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Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes
by Greil Marcus
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805058427, Paperback)While focusing on a select group of musicians performing privately in a brief window of time, noted music and culture writer Greil Marcus cuts to the core of the American musical legacy to study it as a slightly blurred snapshot, full of shadow and mystery. Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes centers around the now legendary recordings made by Bob Dylan and The Band in 1967, and how this music signaled a change in American music by capturing the essence of the moment within the context of a rich folk tradition. During these casual sessions they recorded more than 100 songs, some originals, but most borrowed from barely remembered folk, blues, and country musicians.
This music they derived from had been part of the American fabric in an anonymous way that can only be explained as folklore and myth, and they breathed new life into it while adhering to its legacy. Though never intended for release, these recordings molded into the tradition of music as oral history, and appropriately, a few tapes were passed hand to hand, then some were pressed as bootleg records, which then spread like rumors. This folk revival conjured up a collection of timeless stories that many had heard in a slightly different form without ever knowing who started them. Just as Dylan did with the Basement Tapes, Marcus's exhilarating book extends beyond music and into the psyche of America, making the present more clear by putting the past into focus.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)
Analyzes the recordings made by Bob Dylan and the Band in the basement of a house called Big Pink near Woodstock, New York, in 1967, which were Dylan's response to the criticism he received for "betraying" folk music. Marcus places these tapes in the larger contexts of folk music and rock and roll of the late 1960s.
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