The History of Rock n Roll in Ten Songs by Greil MarcusOne of our finest critics gives us an altogether original history of rock ’n’ roll
Unlike all previous versions of rock ’n’ roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize 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.
Top 10 Rock and Roll Pioneers
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Now you can personalize your Truthdig experience. To bookmark your favorite articles, please create a user profile. A password will be e-mailed to you. Statements and opinions expressed in articles and comments are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions. For more than a decade, Truthdig has served the public and proved time and again to be an ethical, reliable, truly independent source of progressive news, commentary and criticism.
We'll send you a link to create a new password.
Hundreds of artists, too. He lists the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees as continuous text at one point.
Some of the choices seem like personal quirks. But the single sure had a cool cover. No one bested post-punk darlings Joy Division when it came to boyish good looks and relentless despair. In an oblique rock history sense, they were pivotal, taking the obscurantist minimalist experiments of bands like Wire and making them viable options for an entire genre of music. This was the last single the band released before singer Ian Curtis killed himself.