Wild Opera

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Wild Opera
Studio album by No-Man
Released September 1996
31 May 2010
Recorded August 1994
Genre Trip hop, art rock
Length 55:09
Label 3rd. Stone Ltd., Kscope
Producer Tim Bowness, Steven Wilson
No-Man chronology
Wild Opera
Returning Jesus
(2001)Returning Jesus2001
Singles from Wild Opera
  1. "Housewives Hooked on Heroin"
    Released: May 1996[1]
2010 Edition
Cover of the remastered edition
Cover of the remastered edition
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]
Hot Press (11/12)[3]
Melody Maker (favourable)[4]
Music Week 4/5 stars[5]

Wild Opera is No-Man's third studio album which displays art rock, trip hop and dub influences that were developed from improvisatory writing sessions.


In 1996, No-Man announced their return on a new label 3rd Stone Ltd., home of Spacemen 3 and Bark Psychosis. This was led by the Housewives Hooked on Heroin single (a Hot Press "Single of the Fortnight"), a taster for the Wild Opera album which followed that autumn.

Wild Opera was a far darker, more beat-driven and wilfully exploratory recording than Flowermouth, with lyrics and moods musing on a fractured, threatening and often crushing world. No-Man's taste for melancholy balladry and cinematic art rock soundscaping was still in evidence, but this time it was joined by savage industrial dance, luscious trip hop and odder pop excursions than the band had ever attempted before.

Most of the album had emerged from a series of semi-spontaneous improvisations recorded over a few hours, rather than planned-out attempts at songwriting. The raw results of three such sessions appeared on the album, revealing new and more direct No-Man working methods. Wild Opera was a reinvention presented to a press that were still coming to grips with the band's re-emergence, and consequently reviews were mixed and often confused. Over the years the album would become an insidious musical force, gradually gaining more underground attention.

The title track itself is unlisted and appears as a 'hidden' bonus track.

Dry Cleaning Ray[edit]

One of the Wild Opera tracks -"Dry Cleaning Ray"- was released as a single in 1997. It also spawned the Dry Cleaning Ray mini-album. Even more eclectic than its predecessor, Dry Cleaning Ray presented drastically reworked Wild Opera material, Gainsbourg covers, left-field remixes (such as "Punished For Being Born", Muslimgauze's reinvention of "Housewives Hooked on Heroin"), and freefalling instrumental moments. It also offered new songs such as "Sicknote".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Radiant City" 3:31
2. "Pretty Genius" 3:51
3. "Infant Phenomenon" 3:21
4. "Sinister Jazz" 4:48
5. "Housewives Hooked on Heroin" 4:39
6. "Libertine Libretto" 3:20
7. "Taste My Dream" 6:09
8. "Dry Cleaning Ray" 3:26
9. "Sheeploop" 4:01
10. "My Rival Trevor" 4:20
11. "Time Travel in Texas" 4:24
12. "My Revenge on Seattle" 4:42
13. Untitled (Silence) 2:00
14. "Wild Opera" (Hidden Track) 3:06

2010 edition (remaster)[edit]

Kscope is releasing a remastered edition on 31 May 2010 that will include all Wild Opera tracks and a second CD with all nine Dry Cleaning Ray mini-album tracks, thus taking it to a double album. The Wild Opera reissue will also bring some B-Sides from the same era and four never-released tracks.[6]

CD1 – Wild Opera[edit]

Same as original release.

CD2 – Dry Cleaning Ray with bonus tracks[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Dry cleaning ray" (remix edit) 7.24
2. "Sweetside silver night" 4.02
3. "Jack the Sax" 4.17
4. "Diet mothers" 4.56
5. "Urban Disco" 3.17
6. "Punished for Being Born" (Muslimgauze mix of Housewives Hooked on Heroin) 2.18
7. "Kightlinger" 2.44
8. "Evelyn (The Song of Slurs)" 4.04
9. "Sicknote" 8.57
10. "Hit the Ceiling" 3.05
11. "Where I'm Calling From" ([bonus track]) 3.48
12. "Housewives Hooked on Heroin" (alternate version [bonus track]) 3.44
13. "My Rival Trevor" (alternate version [bonus track]) 4.37
14. "Time Travel in Texas" (radio session [bonus track]) 4.02
15. "Pretty genius" (radio session [bonus track]) 3.48