...and stuff

Moderator: Capt. Black

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BY ash
#346653
That being albums where all the songs are connected by a common theme or story thread. Sometimes all the parts run together as a single musical act, like Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick or A Passion Play. Sometimes as a bunch of individual songs with a not so obvious connection like Sgt Peppers.


What do you reckon? Love them, hate them, don't care either way?


I love them. Good concept albums are like watching a feature film instead of a single scene from a TV show.

I have these two great stories that I always thought would make great movies, but since I know nothing about movies, I'm thinking that they would make great concept albums. I'll get around to it one day...
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BY Jenesis
#346657
I dig them, particularly the ones where there is an underlying story being told. The Wall and Operation: Mindcrime would be my favourites in this regard.

Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son is also a bottler, in that Sgt Peppers thematic vibe.
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BY Bg
#346659
The Wall is my all time favourite, closely followed by Pros and Cons of Hitch-hiking
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BY Vorbis
#346679
Oddly enough, Wasp - The Crimson Idol was a great concept album. Very dark, ending in the lead characters suicide.
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BY sty
#346681
I do love a lot of concept albums, but sometimes I'm not really sure I truly "get" them (but then I don't always listen to the lyrics that closely).

My all time favourite has to be Misplaced Childhood, followed closely by Operation Mindcrime.

Mindcrime is easy since it tells a story, but Misplaced Childhood just hangs together so well as an album and it's a really big stamp on 1985/6 - I play it at least monthly and probably more often at the moment.

Honorable mention obviously to The Wall, and I also love Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (although it's probably not a pure concept album)

One sort of interesting mini concept album is the second side (back in the days when music came on LPs) of Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love, I think it was called The Seventh Wave. It's supposed to be a concept album/side and is certainly darker and more unified than the other side. Worth digging out again I think.
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BY sty
#346683
ash wrote:I have these two great stories that I always thought would make great movies, but since I know nothing about movies, I'm thinking that they would make great concept albums. I'll get around to it one day...


I always think that if I ever wrote some songs I'd like to do them as a concept album and try and tell a story in some smart way.
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BY ash
#346697
sty wrote:I do love a lot of concept albums, but sometimes I'm not really sure I truly "get" them (but then I don't always listen to the lyrics that closely).


Same here, I rarely pay much attention to lyrics, so deeper meaning often pass me by.

Jethro Tull - A Passion Play is a good case. I never realy "got" that album at all until I read an article on it that analysed some of the background stuff in the lyrics. All of a sudden the whole album made sense and I could listen to it from start to finish, enthralled as if it were a movie or book. It became pretty much my favourite JT record.

Unfortunately I don't usually have a whole hour to listen to whole records uninterupted these days. I should make time for a concept album soon.
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BY k1w1
#346702
Best one ever for me was Genesis, Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, just the dynamics and flow from song to song and Raouls path, if I could find the prick stole it from a party at my place back then....
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BY mop
#346704
Don't care either way, there's plenty of great albums that are and plenty that aren't.
Most of the time I don't care what the lyrics are, it can be hard to tell with some of what I listen to anyway.
Pick any mastodon album 8)
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BY Fler
#346711
I think that an 'album' should generally be a tight cohesive set of tunes that do link up one way or another. As far as the 'concept album' title goes, I don't think there necessarily has to be any 'concept' behind it. It's ironic that Thick As A Brick was actually made out to be a big conceptual piece when in fact the point of it was to completely mock the idea of a concept album after Aqualung was so often labelled as one. When I write music these days I generally write pieces that work with one another, almost like symphony's with movements, which is why I generally don't just write a song, record it, and throw it up on a myspace or whatever. I've been working on something for a few years now which I'm in no hurry to finish, but I'm hoping will become a fantastic composition, a modern symphony if you get where I'm hinting at...

Anyway here's some good ones that definitely stand out as a big continuous sort of album conceptual...thing...

Pain Of Salvation - Be, Remedy Lane (in fact, lots of their stuff is heavily conceptual, if you will, but those are my faves)
Fredrik Thordendals Special Defects - Sol Niger Within
Devin Townsend - Ziltoid The Omniscient

Theres more I could think of but I'm having trouble thinking in my weakening state of mind. Sleep time...will post more recommendations when I remember them.
BY Cabb
#346716
Oooo good thread...

I agree with a lot of what Fler just said and I would like to add that a concept album is nice way of substantiating the filler tracks on an album. You have your 'made for radio' singles that slot in nicely and are generally good sexy sweet songs full of hooks and catchiness, and then you have the other stuff which is so often just cardboard. On a concept album the filler is tied into the story and therefore a valuable part of the album as well.

But... a good album is a good album regardless, of course :)
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BY Hot_Grits
#346717
It'd be cool to make an album that had a different artist for each track, with each responding to the subject matter and music of the track before. The concept changes as each artist comes into the picture, sort of an album-long game of chinese whispers. Obviously it would have to be recorded in sequence...