Two takes on rock music's past
A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years
by Greil Marcus
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Rock’s accumulated past is accessible as never before due to the Internet’s vast and ever-growing archives. From the most mainstream star to the most obscure lost artist, many decades of music, video, and trivia are just a mouse click or scroll-wheel twirl away from our ears and eyes. It is precisely this unprecedented proximity and vividness of the past in the digital present that makes book-length cultural analysis more essential than ever. The emerging cloud is a messy mass of decontextualized sounds and visuals. Long-form music writing supplies a crucial element of distance and abstraction that cuts through the welter of sense impressions and unmoored information.
Greil Marcus and Chuck Eddy, two legendary critics with new books, have adopted radically different approaches to the pursuit of rock history’s
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