978-1-58648-254-1 / 9781586482541

Like a Rolling Stone





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About the book:

Published for the fortieth anniversary of the recording of "Like a Rolling Stone", this is the definitive biography of the song that caught the questing spirit of its time and changed the rules of the possible in popular music overnight Greil Marcus saw Bob Dylan for the first time in a New Jersey field in 1963. He didn't know the name of the scruffy singer who had a bit part in a Joan Baez concert, but he knew his performance was unique. So began a dedicated and enduring relationship between Bob Dylan and America's finest critic of popular music - in the words of Nick Hornby "simply peerless not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian." In Like a Rolling Stone, Marcus locates Dylan's six-minute masterwork in its richest, fullest context, capturing the heady atmosphere of the recording studio in 1965 as musicians and technicians clustered around the mercurial genius from Minnesota, the young Bob Dylan at the height of his powers. But Marcus shows how, far from being a song only of 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" is rooted in faraway American places and times, drawing on timeless cultural impulses that make the song as challenging, disruptive and restless today as it ever was, capable of reinvention by artists as disparate as the comedian Richard Belzer and the Italian hip-hop duo "Articolo 31". "Like a Rolling Stone" never loses its essential quality, which is directly to challenge the listener: it remains a call-to-arms and a demand for a better world. Forty years later it is still revolutionary as will and idea, as an attack and an embrace.

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