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The Songfactors' Choice: Concept Albums

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The mother of all concept albums:

If Thick is the mother of concept albums, these 2 are Gramps and Granny:

Beach Boys-Pet Sounds

Side one

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" (Wilson, Asher, Mike Love) – 2:22

Features Brian Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals

"You Still Believe in Me" – 2:30

Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals; originally titled "In My Childhood"

"That's Not Me" – 2:27

Features Mike Love [w/Brian Wilson] on lead vocals

"Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" – 2:51

Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals

"I'm Waiting for the Day" (Wilson, Love) – 3:03

Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals

"Let's Go Away for Awhile" (Wilson) – 2:18

Instrumental, Originally titled "The Old Man and the Baby"

"Sloop John B" (Trad. arr. Wilson) – 2:56

Features Brian Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals

Side two

"God Only Knows" – 2:49

Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals: Brian Wilson & Bruce Johnston on the tag.

"I Know There's an Answer" (Wilson, Terry Sachen, Love) – 3:08

Features Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Brian Wilson on lead vocals; Originally titled "Hang On to Your Ego"

"Here Today" – 2:52

Features Mike Love on lead vocals

"I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" – 3:11

Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals

"Pet Sounds" (Wilson) – 2:20

Instrumental; originally titled "Run James Run"

"Caroline, No" – 2:52

Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals; The sounds of an oncoming train and barking of his dogs Banana and Louie close the song

and of course,

Beatles-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Side one

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" – 2:02

"With a Little Help from My Friends" – 2:44

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" – 3:28

"Getting Better" – 2:47

"Fixing a Hole" – 2:36

"She's Leaving Home" – 3:35

"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" – 2:37

Side two

"Within You Without You" (George Harrison) – 5:05

"When I'm Sixty-Four" – 2:37

"Lovely Rita" – 2:42

"Good Morning Good Morning" – 2:41

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" – 1:18

"A Day in the Life" – 5:33

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ModestMouse-WeWereDeadBeforeTheShip.jpg

Modest Mouse- We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is the fifth studio album by Washington-based American indie rock band Modest Mouse, released in 2007. The album is the first studio album by the band since 2004's Good News for People Who Love Bad News and is also the first album with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr as a member of the band. It has a strong nautical theme - in fact, it was originally envisioned as a concept album about a boat crew that dies in every song.

Although this album became the band's first to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 200, it did not spawn any chart topping singles on either tracks chart, unlike "Float On" from their previous album which was a #1 on the Modern Rock.

The album was recorded at Sweet Tea Studio in Oxford, Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring, becoming the second consecutive Modest Mouse album to be recorded at that location and with that producer. Audible Alchemy in Portland, Oregon was also credited as a recording studio for the album. The original drummer for Modest Mouse, Jeremiah Green, also returned to the band for this album. Additionally, James Mercer of The Shins sings backup vocals on the tracks "We've Got Everything," "Missed The Boat," and "Florida."

The album was leaked to the Internet on February 15, 2007, a full month before its official release on March 20, 2007. In its first week of release, the album debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200.

The album went gold in Canada in June 2008.

In an interview, Isaac Brock said of Johnny Marr: "He made a cautious commitment to write and record with us, and then the tighter we got, he was like, ‘okay, let's tour too'. Then he was pretty much a member of the band-- not pretty much. He's a full blown member of the band. It's really ******' nice." According to Brock, Marr was involved in songwriting on the album, and will even tour with the band in support of it. In the interview, Brock described We Were Dead... as a "nautical balalaika carnival romp". Johnny Marr later responded to Brock's comments by saying "Isaac contacted me and asked if I'd help Modest Mouse write the new album. I was intrigued and played with the band in Portland a couple of times. We hit it off and wrote three great songs straight away, something clicked, it felt right from the off. I have a new Healers album pretty much done, but we've been having such a good time playing these new Modest Mouse songs. When people hear the record they'll see why, we're very good together."

The album was originally intended to be released in the United States and Canada on December 19, 2006, but in an e-mail sent to members of Modest Mouse's mailing list on October 6, 2006, the album was pushed back: "The forthcoming record We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is set for release early next year...". It was pushed back until March 20, 2007, and released on April 2, 2007 in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The album was also released in Australia on March 17 and Germany on March 30.

Two CD versions of the album were released for purchase: the regular version, which comes in a standard jewel case, and the deluxe digipak version which "includes a digipack and a 32-page full color booklet all packaged in a deluxe slipcase" made of canvas. The Sony Music website also offers a double gatefold (2 LP) 180-gram vinyl edition of the album.

