Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes
[UK back cover]
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.
--Publisher's Press Release
Greil Marcus - Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes - Henry Holt & Co 1997 - ISBN 0805033939 - 304 pages, b/w photos
1998 paperback edition: Henry Holt & Company Inc., ISBN 1402882939, 1998, 286 pages, no photos.
UK edition: Picador, London, 1997, ISBN 1402882939, 286 pages, no photos.
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