/ Best concept album
I had my ipod on "shuffle" mode, and had "The Great Marsh," off "The Snow Goose" by Camel, come up. Just had to switch over and play the whole album.
Surely the greatest "concept" album of all time?
drive by truckers: a southern rock opera. masterful.
200 Motels, by Frank Zappa.
Great concept, shame about the music.
"Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart
..put on continuous loop for maximum obtuseness.
Im Gonna go symphonic Light rock with:
ELO - out of the blue.
Jeff Waynes war of the worlds.
Would the pros and cons of hitch hiking fit the bill?
Bowie - Ziggy Stardust (obviously)
The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
King Geedorah (MF Doom) - Escape from Monster Island
Dangerdoom - The Mouse and the Mask
Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
Mercury Rev- Deserters' Songs
Pretty much everything by Drexciya - more of a concept career than a concept album.
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (the slipperman - eeek!)
Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick
Neil Weedon Watkins Pie - Neil's Heavy Concept Album
Queensr˙che - Operation Mindcrime
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
I love concept albums.
Demon Days - Gorillaz
Control - Pedro The Lion
Beautiful, poignant concept album about a marital break up which also happens to be rammed full of brilliant songs. And it isn't overblown proggy bollocks. Hurrah.
For a more modern day non-proggy bollocks howabout Midlakes' The Trials of Van Occupanther.
surprised nobody has mentioned the best ever
The Who Quadrophenia
(the original not the film soundtrack)
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters- Bob Calvert
R for ruminant...
Really? What was the concept
Contempory - The Mars Volta, Delouced in the Comatorium
Classic - David Bowie, Low
Can somebody explain what a 'concept album' is, then I might be able to take part in the debate? I'm at a loss to understand the term, but I'll go for Transformer by Lou Reed.
The Who Sell Out
just Means an album where all the Tracks have a unifying theme, or tell a story.
For example, radioHead albums have the unifying theme of Making you consider ending it all
I think it's a difficult argument to pin down, the thematic one. For example, Dark Side of the Moon is, Wish You Were Here and Animals aren't even though both are strongly thematic.
I wouldn't have said OK Computer was either.
Marillion script for a jesters tear
Is tubular bells a concept? if so, that
Still love Crime of the century - Supertramp
> Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters- Bob Calvert
> R for ruminant...
Are you wearing makeup?
+1 for Tubular Bells
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
Just remembered another good one: The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs.
Wow!! I never even knew it existed!! Will search it out!!
Not really a concept album, in the true meaning of the term? (But also one of my top 5 albums of all time.)
The LP release had six tracks on the first disc; the CD version has rather more. The definitive version of Never Let Go is on there as well as a lovely version of Lady Fantasy.
One of my all-time favourites and one of the best 'live' albums, that record.
It was a concept album as in how it was created.
A concept album is a studio album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story.
So juts about any classical symphony!
Frank Zappa: Joes Garage 1,2 & 3
Husker Du: Zen Arcade
King Crimson; In The Court Of The Crimson King
Aphrodites Child; 666 (who's heard that then? If you have, then you won't forget it).
how about Mandalaband's Prophecies and the Eye of Wendor?
or Dave Greenslade's Pentacheuch of the Cosmogany?
the full wiki quote:"A concept album is a studio album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story. In contrast, typical studio albums consist of a number of unconnected songs (lyrically and otherwise) performed by the artist. It has been argued that concept albums should only refer to albums that bring in themes or story lines from outside of music, given that a collection of love songs or songs from within a certain genre are not usually considered to be a "concept album"
Dave Greenslade's Pentateuch eh? I've got a C120 I recorded from one of my mates in about 1982.I never saw another copy of that album...to be honest one was probably too many. Did you get the whole magnificent book too?
How about Hawkwind's "Warrior at the edge of time" as a suggestion? Maybe not a concept album...but its more fun to Listen to than "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
Anyone ever heard 'The Shipbuilder' by Bob Pegg and Nick Strutt?