In anticipation of the album's release, Modest Mouse was named March 2007's Xbox Live Artist of the Month. Xbox Live users could download the "Dashboard" music video and have the chance to play against the band in an upcoming Game with Fame. There was also a sweepstakes and other exclusive bonuses.

Bonus material

“Dashboard / Education / Little Motel Promoâ€

Single by Modest Mouse

A behind the scenes look into the making of the "Dashboard" video entitled "A Fisherman's Tale" was included with iTunes Store pre-orders of the album and the Japanese limited edition 2-disc set.

A 7" vinyl single featuring the unreleased track "King Rat" with album track "Fire It Up" as the B-side was included with the pre-order of the album at certain retailers.

U.S. Best Buy stores offered a pre-sell CD single with three tracks from the album. It was made available on March 7, two weeks prior to the release of the album and contained the tracks "Dashboard", "Education", and "Little Motel." The single carried no title other than that of the 3 tracks. Unlike typical promotions of pre-sell material that contain coupons for some value off the final price of the album (this one was $1.99 - a reimbursement for the cost of the single, making it a free promotional tool), this CD featured only album quality tracks and no live or other unreleased tracks.

Singles:

The first single released from the album was "Dashboard" in January 2007. It was first sent to members of the Modest Mouse e-mail list on January 3 and is still present on the band's media player on their official MySpace page. The song was released to radio on January 16, and made available at the iTunes Store on January 29.

The second single was "Missed the Boat", with the video being directed by Christopher Mills (who also directed the Float On video). It peaked at #24.

The third single is "Little Motel". The video was shown on the official Modest Mouse Youtube channel on October 11, 2007.

Track Listing:

1. March Into The Sea

2. Dashboard

3. Fire It Up

4. Florida

5. Parting Of The Sensory

6. Missed The Boat

7. We've Got Everything

8. Fly Trapped In A Jar

9. Education [Explicit]

10. Little Motel

11.Steam Engenius

12.Spitting Venom

13. People As Places As People

14.Invisible

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I don't like concept albums that take themselves too seriously, so I nominate these:

The Who Sell Out

The concept here was fake radio commercials selling products like Odorono, which was supposed to make you smell better. Kind of disgusting but very intriguing cover art, and it contains the song "I Can See For Miles."

Sex Packets - Digital Underground

The concept: a wonder drug that will bring you to um, climax. Digital Underground was all about innovative beats and having a good time. Instead of rapping about their bling or their lyrical supremacy, they brought us Humpty Hump, who had his own dance. Really, what's more fun than grooving out to "The Humpty Dance" or "Doowutchyalike"? Humpty even came with a backstory: he sustained severe burns in a kitchen accident, causing him to wear a large fake nose.

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The_Alan_Parsons_Project_-_I_Robot.jpg

Wiki Link:

I Robot is a progressive rock album recorded by The Alan Parsons Project, engineered by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson in 1977. It was released by Arista Records in 1977 and re-released on CD in 1984 and 2007. It was intended to be based on the I, Robot stories written by Isaac Asimov, and actually Woolfson spoke with Asimov, who was enthusiastic about that. But the rights had already been granted to a TV/movie company, so the album's title was altered slightly by removing the comma, and the theme and lyrics were made to be more generically about robots rather than specific to the Asimov universe.[1]

The cover inlay reads: "I ROBOT... THE STORY OF THE RISE OF THE MACHINE AND THE DECLINE OF MAN, WHICH PARADOXICALLY COINCIDED WITH HIS DISCOVERY OF THE WHEEL... AND A WARNING THAT HIS BRIEF DOMINANCE OF THIS PLANET WILL PROBABLY END, BECAUSE MAN TRIED TO CREATE ROBOT IN HIS OWN IMAGE."

The title of the final track, "Genesis Ch.1 v.32", follows this theme by implying a continuation to the story of Creation, since the first chapter of Genesis only has 31 verses. The track "Don't Let it Show" was later covered by Pat Benatar on her album In the Heat of the Night.

