I am a huge fan of music books. In particular those discussing the links between music and the epochs in which they were released. I love how the connection between social and political upheaval can be seen mirrored in the style of music that is popular during that time. It is with great disappointment that I have to write that I did not like The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in Ten Songs.
I cannot argue that Greil Marcus knows his stuff. This guys mind is like a bottomless pit of information about music. The nuances, the techniques, the hidden stories – he truly knows some fascinating things. And I will admit that during the pages of this book certain stories did betwixt me and hold my attention but they were few and far between.
I just didn’t feel the connection. I don’t feel like Marcus’s narrative hooked me in. It felt like he was trying to regurgitate all the information he knows just to get it on page so as not to forget it rather than bringing the reader along for the ride. It made reading the book feel like a chore.
I cannot say that I recommend this book to music fans because I feel like too much was given without trying to include, and indeed inspire, the reader.
The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus is available now.