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Yale University Press to Publish The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs, by Greil Marcus

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Yale University Press to Publish The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs, by Greil Marcus

NEW HAVEN, CT - On September 2, 2014 Yale University Press will proudly publish The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus. This is the first time that Yale University Press will publish Mr. Marcus, who is widely heralded as one of our premier critics on music and culture.

Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs 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 exemplar is destined to be embraced as an enduring classic.

Greil Marcus is the author of numerous books, including Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music (1975), Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century (1989), and, most recently, The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years (2011). The first reviews editor at Rolling Stone magazine, Marcus has also written for Artforum, the New York Times, Salon, and many other publications. He has taught at Princeton, Minnesota, and NYU, and currently teaches at Berkeley and the New School in New York City. His column "Real Life Rock Top 10" appears regularly in The Believer. He divides his time between Oakland, CA and New York City.

The Songs:

  1. Shake Some Action (1976)
  1. Transmission (1979/2008/2010)
  1. In the Still of the Nite (1956/1959/2010)
  1. All I Could Do Was Cry (1960/2008/2013)
  1. Crying, Waiting, Hoping (1959/1969)
  1. Money (That's What I Want) (1959/1963)
  1. Money Changes Everything (1978/1983/2005/2008)
  1. This Magic Moment (1959/2007)
  1. Guitar Drag (2000/2006)
  1. To Know Him Is to Love Him (1958/2006)

Advance Praise for The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs


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