Side One:

1. I Robot" (instrumental)

2. I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You 3. Some Other Time

4. Breakdown 5. Don't Let It Show

Side Two

1. The Voice

2. Nucleus

3. Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)

4. Total Eclipse

5. Genesis Ch.1 v.32

2007 reissue

11. "Boules" (I Robot experiment)

12. "Breakdown" (early demo of backing riff)

13. "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" (backing track rough mix)

14. "Day After Day" (early stage rough mix)

15. "The Naked Robot"

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ModernSoundsInCWMusic.jpg

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music ~ Ray Charles (1962)

The concept, from wiki:

"Following his blues fusion with gospel and jazz influences on his earlier Atlantic material, which had brought him much fame and controversy, Charles sought to experiment with country music. As noted by himself in the liner notes for What'd I Say (1959), Charles was influenced by the genre in his youth, stating that he "used to play piano in a hillbilly band" and that he believed that he "could do a good job with the right hillbilly song today." At Atlantic, he attempted to incorporate this style and influence with his cover of country singer Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On". Charles later said about the song, "When I heard Hank Snow sing 'Moving On', I loved it. And the lyrics. Keep in mind, I’m a singer, so I like lyrics. Those lyrics are great, so that’s what made me want to do it" ...... "When Charles had announced that he wanted to work on an album of country music in 1961, amid racial segregation and tension in the United States, he received mostly negative commentary and feedback from peers such as fellow R&B musicians and ABC-Paramount executives. The country album concept, however, meant more to Charles as a test of his record label's faith and respect to his artistic freedom rather than a test of social tolerence among listeners during a time of great racial distinctions of country and R&B."

My take on this album? Charles took a bunch of well written and lyrical Country songs, put his own twist on them and with that succeeded in crossing and breaking just as many or more barriers than any other artist in history, at a time when those barriers need to be broken. He mixed up white, black, country, R&B, pop, jazz, gospel. The album is widely regarded as one of the most important modern releases both for it's critical acclaim and it's social impact.

Side one

"Bye Bye Love" (F. Bryant, B. Bryant) – 2:09

"You Don't Know Me" (Arnold, Walker) – 3:14

"Half as Much" (C. Williams) – 3:24

"I Love You So Much It Hurts" (Tillman) – 3:33

"Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long Way)" (Arnold, Clements) – 3:26

"Born to Lose" (Brown) – 3:15

Side two

"Worried Mind" (Daffan, Davis) – 2:54

"It Makes No Difference Now" (Tillman, Davis) – 3:30

"You Win Again" (H. Williams) – 3:29

"Careless Love" (Traditional, Charles) – 3:56

"I Can't Stop Loving You" (Gibson) – 4:13

"Hey, Good Lookin'" (H. Williams) – 2:10

Read about the album here

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Sorry to votesplit again, but this has to be nominated:

darksideofthemoon.png

[bigger]THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON - PINK FLOYD[/bigger]

The Dark Side of the Moon (titled Dark Side of the Moon in the 1993 CD edition) is a concept album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 17 March 1973 in the United States and 24 March 1973 in the United Kingdom.

The Dark Side of the Moon built on the ideas Pink Floyd had explored in their live shows and recordings, but it lacked the extended instrumental excursions which had characterised their work following the departure of founding member, principal composer and lyricist, Syd Barrett. The album's themes include conflict, greed, aging, and mental illness (or "insanity"), the latter partly inspired by Barrett's deteriorating mental state.

Developed during the band's live concert tours, it was recorded between 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London, making use of some of the most advanced studio techniques of the time. Innovative ideas included multitracking, analogue synthesizers, and tape loops.

The band's most commercially successful release, The Dark Side of the Moon is often considered to be their magnum opus, and is frequently ranked by music critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time.

I nominated two albums from the same year, both of which start with a heartbeat. Whether or not Jethro Tull had heard DSotM before recording A Passion Play (and hence stole the heartbeat idea from Pink Floyd) is unknown to me. :P

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Sorry to votesplit again, but this has to be nominated:

darksideofthemoon.png

[bigger]THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON - PINK FLOYD[/bigger]

I nominated two albums from the same year, both of which start with a heartbeat. Whether or not Jethro Tull had heard DSotM before recording A Passion Play (and hence stole the heartbeat idea from Pink Floyd) is unknown to me. :P

:bow: :bow: :bow:

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qotsa.jpg

Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age

"You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" - 3:12

"No One Knows" - 4:38

"First It Giveth" - 3:18

"A Song for the Dead" - 5:52

"The Sky Is Fallin'" - 6:16

"Six Shooter" - 1:19

"Hangin' Tree" - 3:06

"Go with the Flow" - 3:08

"Gonna Leave You" - 2:50

"Do It Again" - 4:04

"God Is on the Radio" - 6:05

"Another Love Song" - 3:16

"A Song for the Deaf" - 6:42

"Mosquito Song" - 5:37

Radio ad: K-L-O-N Los Angeles KLONE Radio, We play the songs that sound more like everyone else than anyone else. (klone, klone)

DJ: Hey, all right, it's Kip Kasper, KLONE Radio, LA's infinite repeat. How we feelin out there? How's your drive-time commute? I need a saga. What's the saga? (song starts) It's Songs for the Deaf. You can't even hear it!

