A rock opera about a country in lockdown, a surveillance government where rock music has been banned? Maybe it's not as far-fetched as I thought.  

Underground Radio is a modern rock opera by The Electric Buddha Band composed and recorded as an homage to classic '70s rock. It's like spinning your car radio dial late at night and hearing a strange mix of rock, blues, new wave and punk songs you've never heard before. It's discovering some long lost bootleg LP in a bargain bin and spinning the vinyl until the grooves wear through to the other side and you wake up in an alternate universe where Roger Waters and David Gilmour still get along, the Clash are playing at the Fillmore East, and Jim Morrison is headlining summer festivals.

Underground Radio was inspired by the music of The Pretty Things, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Crack The Sky, The Who, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam, The Stranglers, The Cynics, Television, Brainpool, The Grateful Dead, Tom Robinson, Paul Weller, Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd, U2, Booker T & The MGs, The Staple Singers and everything else I've listened to since 1974. It's open source and free to listen to, download and re-use. 

Dig That Underground Sound!

Remastered for 2020!

New Rock Opera Reviews 

I've added several new reviews of important rock operas including Lou Reed's Berlin, David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, Greenday's American Idiot, Crack The Sky's epic Machine, Styx's band-destroying Kilroy Was Here, Wishbone Ash's concept album Argus, Klaatu's Hope, Joe's Garage, Tommy, SF Sorrow, Brainpool Junk and more.

Following on Lou Reed's Transformer, Berlin was pretty much career suicide. It's a dark album, with song cycle about two desperate characters Jim and Caroline trapped in a marriage of drugs, depression and abuse. Read all about it in More Rock Operas.

If you've got other rock operas you'd like to see reviewed, let me know! I've got a few more classic 70s albums queued up. 

Now Streaming 

Now that Underground Radio has been remastered, I've released it digitally for download and streaming. The album is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, DeezerTidal, etc. I've used CD Baby and BandCamp for distribution. Bandcamp features embedded mp3 lyrics, a 45 page Digital Libretto and 5 bonus instrumentals all for $5.

Here's the Spotify version but choose whatever service you prefer.

Remastered Album 

I've long felt that while Underground Radio was well mixed, it wasn't well mastered. In fact, it wasn't mastered at all. Mastering is a separate phase of production during which a talented engineer listens to your album and makes adjustments to the overall sound, as opposed to the individual instruments or vocal tracks.

It turns out that at least some of the mastering process can be automated through the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and other buzzwords. So I used a nifty automatic service called LANDR. I think the songs came out punchier and louder. I also fixed two niggling things that bothered me in the title track and adjusted the album artwork to better show the "ring wear" of an old vinyl album. You can listen to the remastered songs here at rock-opera.com, over at SoundCloud or download them free from Box.

Here's a comparison of the original version:

And the remastered version:

Now you can definitely hear all three chords!

All of this was done in preparation for the music to be distributed digitally on iTunes, Spotify, AmazonGoogle Play, YouTube, DeezerTidal, etc. I've used CD Baby and BandCamp for distribution. Bandcamp features embedded mp3 lyrics, a 45 page Digital Libretto and 5 bonus instrumentals all for $5.

Libretto Now Available 

You can order the Libretto directly from Amazon for an introductory price of just $5.95. It's the size of a high-quality indie comic book with 45 pages including more than 20 original b&w illustrations. It also has all of the lyrics, song notes, a summary of the story and background on the project.

You can also download the full color PDF version from Box.

Listen to the Music - Free! 

Listen to all 22 tracks of the remastered rock opera, plus 5 bonus instrumentals, online at Soundcloud.

Or download a free ZIP file of MP3s from Box.

The music is open source can be shared freely under the Creative Commons license.



Bonus Instrumentals Now Available! 

There are five bonus instrumental tracks. You can listen and download tracks individually from Soundcloud.

You can download a ZIP file of MP3s from Box

Feel free to share these files however you like as it's all published under a Creative Commons open source license.