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The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs
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"This could be Marcus' most inviting book: Emotion paces erudition, and the present gets to ride shotgun with the past, real and imagined."-Will Hermes, Rolling Stone "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."-David Kirby, The Washington Post "In his new book, which is surely one of his best and most beautifully written, Marcus revisits ten songs, recorded during the last sixty years, some of them long forgotten, in order to capture the pulsating and powerful language of rock 'n' roll. . . . The book, I am certain, will compel readers to return to the songs Marcus has anointed, and to others. Even if they have heard them before, they will listen to them as if for the first time."-Glenn C. Altschuler, The Huffington Post "Marcus, of course, is one of the epic figures in rock writing. . . . Like so many of Marcus's previous books, The History of Rock `n' Roll in Ten Songs often feels like a tone poem or perhaps a written embodiment of the cultural memory. He flows through the songs and musicians he loves as if creating a waking dream crowded with the stars of rock history."-Toure, The New York Times Book Review "Revolutionary."-Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair "For Marcus, every great song is a Rosetta Stone, an esoteric code. This approach gives him great imaginative, literary breadth. . . . Out of Marcus' dozen or so books, Ten Songs is the purest distillation of his ideas. . . . The chapters on Joy Division, on Buddy Holly, and on the two `Money' songs are tours de force."-Carl Wilson, Slate "True musos need little introduction to Marcus, whose meditations on the rock and pop canon have delighted many. . . . Here, he is at his most ambitious and obtuse, defying the obvious choices to map an alternative history of popular music."-Louis Wise, The Sunday Times "Marcus rambles the back roads of rock history in this inventive and entertaining collection of short biographies of 10 songs spanning the entire breadth of rock-and-roll, from doo-wop to post-punk, demonstrating how rock's impulse to combine (and recombine) its influences made each possible and entirely original."-Jon Foro, from Amazon's Big Fall Books Preview, an Editor's Pick "Marcus ingeniously retells the tale of rock and roll as the undulating movement of one song through the decades, speaking anew in different settings. . . . Marcus brilliantly illustrates what many rock music fans suspected all along but what many rock critics have failed to say: rock 'n' roll is a universal language that transcends time and space and reveals all mysteries and truths."-Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "The book is really a series of essays, cunningly chiselled, lovingly woven, bold, tough and illuminating, the intention being `to feel one's way through music as a field of expression and as a web of affinities.'"-Mark Ellen, New Statesman "Overall, it's a stunning, virtuosic performance, as good as any and better than most of what Greil Marcus has written since 1975's genre-redefining Mystery Train. It's a hectic, wild and occasionally bumpy ride, loaded with trapdoors and wormholes leading to unexpected places where you never quite know who you'll confront next, and where you'll immediately yearn to hear every record to which he alludes."-Charles Shaar Murray, Literary Review "He is . . . a serious writer, dedicated to unlocking the hidden truths and secret meanings in popular music, making those cultural connections to literature, film, and art and by doing so elevating rock and pop music to a discipline that demands to be taken seriously."-Andy Childs, Caught by the River blog "Marcus is a man in brainy love with the music. I don't know of anyone else who writes as beautifully, and deeply, about songs and singing."-Roddy Doyle, The Irish Times "The title of the
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Greil Marcus lives in Oakland, CA. His books include Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music and Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.