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When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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The author is a huge fan as well.
Unfortunately, there isn't much in the book of any value to anyone beyond the author. The other reviews - from 1 to 5 stars - are all accurate. It's a question of taste how much you want to read his free-associating impressions about listening to about twenty of Van's songs -- when the author does not evidence much knowledge of music itself (I don't recall a single note, chord or other muscial concept being identified in here). If that is your cup of tea, buy the book. But that's all there is.
Btw, if you like anything from 1980's Common One through 1995's Days Like This (the latter of which I quite like), you're ignorant, from his perspective. They're not even worth discussing. Shovelware.
I was glad I bought this used.
In the end, perhaps, there's no substitute for listening to the Man himself. As for Mr Marcus, I strongly recommend "The Old Weird America" and his writings on Dylan instead.
Marcus has obviously spent much of his lifetime listening to Van Morrison. Morrison's music has always goaded the listener to self reflection. Does the critic have any responsibility to the artist? Meaning, simply, I really doubt that Van Morrison would find much truth and accuracy in this book.
It is one thing to reference the history of rock and roll, a history Marcus knows all too well. But quite another thing to correlate artistic greatness with wider cultural phenomena, as when Marcus finds points of contact between Astral Weeks and the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, in particular Tommie "Jet" Smith, John Carlos, and Bob Beamon.
Most recent customer reviews
I felt so good when I read Mr. Marcus got some of what was going on with Astral Weeks.Read more
Interesting background information on Van and probably worth a look on that basis but written with a pretentious self-agrandisement.Read more