Concept Albums

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PatrickRsGhost
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Concept Albums

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:12 pm UTC

What is a concept album?

Back in the days of Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, among many others, concept albums were albums produced with a certain theme in mind. In most cases, the songs blended seamlessly into each other, so that you couldn't just play one song by itself, you had to play two or three songs together to get an entire message, or part of the concept in mind. For example, with Pink Floyd you couldn't just play "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2." Sure, it sounded good, but to relay the entire message, you had to include "Happiest Days of Our Lives," which played right before it.

That being said, what are some of your favorite concept albums?

Mine include:

Pink Floyd - The Wall
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - The Beatles (a.k.a. "The White Album")
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Postby Sunshine » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:47 pm UTC

Richard Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen.
I have grudging respect for Green Day for continuing the tradition of concept albums today with "American Idiot" although I did not care for the music so much.
To some extent, Daft Punk - Discovery. Maybe only because I first heard the album while watching the accompanying film "Interstella 5555" but the music, when played in a certain order, seems to tell a semi-coherent story, or at least the continuation of an idea or emotion.

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Postby djn » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:24 pm UTC

Interstella 5555 made that album so much better.

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Postby 27b/6 » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:21 pm UTC

Some obvious additions:

* Multiple albums by The Flaming Lips (e.g. Yoshimii Battles the Pink Robots, The Soft Bulletin)
* Multiple albums by Radiohead (e.g. OK Computer)
* Multiple albums by Sufjan Stevens (e.g. Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lakes State; Come On, Feel the Illinoise)
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Postby ChooChoo » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:18 pm UTC

Cursive - The Ugly Organ

The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium

Both of these albums are favorites of mine, so it's no surprise that they're favorite concept albums of mine.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:32 pm UTC

Clutch - Blast Tyrant Full Title - Blast Tyrant's Atlas of the Invisible World Including Illustrations of Strange Beasts And Phantasms

"It's pretty much the soundtrack to a movie that plays inside my head..." - Neil Fallon, Lead Singer

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Postby Fluff » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:24 am UTC

Queensrÿche - Operation Mindcrime

The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed


Looking forward to the upcoming concept album from Judas Priest.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:45 am UTC

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Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:13 am UTC

[beatles etc.]

Tommy by The Who

[also in my more fanatical stage, although I think it's still true, Pinkerton by Weezer.]

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Postby Clumpy » Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:31 am UTC

Some obvious additions:

* Multiple albums by The Flaming Lips (e.g. Yoshimii Battles the Pink Robots, The Soft Bulletin)
* Multiple albums by Radiohead (e.g. OK Computer)
* Multiple albums by Sufjan Stevens (e.g. Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lakes State; Come On, Feel the Illinoise)


Definitely. Also the second half of "Abbey Road", anything by the Mars Volta (though the last album less-so), Radiohead or Sigur Ros. "Electro-shock Blues" by Eels had a great theme spawned from real experiences. "Destroyer's Rubies" by Destroyer, "The Crane Wife" by The Decemberists, "Ys" by Joanna Newsom (if you can stand it, which I can), "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" by Modest Mouse and "Madvillainy" by Madvillain (sort of). The Modest Mouse album isn't really a concept album (save for the nautical theme) as much as a random stream of nonsensical stream-of-consciousness. Aside from the Hit Singles, so important since "Float On".

"Boys and Girls in America" by the Hold Steady is a good example of a rock band really pulling it off. 'Course the concept is partying but nobody can put as much emotion and panache into it.

I would count some more popular albums as well (unifying theme or feel): "Pinkerton" by Weezer, "Whatever People Say I Am. . ." by Arctic Monkeys, "Neon Bible" by The Arcade Fire, "Oh Inverted World" by The Shins.

