, holding up to the light the ways that these striking songs fall through time and circumstance, gaining momentum and meaning, astonishing us by upending our presumptions and prejudices. This book, by a founder of contemporary rock criticism—and its most gifted and incisive practitioner—is destined to become an enduring classic. “One of the epic figures in rock writing.”—The New York Times Book Review “Marcus is our greatest cultural critic, not only because of what he says but also, as with rock-and-roll itself, how he says it.”—The Washington Post Winner of the Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award in Music Criticism, given by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers

The Doors

release date: Apr 09, 2013
The Doors
A fan from the moment the Doors'' first album took over KMPX, the revolutionary FM rock & roll station in San Francisco, Greil Marcus saw the band many times at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom in 1967. Five years later it was all over. Forty years after the singer Jim Morrison was found dead in Paris and the group disbanded, one could drive from here to there, changing from one FM pop station to another, and be all but guaranteed to hear two, three, four Doors songs in an hour—every hour. Whatever the demands in the music, they remained unsatisfied, in the largest sense unfinished, and absolutely alive. There have been many books on the Doors. This is the first to bypass their myth, their mystique, and the death cult of both Jim Morrison and the era he was made to personify, and focus solely on the music. It is a story untold; all these years later, it is a new story.

The Old, Weird America

release date: Apr 26, 2011
The Old, Weird America
A Special Edition with a New Introduction and an Updated Discography This is Greil Marcus''s acclaimed book on the secret music made by Bob Dylan and the Band in 1967, which introduced a phrase that has become part of the culture: "the old, weird America." It is this country that the book maps—the "playground of God, Satan, tricksters, Puritans, confidence men, illuminati, braggarts, preachers, anonymous poets of all stripes" (Luc Sante, New York magazine). In honor of Dylan''s seventieth birthday, this special edition includes a new introduction, an updated discography, and a cover featuring never-before-seen photographs of the legendary recording sessions.

Best Music Writing 2009

release date: Oct 08, 2010
Best Music Writing 2009
Best Music Writing has faithfully collected the year''s most compelling writing on music for a decade now, so it''s appropriate this special edition be guest-edited by one of the best-known writers on music and popular culture, Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces, Mystery Train, Like a Rolling Stone, and other groundbreaking excursions into the very fabric of music, America, and beyond. As always, Series Editor Daphne Carr has culled an impressively wide range of essays, profiles, news articles, interviews, creative non-fiction, fiction, book reviews, long-format reviews, blog posts, and journal articles on music and music culture, from rock and hip-hop to RandB and jazz to pop, blues, and more. Writers who have been published in Best Music Writing include Alex Ross, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Powers, Dave Eggers, Susan Orlean, and more.

Lipstick Traces

release date: Nov 30, 2009
Lipstick Traces
This is a secret history of modern times, told by way of what conventional history tries to exclude. Lipstick Traces tells a story as disruptive and compelling as the century itself.

The Shape of Things to Come

release date: Aug 21, 2007
The Shape of Things to Come
A panoramic study of the American identity examines the nation''s fable of self-invention, from the colonial period to the present day, arguing that the promise of America lies less and less in the political realm but more in the work of individual artists, writers, musicians, and others who strikingly dramatize the challenge the U.S. poses to each of its citizens. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

release date: Sep 02, 2014
The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs
Selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008 that embody rock and roll as a thing in itself--in the story each song tells, inhabits, and creates in its legacy.

Like a Rolling Stone

release date: Apr 04, 2006
Like a Rolling Stone
Greil Marcus saw Bob Dylan for the first time in a New Jersey field in 1963. He didn''t know the name of the scruffy singer who had a bit part in a Joan Baez concert, but he knew his performance was unique. So began a dedicated and enduring relationship between America''s finest critic of popular music -- "simply peerless," in Nick Hornby''s words, "not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian" -- and Bob Dylan. In Like A Rolling Stone Marcus locates Dylan''s six-minute masterwork in its richest, fullest context, capturing the heady atmosphere of the recording studio in 1965 as musicians and technicians clustered around the mercurial genius from Minnesota, the young Bob Dylan at the height of his powers. But Marcus shows how, far from being a song only of 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" is rooted in faraway American places and times, drawing on timeless cultural impulses that make the song as challenging, disruptive, and restless today as it ever was, capable of reinvention by artists as disparate as the comedian Richard Belzer and the Italian hip-hop duo Articolo 31. "Like a Rolling Stone" never loses its essential quality, which is directly to challenge the listener: it remains a call to arms and a demand for a better world. Forty years later it is still revolutionary as will and idea, as an attack and an embrace. How Does it Feel? In this unique, burningly intense book, Marcus tells you, and much more besides.

Invisible Republic

release date: May 23, 2013
Invisible Republic
Out of a house called Big Pink came music that remains as seductive and baffling today as it was over thirty years ago. âe~Marcusâe(tm)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 burntâe(tm) Mark Sinker, Wire âe~We owe God a death, and Greil Marcus owed all Godâe(tm)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 manâe(tm)s voice, of this manâe(tm)s voiceâe(tm) Christopher Ricks, Guardian âe~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 criticismâe(tm) Mikal Gilmore, Observer âe~A rare ability to describe the genesis of a song and make it sound better than any song you have ever heardâe(tm) Tim Adams, Times Literary Supplement

Double Trouble

release date: Sep 22, 2001
Double Trouble
From the critic who knows music and culture like no other, a fascinating look at two outsiders who epitomize America''s fractured self-image In June of 1992, when all polls showed Bill Clinton didn''t have a chance, he took his saxophone onto the Arsenio Hall Show, put on dark glasses, and blew "Heartbreak Hotel." Greil Marcus, one of America''s most imaginative and insightful critics, was the first to name this as the moment that turned Clinton''s campaign around--and to make sense of why. In Double Trouble, drawing on pieces he published from 1992 to 2000, Marcus explores the remarkable and illuminating kinship between Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley. In a cultural landscape where ideals and choices are increasingly compromised and commodified, the constantly mutating representations of Clinton and Elvis embody the American struggle over purity and corruption, fear and desire. Focusing as well on Hillary Clinton, Nirvana, Sinéad O''Connor, Andy Warhol, Roger Clinton, and especially Bob Dylan, Marcus pursues the question of how culture is made and how, through culture, people remake themselves. The result is a unique and essential book about the final decade of the twentieth century.

Bob Dylan

release date: May 05, 2011
Bob Dylan
His foremost interpreter revisits more than forty years of listening to Dylan - weaving individual moods and moments into a brilliant history of their changing times. The book begins in Berkeley in 1968, and ends with a piece on Dylan''s show at the University of Minnesota on election night 2008. In between are moments of euphoric discovery: from Marcus'' sleeve notes for the 1967 Basement Tapes to his exploration of Dylan''s reimagining of the American experience in 1997''s Time Out of Mind. And rejection; Marcus''s Rolling Stone piece on Dylan''s album Self Portrait -- often referred to as the most famous record review ever written -- began with ''What is this shit?'' and led to his departure from the magazine for five years. Marcus follows not only recordings but performances. books, movies, and all manner of highways and byways in which Bob Dylan has made himself felt in our culture. Together, the dozens of pieces collected here comprise a portrait of how, throughout his career, Bob Dylan has drawn upon and reinvented the landscape of American song, its myths and choruses, heroes and villains. They are the result of more than forty years'' engagement between an unparalleled artist and a uniquely acute listener.
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