That was kinda quaint.
Dream Theater - Scenes from a memory
Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans (much better now than when it first came out)
Jon Anderson - Olias of Sunhillow Anderson played all the instruments too. - It gets a bit samey but certainly fits the 'concept album' requirements.
Petrovitch Mussorsky - Pictures at an Exhibition.
Heard it? I've got it. Every five years or so I convince myself that maybe it had its moments and haul it out and play it again. For a while I think I was right and then it gets carried away with itself and I put it away for another five years. :)
David Axelrod - Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.
This is Spinal Tap (Soundtrack)
Erm am I missing something here, nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room....The Wall? Featuring arguably the best guitar solo of all time, sod the arguably, the best guitar solo of all time, - Comfortably Numb. Turn the lights off, wind the stereo up and let it rip....it doesn't work so well on an I-phone!
A work of pure genius
Incredible record. Life changing.
> Erm am I missing something here, nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room....The Wall?
G for Germany!
Mind you for me I think it would be Hawkwind's 'Space Ritual'. Which I'll be seeing them do on Saturday :-)
Springsteen's The Rising. I recommended it to David Hooper once but never found out if he listened to it. He was a fan of The Boss I know that much.
2112 is the obvious one to go for, but the concept lasts half the album. Well, one song. So I'm going for Clockwork Angels. Stunning album, great concept, its even got it's own book to go with it. And a series of comics. Proper concept.
Wasn't Demis Roussos the lead singer with Aphrodites Child?
Or indeed, Ziggy Stardust.
Pink Floyd - wish you were here
Rush - 2112
Demon - the plague
Preposterous hippy plot - check
OTT album cover - check
narration by Christopher Lee - check
Your quest is complete my lord. The ultimate concept album lies before you, though verily thou must purchase the vinyl to appreciate the cover, and only then willst thou spot the Rizla packet that lies therein
The foul engine that drivest the forums has rebelled against the musical brilliance and refuseth to let me post the link, so verily thou must cut and paste to gain the secret knowledge of this opus that is held within wikipedia
(it's also available from stores that pay more tax).
Good call. Took a few plays to get into it but it's on at least once a fortnight now. Wasn't looking forward to them ramming most of it down our throats last tour but it worked pretty well, especially with the visuals.
Mike Oldfield, Songs of distant earth.
A track for each chapter in the book.
The book was the work of Patrick Woodruffe I think. Sadly I never owned it on vinyl so missed the full impact of the book. The CD version includes a smaller copy though.
Does Babbacombe Lee by Fairport Convention count as a concept album, being a true story?
Dark side of the moon,
The wall, Pink floyd.
B side to Hounds of love album, by Kate bush.
Tommy, the who.
Ziggy stardust, Bowie
Thug life , 2 PAC
Fear of a black planet, public enemy.
Pros and cons of hitchhiking,
Amused to death, ( incredible production ) roger waters
No mention of any of the three Gong Flying Teapot LPs, either.
Some things mentioned here have dredged up memories that would better have been left in the period's foul-smelling silt, most notably that Pentateuch thing (I owned a copy of the LP). Even worse than Gong and the 'Wind, etc. Christ, what a shocking embarrassment the 70s were in many ways, an abomination, despite being in several, or even many, respects great.
Of course, if we'd had any notion that the worse abomination that was the 80s was just around the corner ...
Absolutely agree, Trout Mask is an incredible record...but what is the concept?
I wrote about one of my faves here:
Everyone playing in different time signatures?
Producing an LP while the band is kept hostage?
I was listening to Angel's Egg last night and thinking how good it still was.
As the discussion has moved on from the best concept albums to a discussion of concept albums more widely, and in a related vein to the Gong albums, how about Fish Rising by Steve Hillage?