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Postby J » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:45 pm UTC

Ayreon - The Human Equation

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Postby noouch » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:21 am UTC

Deltron - 3030

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Postby Stief » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:49 am UTC

I guess:

My Chemical Romance-The Black Parade

I totally agree that Interstellar 5555 made it great, but Discovery was a good album as well ^_^
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Postby convoybutterfly » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:09 am UTC

27b/6 wrote:Some obvious additions:

* Multiple albums by The Flaming Lips (e.g. Yoshimii Battles the Pink Robots, The Soft Bulletin)
* Multiple albums by Radiohead (e.g. OK Computer)
* Multiple albums by Sufjan Stevens (e.g. Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lakes State; Come On, Feel the Illinoise)

Am I lame if I still really like OK Computer, even though I've been listening to it since seventh grade or so (back when I thought it was PROFOUND STUFF. It might still be).
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Postby Cai » Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:22 am UTC

noouch wrote:Deltron - 3030


Second'd. My name on WC3 is Deltron-!
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Postby lowbrass » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:03 pm UTC

Mastodon - Leviathan. Most definitely my favorite concept album. It's based on Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Metal and 19th century literature, together at last.


Also good:

Red Sparowes - Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun: an instrumental tale of the hardships experienced by Chinese peasants during the Great Leap Forward.

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Postby mqarcus » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:21 pm UTC

Ildjarn - Hardangervidda
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Postby Ishindri » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:46 am UTC

Blind Guardian (band) - Nightfall in Middle-Earth (album)

One of my favorite albums. Essentially, it's at least part of the Silmarillion in music form. Tolkien and power metal.
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Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:50 am UTC

Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle

It's an album about a bunch of people who were pulled out of time into another dimension by an ethereal alien in the search for its lost emotions.

Some bloody good vocals.

My favourite song off the album: Across the Rainbow Bridge.

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Postby taggedunion » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:44 am UTC

Nobody's mentioned Coheed and Cambria yet?

Wow.
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Postby thefiddler » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:43 am UTC

ChooChoo wrote:Cursive - The Ugly Organ

I would have put 'Happy Hollow' over 'The Ugly Organ'.
But I am religion biased. Also, 'Dorothy at 40' is probably one of my favourite songs, followed by 'Rise Up! Rise Up!'. Although 'Art is Hard' comes after that. Oh well.

Also, I am surprised at you people!
What ever happened to the David Bowie love?!?! It used to run rampant, in the days of VSM and Fluff.
I'd have to put David Bowie's 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' up there.

Another really good one: Protest the Hero's 'Kezia'. It has the most beautiful background story and lyrics, the instrumentals are fabulously wicked, and the vocals give me shivers.

convoybutterfly wrote:Am I lame if I still really like OK Computer, even though I've been listening to it since seventh grade or so (back when I thought it was PROFOUND STUFF. It might still be).

I love 'OK Computer'! Radiohead is one of my favourite bands. :)

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Postby Jesse » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:24 am UTC

Wow, I'm not the only person who owns 'Kezia'. I have never found anyoen else who listens to Protest The Hero before, what a joyous day it is.

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Postby bigglesworth » Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:46 am UTC

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Iron Maiden
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Postby thefiddler » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:08 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:Wow, I'm not the only person who owns 'Kezia'. I have never found anyoen else who listens to Protest The Hero before, what a joyous day it is.

Me and three of my friends listen to PtH on a regular basis.
I have gotten other people into it, since the four of us.
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Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:39 pm UTC

two of my favorite concept albums of all time:

the microphones - mount eerie concept album of epic proportions. the main character (told in first person) faces feelings of loss as his lover sails off on a ship into the distance and the black sails start reigning in. he climbs a mountain to get away from the black sails and makes friends with the sun. eventually he faces loss again as the sun is blocked by clouds and night falls. the character races toward the peak of the mountain. the rest of the album is about death and rebirth into the universe. it's amazing.


liars - drums not dead a concept album dealing with two sides of a personality represented by the characters "mt. heart attack" and "drum". deals with contrasting thoughts and clashes between anxiety and ego. brilliantly done. very tribal.
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Postby rxninja » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:03 am UTC

Murder By Death's "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?" It's about the devil waging war on a small town. That and the band includes a cello, which I have a soft spot for.

I second the Coheed & Cambria mention. All of their albums are a joint concept effort, also including a brief comic book and a graphic novel.

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Postby damienthebloody » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:28 am UTC

mqarcus wrote:Ildjarn - Hardangervidda

I don't know that album (shamefully). What's the concept?
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Postby jtniehof » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:55 pm UTC

Nobody's mentioned Rush's 2112 cycle yet? (2112/A Farewell to Kings/Hemispheres). Or Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick? (I like the story behind that one...people were calling Aqualung a concept album, so Ian Anderson said "That's not a concept album, this is! Also supposedly, at a concert: "We're going to play our new single for you...it's 45 minutes long....")

