When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison [NOOK Book]

Overview


This book is a quest to understand Van Morrison's particular genius through a close look at the most extraordinary and unclassifiable moments in his long career, beginning in 1965 and continuing in full force to this day: sometimes entire songs, sometimes single words or even the guttural spaces between words that become musical events in themselves.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$13.99 List Price

Overview


This book is a quest to understand Van Morrison's particular genius through a close look at the most extraordinary and unclassifiable moments in his long career, beginning in 1965 and continuing in full force to this day: sometimes entire songs, sometimes single words or even the guttural spaces between words that become musical events in themselves.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Peter Gerstenzang
Writing about the songs of Van Morrison is rightly seen as something of a paradox. Perhaps that's because, for all his scholarly use of multiple musical styles and his references to Yeats and Joyce, the Belfast Cowboy's work is more sensual than it is intellectual. Which makes the renowned rock critic Greil Marcus…the right man to plumb that work. Combining an incantatory prose style with careful reporting and inventive, sometimes infuriating judgments, Marcus manages to illuminate Morrison's cerebral soul music—even if, as the singer once claimed, "the process is beyond words."
—The New York Times
From the Publisher

Booklist
“No critical testimonial is more welcome than this assessment of Morrison’s work by one of America’s most astute cultural critics…. Marcus is informed and insightful. Particularly illuminating are his observations on the tensions between Morrison’s roles as singer and songwriter, and on Morrison’s ongoing ‘quest for the yarragh’—fleeting, elusive moments of transcendence. Morrison’s volatile idiosyncrasy and diverse oeuvre make his career difficult to appraise, but Marcus convinces us of its singular importance.”

Time Out New York
“Marcus’s approach yields fresh insight into one of pop’s most complex personas.” 

San Francisco Chronicle
“Beautifully written.”

Portland Oregonian
“[Marcus is] literate, brainy and fearless in making cross-genre comparisons.”

Portland Mercury
“One of the most interesting rock scribes of the past quarter-century.”

Washington City Paper
“Written in prose as free-associative as the music it concerns, When That Rough God Goes Riding derives energy from the fact that Marcus was present at many of the landmark moments he’s exegizing.”

popmatters.com
When That Rough God Goes Riding explores moments of contradiction, sublime beauty, audacity, failure and grace in the singer-songwriter’s career with a keen ear, weaving the rich thoughtfulness we’ve come to expect from one of America’s best cultural critics and historians into an elegantly structured series of staccato essays which reveal Marcus’ fascination with Van Morrison’s music.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune
“As erudite and opinionated as Morrison is mercurial and expressive”

Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This is the book that Van Morrison’s artistry has long deserved, and The Man’s devotees will celebrate its blend of eloquence, passionate scholarship and soulfulness. [(When That Rough God Goes Riding] superbly fulfills criticism’s primary function: It sends you for the first or 100th time to the works of art on which it muses, better equipped to experience what’s always been there.” 

San Francisco Chronicle
“[Marcus’] ability to couple shrewd music criticism, historical perspective and broader genre analysis makes his work an adventurous read…. Marcus doesn't attempt to tidily summarize Morrison's life and career, but he does provide plenty of thought-provoking insights into this enigmatic performer, and his slipstream of references results in a fascinating meditation on Morrison's oeuvre. You wind up wanting to pull out and listen to your Morrison albums and hunt down the many bootleg recordings that Marcus references here, searching for that elusive yarragh.” 

LA Weekly
“Marcus is a smart respite from the raging stupidity and anti-intellectualism on every front, and yet knows how to have rock’n’roll fun at the same time.”

Portland Oregonian, April 18, 2010
“[Marcus is] literate, brainy and fearless in making cross-genre comparisons.”

Portland Mercury, April 21, 2010
“One of the most interesting rock scribes of the past quarter-century.”

Washington City Paper, April 23, 2010
“Written in prose as free-associative as the music it concerns, When That Rough God Goes Riding derives energy from the fact that Marcus was present at many of the landmark moments he’s exegizing.”

Popmatters.com, April 23, 2010
When That Rough God Goes Riding explores moments of contradiction, sublime beauty, audacity, failure and grace in the singer-songwriter’s career with a keen ear, weaving the rich thoughtfulness we’ve come to expect from one of America’s best cultural critics and historians into an elegantly structured series of staccato essays which reveal Marcus’ fascination with Van Morrison’s music.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 25, 2010
“As erudite and opinionated as Morrison is mercurial and expressive”

Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 2, 2010
“This is the book that Van Morrison’s artistry has long deserved, and The Man’s devotees will celebrate its blend of eloquence, passionate scholarship and soulfulness. [When That Rough God Goes Riding] superbly fulfills criticism’s primary function: It sends you for the first or 100th time to the works of art on which it muses, better equipped to experience what’s always been there.”

San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2010
“[Marcus’] ability to couple shrewd music criticism, historical perspective and broader genre analysis makes his work an adventurous read…. Marcus doesn’t attempt to tidily summarize Morrison’s life and career, but he does provide plenty of thought-provoking insights into this enigmatic performer, and his slipstream of references results in a fascinating meditation on Morrison’s oeuvre. You wind up wanting to pull out and listen to your Morrison albums and hunt down the many bootleg recordings that Marcus references here, searching for that elusive yarragh.”

