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THE GREAT AMERICAN EAGLE TRAGEDY

Earth Opera

Proto-Prog


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Earth Opera The Great American Eagle Tragedy album cover
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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Home to You (4:27)
2. Mad Lydia's Waltz (3:47)
3. Alfie Finney (2:34)
4. Sanctuary From the Law (2:54)
5. All Winter Long; (5:57)

Side B:
1. American Eagle Tragedy (10:41)
2. Roast Beef Love (3:16)
3. It's Love (4:09)

Total Time: 37:45

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Rowan / acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tenor saxophone, vocals
- David Grisman / mandolin, mandocello, piano, alto saxophone, vocals
- Paul Dillon / drums, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals
- John Nagy / electric bass, cello, mandocello

Earth Opera was joined on this recording by:
- Jack Bonus / tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, flute
- Richard Grando / c-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass recorder
- John Cale / viola
- David Horowitz / piano, organ
- Bill Keith / pedal steel guitar
- Herb Bushler / double bass
- Bob Zachary / triangle

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Wounded Bird Records 2001
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$38.40 (used)
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Import · Remastered
Rhino/Wea UK 2004
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$89.90 (used)
THE GREAT AMERICAN EAGLE TRAGEDY(ltd.reissue)THE GREAT AMERICAN EAGLE TRAGEDY(ltd.reissue)
VIVID SOUND (JAPAN)
Audio CD$26.66
$1,199.94 (used)
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EARTH OPERA The Great American Eagle Tragedy ratings distribution


2.10
(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
0%
Collectors/fans only (50%)
50%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

EARTH OPERA The Great American Eagle Tragedy reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

After a very interesting debut album, Earth Opera's second opus was probably the make or break album, and it was no good omen that vibraphonist Stevenson was gone, even if the group called upon many guest musician, including Velvet Underground's John Cale on viola. The album had another strong artwork, made out of a collage of faces on which was superimposed another eerie collage mixing the American eagle US emblem with a human skull, but by the time of release (it would climb up to the lower rung of the US Billboard, both single and album charts), the group was almost gone. Leader Rowen again writing the huge majority of the songs, it is a bit of a wonder how the group sounded so different with the Stevenson's vibes.

This album is unfortunately not quite as strong as its forerunner, this one veering more often in country rock, including a relatively disastrous start with Home To You and the next three tracks following suit. Only the A-side closer the 6-mins All Winter Long manages some kind of interest, with a lovely sax-flute duo.

The flipside is a totally different matter with the absolutely breathtaking 10-min+ title track, a strong cry out against Vietnam events, starting out on the spine-chilling sax wailings (ala Nucleus) then the percussion sections taking over, before the group invading the aural space in a dramatic fashion, even curdling the blood at times with all out sax and searing guitars, sometimes reminiscent of Audience's most chaotic moments. Indeed, this is really the only track hinting that the group might have had a bright future if they had not been pressured to be commercial by their label. The rest of the album is uninteresting at best, even if the closing It's Love is a rip off of the Animals' House Of The Rising Sun, offering a bit of a soothing cream over a pus-ing wound, as one can think of the waste of talent this album induced.. The album comes with a bonus track from these recording sessions After You, which is better than most of the tracks on TGAET album.

Saved solely by its awesome title track, this album is not really recommended, but it comes with their debut album in an Elektra 2 CD box-set. Peter Rowen would then go on with Sea Train (later Seatrain), whose first album is of interest for the site.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#136135) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 04, 2007

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