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Postby I_Ate_My_Children » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:48 pm UTC

Oliver Messiaen - The Turangalîla symphony

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Postby thefiddler » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:59 pm UTC

jtniehof wrote:Nobody's mentioned Rush's 2112 cycle yet? (2112/A Farewell to Kings/Hemispheres).

Technically speaking, '2112' isn't really a concept album, since only half the album deals with that.

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Postby lowbrass » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:17 am UTC

rxninja wrote:Murder By Death's "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?" It's about the devil waging war on a small town. That and the band includes a cello, which I have a soft spot for.

I second the Coheed & Cambria mention. All of their albums are a joint concept effort, also including a brief comic book and a graphic novel.


MBD owns so hard. Also, the small town is in the American southwest in the mid/late 1800s/gold rush/frontier era. Awesome.
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Postby someguy » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:13 am UTC

*AHEM*

Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

:D

Others that probably make the cut:

The Who Sell Out (mentioned already?)
Pet Sounds (mentioned already? Personal aside, never made friends with PS :?. Odd.)
Small Faces, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (the second half definitely qualifies)
Talk Talk, Spirit of Eden (have you not heard this? Rush out and buy it!)
Olivia Tremor Control, Black Foliage/Animation Music Vol. 2 (that's ONE album)

As for the 'unifying theme/feel' thing, off the top of my head:

Van Morrison, Astral Weeks (probably somewhere between both lists)
Cat Power, Moon Pix
Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand and/or Alien Lanes
PJ Harvey, To Bring You My Love
Cure, Disintegration (may belong on the list above)
Can's Future Days
Skip Spence, Oar
recent Wilco?

I've just realized that most of my favorite albums actually belong on one list or the other. Interesting.
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Re: Concept Albums

Postby ChocloManx » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:53 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
The Beatles - The Beatles (a.k.a. "The White Album")


That's not a concept album by any means. It's practically a bunch of (awesome) songs put together.

And yeah, Dark Side for the win.
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Postby Durinthal » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:19 am UTC

Sunshine wrote:Richard Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen.
:lol:
If you're going along that path, might as well go all-out.

That said, excluding more modern, eclectic things like Cirque du Soleil where a number of their shows simply blend the music between one act and the next, I like Sigur Rós' Takk... and, of course, Dark Side of the Moon.

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Postby jgrabyan » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:34 am UTC

Scenes From A Memory by Dream Theater

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Re: Concept Albums

Postby Pobega » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:31 am UTC

I'm surprised no one even mentioned Nine Inch Nail's "The Downward Spiral". I personally think this is one of the most emotional concept albums I've ever listened to. Just listening to the music almost makes me feel Renzor's pain when he wrote the music.

The idea of the album is the story of a man who destroys his life with drugs, alcohol, violence and inevitably suicide.

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Re:

Postby no-genius » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:10 am UTC

thefiddler wrote:Also, I am surprised at you people!
What ever happened to the David Bowie love?!?! It used to run rampant, in the days of VSM and Fluff.
I'd have to put David Bowie's 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' up there

Never mind that, what the fuck happened to fluff? who else will look vaguely like pj harvey in some photos?

Oh well. 'Lift yr Skinny fists' by Godspeed. Seems to me to be about life (birth/death/afterlife/rebirth), and yet the first and last songs have (near enough) the same title. So it must be cyclical. and the artwork is as weird as fuck!
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Re: Concept Albums

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:24 am UTC

Frances The Mute by The Mars Volta

Mezmerize/Hypnotize by System of a Down

Wish You Were Here by Floyd

The Band(self-titled)
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Re:

Postby Angelene » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:34 am UTC

someguy wrote:*AHEM*

Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Cat Power, Moon Pix
PJ Harvey, To Bring You My Love
Cure, Disintegration


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Re: Concept Albums

Postby no-genius » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:11 am UTC

Pixies - Surfer Rosa (decay / mutilation) and
Pixies - Doolittle (the bible / death)
both have loose concepts.

also Tromple le Monde and Bossanova are mainly about making teh secks with teh aliens
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