LA Weekly, May 3, 2010
“Marcus is a smart respite from the raging stupidity and anti-intellectualism on every front, and yet knows how to have rock’n’roll fun at the same time.”
 
New York Times Book Review, August 1, 2010
"Writing about the songs of Van Morrison is rightly seen as something of a paradox. Perhaps that's because, for all his scholarly use of multiple musical styles and his reference to Yeats and Joyce, the Belfast Cowboy's work is more sensual than it is intellectual. Which makes the renowned rock critic Greil Marcus, who's written definitively on Elvis and Bob Dylan, the right man to plumb that work. Combining an incantatory prose style with careful reporting and inventive, sometimes infuriating judgements, Marcus manages to illuminate Morrison's cerebral soul music—even if, as the singer once claimed, 'the process is beyond words.'"

The Barnes & Noble Review

Culture critic Marcus celebrates in this somewhat eccentric book, titled When that Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison, the enigmatic Irish rocker, Van Morrison, whose voice he considers the "richest and most expressive" in pop music since Elvis. And if you're familiar with Marcus's work on The King, you know that's saying a lot. But Marcus doesn't offer us an argument on Morrison's behalf; instead, he assembles a collage of fragments, each meant to enhance our understanding of the Celtic genius behind such top 40 hits as "Brown-Eyed Girl," "Domino," and "Moondance." As catchy and memorable as these songs are, Marcus prefers Morrison's expressive masterpiece, Astral Weeks, an album that transcends the limits of rock as it defies simple description. Let it be known that it's the album Marcus plays more than any other.

Such fanboy gush sneaks into this odd appreciation -- a book so unusual that Marcus dismisses out of hand more than fifteen years, and as many albums, from Morrison's long career. Most of that time "Van the Man" spent navel-gazing, in Marcus's opinion, and in pretentious poeticizing that doesn't deserve a second listen. While Marcus dismisses Morrison's sense of serenity, he revels in the singer's search for "mystical deliverance" and "religious yearning." He's not deaf to the tension and struggle in Morrison's music -- the Irish "yarragh" in his voice that makes the song a thing in itself, with its "own desires, fears, will, and even ideas." The best bits in Marcus's meandering book recount a number of Morrison's live performances, but he's especially sharp on Morrison's slam-bang turnout at the concert filmed for The Band's Last Waltz and the more recent onstage recreation of Astral Weeks in its entirety. A learned music critic, Marcus hears all the amazing sounds and traditions that come together in Morrison's unique wailing. But Marcus ventures too wide in his peculiar cultural analogies and indulges his own hipness with a silly two-sentence chapter. If you want biographical gossip, or even straight history turn elsewhere -- this is Morrison interpreted for your ear and soul, where the real genius plays.

--Thomas De Pietro

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610390187
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,080,465
  • File size: 356 KB

Meet the Author

Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is the author of Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus, Writings 1968-2010 (PublicAffairs, 2010), The Shape of Things to Come, Like a Rolling Stone (PublicAffairs, 2005), The Old Weird America, and other books; a twentieth century anniversary edition of his book Lipstick Traces was published in 2009. With Werner Sollors he is the editor of A New Literary History of America, published in 2009 by Harvard University Press. Since 2000 he has taught at Princeton, Berkeley, Minnesota, and the New School in New York; his column "Real Life Rock Top 10" appears regularly in The Believer. He lives in Berkeley.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Northern Muse. Greek Theatre, Berkeley. 3 May 2009 ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 A Grimy Cinderella in a Purple Stage Suit

Mystic Eyes. 1965 15

Tupelo Honey. 1971 18

Baby Please Don't Go. 1965 23

John Brown's Body. 1975 27

Caravan. The Last Waltz. 1976 29

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. 1966 36

Part 2 I'm Going to My Grave With This Record

Astral Weeks. 1968 43

Almost Independence Day. 1972. Listen to the Lion. 1972. Caledonia Soul Music. 1970 63

Moonshine Whiskey. 1971 73

Just Like a Woman. 1971 74

The Last Laugh, on Mark Knopfler, Sailing to Philadelphia. 2000 80

Part 3 A Belief in the Blues as a Kind of Curse One Puts on Oneself

Common One. 1980 …Tell Me Something. 1996 85

Linden Arden Stole the Highlights. 1974 96

Breakfast on Pluto. 2005 100

The Healing Game. 1997 110

Part 4 There Was No False Face the Song Could Not Erase

Into the Music. 1979 125

Friday's Child. 1971 134

Madame George. 1968 140

Saint Dominic's Preview. 1996 157

Sweet Thing. 1968 163

Take Me Back. 1991. Jennifer Jason Leigh, 1995 166

Mystic Eyes. Greek Theatre, Berkeley. 2009 175

Behind the Ritual. 2008 178

Acknowledgments 185

Index 187

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 1969

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)