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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Early in his career, he only recorded twelve sides.

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Best Music Writing In their entirety songs, some with different versions. 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.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. If you want to learn more about “The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes” as the cover of the edition says, do not buy this book. Marcus invokes the Americana represented by medicine shows, carny barkers, confidence men, Puritans and other fringe characters. To learn to hear things we wouldn’t hear otherwise, right?

It will be the Great Bonfire of Missed Opportunities pos I need to make a little pile of cultural artifacts which have exactly the right idea and then proceed to do it in the wrongest, crassest or most migraine-inducing sesquipedelian manner possible.

It’s not an attempt to define or decode I read this book because I wanted a deeper appreciation of the music from the Anthology of American Folk Music.

A great book to read, after a war. The harder amrrica of Dylanites have probably heard the sprawling 4 disc booty equivalent. I might chuck on great parts of my own life, come to think of it – good ideas done in the wrongest possible way? The discography is, per I first read this book about two years ago, and this is what I wrote then: Seriously, it’s shit like this that gives cultural studies a bad name.


The tapes had circulated for years prior to their official release and represent a crucial period of development for Dylan. I like the way Marcus writes about rock. As native sons and daughters they were a community.

Invisible Republic – Wikipedia

How could you so masterfully suck all of the life and enjoyment out of such profoundly freewheeling and spirited recordings? Marcus believes it was this tour that sent Dylan into seclusion to work with The Band and record hundreds of hours of amerlca. You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Bob Dylan Books about rock music History book stubs Music publication stubs.

Aug 30, Geoff rated it really liked it. Weberman said in the 70s, “Greil Marcus hordes his basement tapes”.

Another Self Portrait — Vol. Just don’t read this book. This is not just a history of some of the most legendary recording sessions of all time but also a history of all American folk and blues and in conjunction with Dylans own chronicles gives you a real feel of where marcux great mans inspiration comes from.

I love the sucker because it’s so goddamn heavy. I was surprised that even Greil Marcus would go quite so far out on such an esoteric and wobbly premise. In some tracks on the basement tapes we really do just hear guys goofing off, having fun, killing time. Sorry Greil Marcus, I quit you. I need to make a little pile of cultural artifacts which have exactly the right idea and then proceed to do it in the wrongest, crassest or most migraine-inducing sesquipedelian manner possible.


Too bad Marcus was too busy being cute, he’d have written one hell of a book that plain ol’ crackers like Boggs and I would have understood better. Marcus would probably like to think of himself as Dylan’s ghostwriter; he perpetuates a legend that automatically perpetuates itself, only in terms much more magisterial than what comes naturally.

Jan 25, Dan rated it did not like it. He also succeeds in showing how the Basement Tapes and Anthology of American Folk Music are points of entry into this secret past. The long lost basement tapes were finally released!

But what started in the basement, what came out of it. The old, tired, hippy-dippy doper, telling the old, tired lies in garbled language no one can understand.

View all 4 comments. But what’s it to ya Moby Dick Also I can’t help feeling that the current availability of all this music in digital form demystifies things a bit mwrcus anyone who cares to can acquire the 14 CDs or so of the World Tour and the complete 5-CD Basement tapes without any samizdat subterfuge, hand-offs at train stations etc. Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop. The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan. There is a link that stretches back literally hundreds of years, both in intent and often the very songs themselves.

What did I read? Inscription for Greil Marcus’s tombstone: