Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus was first published in As the title implies, the book was an in-depth. Dylan’s Old Weird America. Sean Wilentz ▫ Spring Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus Henry Holt and Company, This is Greil Marcus’s acclaimed book on the secret music made by Bob a phrase that has become part of the culture: “the old, weird America.

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Retrieved from ” https: Henry Holt and Company. Since it was written, more songs and a deluxe set have came out; the appendix where Marcus writes of each and every Basement Tape song is lacking over an hour’s worth of material. While the content and concepts within this book were fascinating, I really could not stomach Marcus’ ridiculously obtuse writing style.

Or perhaps this book documents a timeless art form baptised in the subconscious waters of oblivion. Saying goodbye to several dozen books due to a water damage incident and I thought I’d write at least a little memorial to each of them and about why I kept them around. Marcus establishes The Basement Tapes as a nexus for myriad paths of American expression and legacy.

Views Read Edit View history. It may not actually ever have existed, mind you, but it’s been the spirit possessing middle-class kids and forcing a twang into their tunes Harry Smith conjured it up back in This book displays all of Greil Marcus’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s not an attempt to define or decode The book largely concerns itself with Anthology of American Folk Music, a box opd of recordings that partly formed the basis of Bob Dylan’s tastes. Was Bob Dylan a genius?

The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes

Please review your cart. One of Marcus’s key points is that the sounds made by a people as music often tell their histories as well or better than any other source. The Cutting Edge — Vol. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Marcus gives us hagiography, Dylan the mystic awakened something eternal when he went electric. This vein continues however vain. The most pretentious aspect of my copy of the book is that its subject wildly endorses it.


The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus

But at others, the information and analysis is penetrating, especially when he writes about the “masks” donned by Americans. The long lost basement tapes were finally released! He’s been studying the Basement Tapes since before they were commercially released and he has a lot of ideas and suspicious connections to talk about.

The Shape of Things to Come. It gave the album a bit more of a narrative, which is, as i opened up with, pretty cool. This is not his only point however. The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music. Who Is That Man? One of Dylan’s most mythical albums is the Basement Tapes. The Story of Lily Allen. Then when my pile is completed I will dance around laughing and sprinkling petrol whilst the hi fi blasts out either The Martian Hop, or Surfin’ Bird or Beat on the Brat with a Baseball Bat, haven’t made up my mind, and I will torch the whole lot.

But it is for the phrase that originally was used as nothing more than a chapter title that he will probably best be remembered for. Some days I eat the Greil, some days the Marcus eats me. In a strange case of inverted logic, the most solid critical research is provided in the page discography at the back of the book, with some revealing background research on both Dylan and the folk songs mentioned in the body of the book.


The list of masks could go on and on. Marcus about the context that the Basement T While the content and concepts within this book were fascinating, I really could not stomach Marcus’ ridiculously obtuse writing style.

Previously published as Invisible Republic and already considered a classic of modern American cultural criticismThe Old, Weird America is Greil Marcus’s widely acclaimed book on the secret music the so-called “Basement Tapes” made by Bob Dylan and the Band while in seclusion in Woodstock, New York, in a folksy yet funky, furious yet hilarious music that remains as seductive and baffling today as it was more than thirty years ago.

A maginfiecet exploration of the subconscious underneath of the summer of love and music.

Still, inthe book’s a little dated. I’ll admit that yet again a Marcus penned book largely went over my head. How could you so masterfully suck all of the ameruca and enjoyment out of such profoundly freewheeling and spirited recordings? When considering this challenge for it was obvious that reading five books by or about Bob Dylan would be much more problematic than achieving the same with Derrida and Dickens.

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The updated paperback editionPicador is retitled The Old, Weird America wwird, a term coined by Marcus to describe the often eerie countrybluesand folk music featured on the Anthology of American Folk Grwil ; released Best read with the Basement tapes blasting out at max volume. The best part of the book are the Works Cited and the extensive Discography sections at the end.

Greil Marcus felt the same way. Mar 05, Melting Uncle rated it liked it Shelves: