Space Opera

Space Opera was an American rustic-rock band from Fort Worth, Tex., that released a self-titled album on Epic in 1973. Five years earlier, three-fourths of the band cut a folk-rock album as Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit & Greenhill.

Members: David Bullock (vocals, flute, harmonica, guitar), Scott Fraser (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Philip White (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards), Brett Wilson (drums, percussion)

The roots of Space Opera go back to Fort Worth garage-rockers The Mods. After issuing the 1966 single “Days Mind the Time” (b/w “It’s for You”) on one-press Cee Three, Mods drummer Scott Fraser and guitarist Edd Lively teamed with guitarist/singer David Bullock and bassist/keyboardist Philip White in the pseudonymically named Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit & Greenhill, which issued the album The Unwritten Works of Geoffrey, Etc. on MCA-subsidiary Uni in 1968. After Lively’s departure, Fraser switched to guitar/keyboards and newcomer Brett Wilson took the drum slot. Renaming the band Space Opera, they moved to Manhattan and developed new material.

Space Opera was released in 1973 on Epic (U.S., U.K., NLD, Aus.) and Columbia (Canada). Side one contains four songs, including “Holy River” and the epic “Guitar Suite.” Side two contains six shorter numbers, including “Prelude No. 4,” “Over and Over,” and “My Telephone Artist (Has Come and Gone).” Bullock, Fraser, and White contributed three songs apiece; “Guitar Suite” is credited to all four members. The opening track, “Country Max,” was issued as a single. The self-produced effort was recorded at Toronto’s Manta Sound and engineered by Lee DeCarlo (Morning Dew, Funkadelic, Michael Quatro, A Foot In Coldwater) and Rick Capreol (Maneige, Crack of Dawn, Fosterchild, Triumph). Musically, Space Opera strikes a rustic/symphonic balance akin to the U.K. acts Home and Byzantium.

In 1985, Fraser reemerged with the three-song EP SS-433 on self-press Fraser/Farr Records. All four members of Space Opera reunited for a second self-titled album in 2001. Within a three-year period, the decade saw the deaths of Wilson (2005), Fraser (2006), and White (2008). In 2010, archivists ItsAboutMusic recovered 15 lost Space Opera songs for the CD-R release Safe at Home.



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