More than 20 years after its initial publication, Mystery Train remains one of the smartest, most provocative books ever written about rock-and-roll. Marcus puts his subjects--which include Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, The Band, Randy Newman, and Sly Stone--into their proper context, which is the culture-at-large. He makes you understand why these musicians matter, and what they've contributed to the American imagination. In his introduction, Marcus confesses that he's no longer "capable of mulling over Elvis without thinking about Herman Melville"--to the benefit, I might add, of both parties.
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Praise for Mystery Train:
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"Gets as close to the heart and soul of America and American music as the best of rock 'n' roll." –Bruce Springsteen
“Perhaps the finest book ever written about pop music.” –Alan Light, The New York Times Book Review, 2005
“Greil Marcus developed an ability to discern an art movement, or an entire country, lurking inside a song.” –The New Yorker, 2004
“Probably the most astute critic of American popular culture since Edmund Wilson.” –D.D. Guttenplan, London Review of Books, 2007
“The 1975 appearance of Greil Marcus’ first book, Mystery Train, was an explosion as unexpected and indelible as the first records Elvis Presley had cut almost exactly twenty years before.” –Mark Rozzo, Los Angeles Times’ Book Review, 2006