The concept seems to have been based on a discussion enhanced by herbal smokes popular at the time about how fishes were, like, cool. Salmon, man.
Despite this, it does contain some very good bits - Hiram Afterglid meets the dervish is particularly nice - but there's a deal of stoned nonsense too. And some very good guitar playing; a frequently under-rated guitar player, Steve Hillage.
Yes, he was proficient, certainly, but, like most guitarists, got rather stuck playing one scale over and over again. Best thing he did IMO was Rainbow Dome Musick or whathaveyou. His range of effects, too, seemed to be stuck on the Isley Brothers "Summer Breeze", with added echo box. That said, he's a nice guy, not like some of that lot.
Really? The one I liked was You, as it had fewer words (did it?) and more music. But I can't have heard it since the 80s.
Did Can ever do a concept album? Faust's Faust Tapes was probably one...
Spirit, I'd still rate them. Potatoland and Future Games certainly concept albums, then 12 Dreams concept-y. Looked them up on WIki, I knew that Randy had died but hadn't realised he'd done so rescuing his 12-yr-old in Hawaii. What a guitarist he was, unbelievable talent.
Wow. So negative.
I would have agreed at the time, but with hindsight I think this is also too negative. Mind you what concept albums emanated from the 80s?
Yes, I'm sorry, it does seem like that. You know how it is when you fall out of love and see the same things in a quite different light?
Now, if we were talking about music of the latter part of the seventeenth century, or of the Elizabethan period, I might not come across so negatively.
It is indeed the work of Patrick Woodroffe - he's my other half's uncle, and although I may be biased, his artwork is absolutely stunning. You can still find copies of the album and book on eBay - often at extortionate prices, but they're sometimes quite reasonable.
What interests me is why people feel the need to say this sort of thing so often and so load. Almost any music clip on the internet is besiged by hate mail. Some 70's concept music may have been pretentious but much of that was certainly carefully and skillfully crafted and seems to me in terms of value, at worst, in the over-rated to occasionally mildly embarrassing category. Looking back on the Elizabethan's in comparison is hardly fair as all the dross from those times will have disappeared.
You've answered your own point. The dross hadn't disappeared in the 70s and we listened to it.
But there was some good stuff. See my comments on Spirit and the last sentence of the 70s para. What interests me is why people only read what suits their agenda.
Or indeed, Lucky Leif and the Longships.
Ba Ba Ba, Barbarians...
Not mentioned so far, from my past:
Moody Blues: Voices in the Sky
Moody Blues: To our children's children's children
The Nice: Five Bridges Suite
And then there's Hype though I prefer Test Tube Conceived.
Another one from way back: Argus, Wishbone Ash. I believe there was a bit of an argument about whether or not this qualified as a concept album. The theme is certainly one of history/time and historical battles, sort of a "Lord of the Rings soundtrack." (Culminating in Throw Down the Sword) but I've got a vague memory that Andy Powell said that all happened by chance and there was no concept when they went into the studio?
Wasn't the term originally coined for Sgt Pepper's?
Sham 69 - That's Life
skinnyman - council Estate of mind
Yes he was also Irene Papas featured memorably on one track also!
For some reason I initially read that as "Wasn't Demis Roussos the lead singer with Destiny's Child?"
An alarming thought.
Pretty obvious one really and as you say the elephant in the room; unfortunately though what should have been the introductory track on "The Wall" didn't appear until "The Final Cut".
My eternal thanks.
I was going to post this. You read my mind.
Many thanks, Tom. Great review and I look forward to listening to it.
That's certainly part of it. Well put !
Emerson Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition? or is a concept album based on another composers concept of an art gallery a bit too tenuous?
Dream Theater - Scenes from a memory
My desert island disc!
As it features Hammill's sometimes over-emotive vocal style and the inevitable missed note or two that can go with a one-off take, it isn't going to be something with universal appeal (my wife hates pretty much everything he's done). It does have some classics; Too Many Of My Yesterdays and Other Old Cliches are personal favourites, but best not to listen to these if you're in a dark place with your relationship.
