Earth Opera - The Great American Eagle Tragedy (1969)

Earth Opera was American rock band active in the late 60s, formed by Peter Rowan and David Grisman.

Though Earth Opera's debut album had not charted, Elektra Records was willing to let them record a follow-up. By this time keyboard player Bill Stevenson had left, leaving them with the line-up of Peter Rowan (lead vocals/guitar/sax), David Grisman (mandolin/mandocello/sax/piano/vocals), John Nagy (bass/cello) and Paul Dillon (drums/percussion/guitar/vocals). The four of them enlisted the help of lots of session musicians, among them pedal steel gutiarist Bill Keith and John Cale of The Velvet Underground on viola. The album was more consistent and accessible than its predecessor, and Rowan's "Home To You" had the potential to be a hit single. Elsewhere, the title track was the longest piece of music the band had recorded, a 10-minute epic with complex arrangements. Stylistically the album could be called progressive rock, mixing various psychedelic, folk, country and classical influences. Though it fared slightly better than their first album, the band broke up shortly after its release. Peter Rowan went on to join Seatrain, and both Rowan and Grisman would later re-unite in the bluegrass supergroup Muleskinner.

Earth Opera (1968) <
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Otiselevator said...

Genuinely think Earth Opera were a band who deserved more attention. I bought both albums when they came out and now have them on CD. The first album is as you say a strange and haunting effort quite unlike anything else I've ever heard. The second is much more accessible if you can forgive occasional lyrics gave me your love like a roast beef sandwich. The Great American Eagle Tragedy is one of the finest anti war songs ever. Hearing Peter Rowan scream.....Stop the War Please....still sends a shiver down my spine 45 years on.