Invisible Republic

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Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes
InvisibleRepublic.jpg
First edition
Author Greil Marcus
Country United States
Language English
Subject Anthology of American Folk Music , The Basement Tapes , & Bob Dylan
Genre Non-fiction, Music history
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Publication date
1997 (Revised 2011)

Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes (1997) is a book by music critic Greil Marcus (born 1945) about the creation and cultural importance of The Basement Tapes , a series of recordings made by Bob Dylan in 1967 in collaboration with the Hawks, who would subsequently become known as the Band. ( ISBN   0-8050-5842-7)

Greil Marcus American historian

Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broader framework of culture and politics.

<i>The Basement Tapes</i> 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band

The Basement Tapes is an album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and The Band. It was released on June 26, 1975, by Columbia Records and is Dylan's 16th studio album. Two-thirds of the album's 24 tracks feature Dylan on lead vocals backed by The Band, and were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album's release, in the lapse between the recording and subsequent release of Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding, during sessions that began at Dylan's house in Woodstock, New York, then moved to the basement of Big Pink. While most of these had appeared on bootleg albums, The Basement Tapes marked their first official release. The remaining eight songs, all previously unavailable, feature The Band without Dylan and were recorded between 1967 and 1975.

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

The updated paperback edition (2011, Picador) is retitled The Old, Weird America, a term coined by Marcus to describe the often eerie country, blues, and folk music featured on the Anthology of American Folk Music (1927-1932; released 1952). In his opinion, the sensibility of Anthology is reflected by the Basement Tapes recordings. The term has been revived via the musical genre called New Weird America.

Picador (imprint) British publishing house

Picador is an imprint of Pan Macmillan in the United Kingdom and Australia and of Macmillan Publishing in the United States. Both companies are owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the Southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as American folk music and blues.

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African-Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

Content

Marcus quotes Robbie Robertson’s memories of recording the Basement Tapes: "[Dylan] would pull these songs out of nowhere. We didn't know if he wrote them or if he remembered them. When he sang them, you couldn't tell." [1] Marcus called these songs "palavers with a community of ghosts." [2] He suggests that "these ghosts were not abstractions. As native sons and daughters they were a community. And they were once gathered in a single place: on the Anthology of American Folk Music, a work produced by a 29-year-old of no fixed address named Harry Smith." [3] Marcus argues Dylan's basement songs were a resurrection of the spirit of Anthology, originally published by Folkways Records in 1952, a collection of blues and country songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s, which proved very influential in the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. Anthology, initially titled American Folk Music, was reissued by Smithsonian Folkways as a box set of compact disc in the same year as the book's publication, with portions of the book excerpted as liner notes.

Robbie Robertson Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist

Jaime Royal "Robbie" Robertson, OC, is a Canadian musician, songwriter, film composer, producer, actor, and author. Robertson is best known for his work as lead guitarist and primary songwriter for The Band, and for his career as a solo recording artist.

No fixed abode

In law, no fixed abode or without fixed abode is not having a fixed geographical location as a residence. This is applicable to several groups:

Harry Everett Smith American archivist

Harry Everett Smith was a visual artist, experimental filmmaker, record collector, bohemian, mystic, and largely self-taught student of anthropology. Smith was an important figure in the Beat Generation scene in New York City, and his activities, such as his use of mind-altering substances and interest in esoteric spirituality, anticipated aspects of the Hippie movement. Besides his films, most notably his full length cutout animated film Heaven and Earth Magic (1962), Smith is also widely known for his influential Anthology of American Folk Music, drawn from his extensive collection of out-of-print commercial 78 rpm recordings.

Marcus links the First Great Awakening, the folk music revival of the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement and the Battle of Matewan in West Virginia with Bob Dylan's 1966 tour with the Hawks.

First Great Awakening Series of Christian revivals in Britain and its Thirteen Colonies

The First Great Awakening or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Protestantism as adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement within the Protestant churches. In the United States, the term Great Awakening is most often used, while in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Evangelical Revival.

The Battle of Matewan was a shootout in the town of Matewan in Mingo County and the Pocahontas Coalfield mining district, in southern West Virginia. It occurred on May 19, 1920 between local coal miners and the Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency.

West Virginia State in the United States

West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, and is also considered to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

Notes

  1. Marcus, p. xvi
  2. Marcus, p. 86
  3. Marcus, p. 87


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