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The Songfactors' Choice: Concept Albums


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Do we need to write a summary for the albums that we nominated that made the cut?

also, is there a complete list?

yes, please, thanks for mentioning it :)

and yes :)

1. The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd 92

2. Tommy - The Who 85

3. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles 81

4. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - David Bowie 57

5. Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull 50

6. Pet Sounds - Beach Boys 48

7. The Wall - Pink Floyd 41

8. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake - Small Faces 36

9. Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) - The Kinks 32

10.Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age 32


The Who Sell Out - The Who 31

In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson 27

Operation: Mindcrime - Queensrÿche 25

We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank - Modest Mouse 24

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music - Ray Charles 23

Attack of the Grey Lantern - Mansun 22

Berlin - Lou Reed 18

A Grand Don't Come For Free - The Streets 17

Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü 17

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - Peter Gabriel 15

Blues from Laurel Canyon - John Mayall 13

S.F. Sorrow - The Pretty Things 13

Sex Packets - Digital Underground 13

I Robot - The Alan Parsons Project 10

A Passion Play - Jethro Tull 3


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I would but I will have to go with:

seventh son of a seventh son-iron maiden

in short sum it is just a poor man who discovers he is royalty but then discovers there is a curse in his throne.

but tommy and thick as a brick are high on my list too. also pink floyd's animals

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Thick As A Brick defines concept album. In fact, it goes above and beyond by having only one song. Tull frontman Ian Anderson wrote Thick As A Brick in response to critics' calling Aqualung (their previous release) a "concept album". Anderson disagreed with this label, saying

His intention was to "spoof" prog acts of the time.

Ironically, Thick As A Brick placed Jethro Tull amongst the greats of prog rock. It epitomized everything prog: time signature changes are everywhere, the instrumentation is varied, the lyrics are oblique, and, of course, it consists of one 43 minute epic.

The concept even extends beyond the music and lyrics: TAAB's premise is that it's lyrics were penned by a (fictional) 8 year-old, Gerald "Little Milton" Bostock as an epic poem entered into a children's writing contest. The story of his entry, triumph, and subsequent disqualification are detailed in the liner notes, which consist of the newspaper of a small town (also fictional). The lyrics themselves are printed, along with numerous articles, all of them written by Ian Anderson, who has a great sense of humour. This furthers the "spoof" idea, mocking small-town journalism.

All in all, it's a great album, and the concept holds together very well. Also, its humourous presentation helps to stop it from seeming pretentious as many great prog albums might.

is this good? This is just what I wrote earlier, with a couple changes.

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^ yes, that's perfect :thumbsup:

I would but I will have to go with:

seventh son of a seventh son-iron maiden

in short sum it is just a poor man who discovers he is royalty but then discovers there is a curse in his throne.

but tommy and thick as a brick are high on my list too. also pink floyd's animals

Hi astro! some good examples you're listing here :)

just bad luck that we posted the results just yesterday... you can see them a couple posts up, if you haven't already

we sure would like to see your input in the next Songfactors' Choices :thumbsup:

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Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age

QotSA's third studio album takes you on a drive from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert, all the while tuning into radio stations from towns on the way such as Banning, California and Chino Hills, California, always changing channels until one of the songs from the album is played.

But besides the entertaining radio announcements ("We play the songs that sound more like everyone else than anyone else."), with the ever changing membership of the band, this album is also famous for featuring non other than Dave Grohl on drums, which together with Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri and vocalist Mark Lenagan was arguably one of the best lineup in their history.

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Arthur Or Decline and Fall Of The British Empire, 1969, was not the Kinks’ first concept album (it was their previous one, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society) but it turned out to be their best with a collection of songs that have stood the test of time and today, 40 years later, is as enjoyable as when it was first release in 1969. The story that the songs detail is the one of Ray Davies' brother-in-law, Arthur, who emigrated from England to Australia with his wife Rose, Ray’s and Dave’s older sister. The album starts out with a description of the post WWI England, Victoria, continues with tidbits about life in Britain, WWII, and the move to the promised land, Australia:

“Opportunities are available in all walks of life in Australia

So if you're young and if you're healthy

Why not get a boat and come to Australiaâ€

In the magnificent song Shangri-La we learn that life in Australia wasn’t what the pair had expected. It wasn’t the Shangri-La of their dreams:

“The gas bills and the water rates, and payments on the car

Too scared to think about how insecure you are

Life ain't so happy in your little Shangri-laâ€

In the final song, Arthur, we leave the protagonist at the end of his dream, trying to find out what went wrong:

“Arthur was born just a plain simple man

In a plain simple working class position

Though the world was hard and it's ways were set

He was young and he had so much ambition

All the way he was overtaken

By the people who make the big decisionsâ€

“Arthur–an Englishman's life and thoughts and hopes and dreams, stories that Ray Davies wrote and produced, little scenes that the Kinks act out in playing and singing, an album that is a masterpiece on every level: Ray Davies' finest hour, the Kinks' supreme achievement.†~ From The Rolling Stone review, Nov 1, 1969

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The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

At a time when almost every British rock band was releasing concept albums, Pink Floyd managed to stand out from the pack with their outstanding 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon. Every track on the album is based on one of the many stresses of human life, including time, money, war, death and insanity. The album is well known for its excellent instrumentation and revolutionary use of synthesizers to create an atmospheric feel.

The Dark Side Of The Moon is the only concept album in history to sell more than 40 million copies worldwide, and it truly deserves that honor. It is still as popular today as it ever was, and is regularly rated amongst the greatest and most influential albums of all time.

^ Any contributions to the above are welcome. I've never been much of a writer, which is why I avoid the Creative Writing forum. :P

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reminds me of my younger days with my parents nagging me to do my homework.


I'm so sorry, really I am. I didn't mean to rush any of you at all, honestly. We haven't been done all that long. Just trying to keep the thread active so people don't forget. Otherwise, sometimes it drags on for so long. :P

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