So not a traditional 'concept' album, but worth noting in this thread, I think.
Which track are you referring to on The Final Cut? As far as I know, 'In the Flesh' was always intended for The Wall as its intro, being, as it is, a hard rock parody. Or are you meaning in your opinion there is a track on Final Cut that would have made a better intro? IMO 'When the Tigers broke free' should definitely have gone onto The Wall, but it certainly wouldn't have made a better inro than 'In the Flesh'.
Remember that about 2/3rds of The Final Cut are rejected demos and leftovers from The Wall sessions. Hence Gilmour's ire at the time of recording Final Cut with the choice of Waters' choice of material: "If the song wasn't good enough then, why is it good enough now?"
Yes exactly that, "When the Tigers broke free";
Erm, mascara. Only a little bit. Not enough for nomination though, so here's another vote for The Oo's Quadrophenia.
In reply to several: I don't get the concept behind Zen Arcade - anybody? Or Trout-mask Replica. If these are concept albums, so is Home by Procol Harum, which would then get my vote.
The Pro's and Cons of Hitchhking is pretty thin stuff - best as a once-only listen or maybe a radio play. The Wall is crap - their first bad LP.
From what I've read, 'When the tigers broke free' was certainly intended for the album, being as it is lyrically integral to the concept and, of course, part of the film soundtrack. But it was excised toward the end, as was other material from The Wall (most notably, 'What shall we do now' criminally butchered into its hastily abbreviated 'What now') because of limitations of space.
Apparently Roger Waters was all for releasing The Wall as a triple album, but this was one step too far both for the record company, and for the other members of the band, who knew that, for tax purposes, the album had to be a success.
One listens to many double albums then and now, and often immediately thinks of the great single album that could have been created if the filler and the fluff had been cut out. I've been a Wall enthusiast (and obsessive!) most of my life, and I know that if I could somehow alter time and conjure up Waters' intended magnum opus from the original sessions, then we'd have the contradiction of perfection being bettered!
Gruff Rhys has a good way with a concept album.
The excellent Stainless Style by Neon Neon. About the life and times of John deLorean.
His wonderful solo album Hotel Shampoo about er, the shampoos he's collected from hotels through years of touring. An associated artwork involved building a mini hotel from the bottles and spending a night in it.
And the really good but not as good as the 1st, although brilliantly named , 2nd Neon Neon album Praxis Makes Perfect, about mad Italian millionaire communist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.
Thanks for all the replies, but we all agree "The Snow Goose" is still the best, yes? ;-)
Red-Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson
Why should we trust your opinions on what is good and ignore others who would disgree? Its a bit arrogant to equate personal taste with universal value.
For no reason whatsoever; follow your own nose. It would be arrogant if I did so, you're quite right. But I'm merely expressing my own opinion.
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Mercury Rev - The Secret Migration
Current 93 - The Inmost Light trilogy
Lou Reed, Berlin.
A Grand Don't Come For Free is good, but if you want to set sail on the good ship prog rock then it has to be Rick Wakeman's 'Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table'. That's proper concept, that is.
and so is 'the 6 wives of henry VIII' and criminal record.
Concept albums still going.
The defamation of Strickland banks, plan b.
Albums that do what they say on the tin!
What about The Residents? Particularly the Mole Trilogy or the Commercial Album. You could argue that their entire career is a concept of sorts.
Swans: The Seer
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!.
does The Small Faces 'ogdens nut gone flake' count as a concept album? all tied together by Stanley Unwin
Mastodon : Crack the Skye.
Ooh yes. I diddle eye reckony so
Because it just turned up on shuffle - I'd forgotten about Brave by Marillion. Has its moments, even if it isn't a total success
Side two of it does
I think that'll be next on the hifi. My neighbours are probably blessing the thick walls...
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