This concept album takes you on a drive from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert while tuning into radio stations from towns on the way such as Banning, California and Chino Hills, California.

DJ: You're listening to W-A-N-T, the high desert, wonder valley favorite radio station. It's been a good night. Dave Catching here, not saying goodnight - just saying...

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24lo2vd.jpg 

[big]Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake -- Small Faces[/big]

Side 1

1. Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (Marriott/Lane/McLagan/ Jones)

2. Afterglow (Of Your Love)

3. Long Agos and Worlds Apart (McLagan)

4. Rene

5. Song of a Baker

6. Lazy Sunday

Side 2

1. Happiness Stan

2. Rollin' Over

3. The Hungry Intruder (Marriott/Lane/McLagan)

4. The Journey (Marriott/Lane/McLagan/Jones)

5. Mad John

6. Happy Days Toy Town (Marriott/Lane/McLagan)

All songs by Marriott/Lane except where noted.

Released in May 1968, Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake was without a doubt the Small Faces' best album.

Side 1 contains a number of great songs like Afterglow (Of your Love) and of course Lazy Sunday, but Side 2 is where things really get interesting. It tells the story of Happiness Stan, who, together with a magic fly, embarks on the search for the missing half of the moon. The story itself is narrated by Stanley Unwin, a British comedian, in a half-English/half-gobbledygook language he invented, while the dialogue between Stan and the various curious characters he meets takes the form of songs. It’s a very silly and fun album, and unlike most concept albums doesn’t try to make you think or convey any deep messages apart from “Life is just a bowl of All-Bran/ You wake up every morning and it's thereâ€. A documentary called the album “soul-tinged blues-rock and psychedelic pop with a flavour of mock-Cockney music hall†– sums it up pretty well.

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Thanks Martin, you read my mind. Sometimes they need a little nudge .... [smallest] ( radhi, I'm nudging you )[/smallest] :shades:

Maybe we open voting late tomorrow afternoon/evening. Would that give everyone enough time?

ooohhh great new noms ... I was wondering where DSOTM was! ;)

Edited by Guest

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[big]Attack of the Grey Lantern[/big]

333j2vd.jpg

Mavis' father is a vicar. With a fetish. He's a bit of a cross-dresser, you see. Also a stripper. The poor man ultimately dies an undignified death.

I love it this album pieces and it's probably my second favourite of all time. Each song is a winner.

By the way - we're talking britpop, if you want a genre specification.

Tracklist

[featuring one killer lyric per song]

1. The Chad Who Loved Me

You can't deny, that your sh*t tastes just as sweet as mine, sweet Jesus.

2. Mansun's Only Love Song

Standing in grey lantern light... Mavis looking sexy through her dress, it shines

3. Taxloss (videp)

We think you are stupid, we give you money 'cos our assets are fluid, yeah!

4. You Who Do You Hate?

If I ever lived again... I wish I could be you

5. Wide Open Space

You'll never get to heaven with a smile on your face from me

6. Stripper Vicar ( video )

'cause when the vicar strips, he gets away with it!

7. Disgusting

You're so full of venom you'd spit into your own sweet face

8. She Makes My Nose Bleed

I vow to my god I'd give it all up, if he would bring her on down from heaven

9. Naked Twister ( video )

Where do we go? Who do we trust? Who do we see?

10. Egg Shaped Fred

We'll make them sit strategically, we'll test their egg-a-bility we'll make them meet!

11. Dark Mavis

His lipstick's running, his dress is stunning, He's got high heels on... And his flock don't care now

*An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter*

The lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much - they're just a vehicle for a lovely voice. They aren't supposed to mean that much.

Please, please WATCH the videos. Taxloss is a genius concept. Meanwhile you need to able to see the contrast in band image between Stripper Vicar and She Makes My Nose Bleed. They were pretty notorious for drastic image changes within an album. And you should already know Wide Open Space, should you not?

The album is sheer brilliance.

Edited by Guest
all done :)

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How long do we have? I'm thinking about changing one of my choices.

Um ... like 10 hours or so? We'd like to open voting by the end of the day (it's now 7:25am for me). Will that give you ladies enought time?

Welcome to Sf Choice, SayTune! Nice to have you with us. Great nomination, at least I'm going to take it as such. I like your signature too, and I like the diminutive SayTuneetc. Very cute Seeker. ;)

Edited by Guest

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