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The Songfactors' Choice: Concept Albums


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Sorry, this is just what I wrote earlier with a few changes... pre-exam slump :crazy: I did put quite some thought into it when I first wrote those reviews though. :P

Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake:

Side 1 of Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake 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 as far as Concept Albums are concerned. 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.


Released exactly one year after Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, Tommy is everything the Small Faces' album isn't, and vice versa. It had mass appeal, it did not veer off into a multitude of different genres, it had a message, and the music is a lot more mature. Tommy introduced the rock opera to the masses, catapulted The Who to superstardom and even though the story might not be very easy to understand just by listening to the album, it is undeniably there. It made the Top Ten of Q’s “Albums that changed musicâ€, and even though The Pretty Things and Small Faces may have been a little faster with releasing their respective rock operas, the honour of being able to claim the invention of the concept of the rock opera still falls to The Who and their 1966 ‘mini opera’ A Quick One, While He’s Away. And Tommy, released in 1969, was far more successful and influential than its predecessors.

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The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

We write five years before the end of the world. Natural resources are running out and the people's minds are losing grip with reality. David Bowie narrates the story of a young alien that visits the earth with a message of peace and love. Ziggy is a gifted guitar player and his band rises and falls during the length of the album.

On live shows, Bowie continued the concept by transforming into Ziggy Stardust calling his backing group "The Spiders for Mars", as one can enjoy on the 1973 concert movie with the same title as the original album.

Topping the UK charts upon release in 1972, this album received many good critics and has grown to one of the albums that define Bowie and concept albums in general.

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The Wall

The songs from the Wall tell a story that relate to the events of Pink, the leading character. During Pink’s youth, he loses his dad in the war; his mother is very over-protective and he is exploited in school by dictating teachers. Each of these heavy burdens is symbolized by being “another brick in the wallâ€. When Pink grows up, he sees new light in being a rock & roll icon. He gets involved in unfaithful relationships and is overburdened with drugs and violence. After the end of his marriage, Pink assembles the wall and isolates himself from society.

Pink begins a hazy thought process and becomes insane while behind the wall. He starts to fascinate about being a fascist ruler and has concerts where he starts a bigotry authorization on the crowd. As a result, his conscious locks up on him and he begins a trial with his inner-self demanding him to “tear down the wallâ€, in order to free himself back into society, where he must make amends with the people he hurt. The end of “The Wall†cycles back to the beginning, with a continuation of the melody during the final song.

Please let me know if this needs to be changed or re-worded in any way.

Edited by Guest
few minor edits
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Thank you everybody for your contributions! :bow:

We actually need to get moving on this thing ... and we are missing bits for two albums. That nominator is (I think) away on vacation .... would someone like to give us some bits on Sgt. Peppers & Pet Sounds so that we can get this submitted? Please? :shades:

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Pet Sounds is a 1966 album recorded by American pop group The Beach Boys. The group's ninth studio album, it has been widely ranked as one of the most influential records ever released in western pop music and has been ranked at number #1 in several music magazines' lists of greatest albums of all time, including New Musical Express, The Times, Mojo Magazine, and Pure Pop's lists. It was number #2 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list. According to Acclaimedmusic.net, Pet Sounds is the most acclaimed album of all time by music journalists.

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

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the British rock band The Beatles. Recorded over a 129-day period beginning on 6 December 1966, the album was released on 1 June 1967 in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States. Sgt. Pepper is often described as The Beatles' magnum opus and recognized as one of the most influential albums of all time by prominent critics and publications. It was ranked the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone in 2003.

Side One

# Title Lead vocals Length

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

2. "With a Little Help from My Friends" Starr 2:44

3. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Lennon 3:28

4. "Getting Better" McCartney 2:47

5. "Fixing a Hole" McCartney 2:36

6. "She's Leaving Home" McCartney and Lennon 3:35

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

Side two

# Title Lead vocals Length

8. "Within You Without You" (George Harrison) Harrison 5:05

9. "When I'm Sixty Four" McCartney 2:37

10. "Lovely Rita" McCartney 2:42

11. "Good Morning Good Morning" Lennon 2:41

12. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)" McCartney, with Harrison and Lennon 1:18

13. "A Day in the Life" Lennon and McCartney 5:33

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Why isn't The Lamb on that wikipedia list? :(

Oh well...

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The last album written by Peter Gabriel when he was the lead singer of Genesis. The album is about a Puerto Rican youth from New York named Rael who is drawn into an ethereal world one day. In the story, Rael journeys through the realm in places like the Chamber of 32 Doors and The Slippermen Colony, while meeting different creatures like the aphrodisiacal Lamia, the maniacal Doktor Dyper, and even Death himself.

Track Listing:

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" – 4:55

"Fly on a Windshield" – 2:47

"Broadway Melody of 1974" – 1:58[5]

"Cuckoo Cocoon" – 2:14

"In the Cage" – 8:15

"The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" – 2:45

"Back in N.Y.C." – 5:49

"Hairless Heart" – 2:25

"Counting Out Time" – 3:45

"The Carpet Crawlers" – 5:16

"The Chamber of 32 Doors" – 5:44

"Lilywhite Lilith" – 2:40

"The Waiting Room" – 5:28

"Anyway" – 3:18

"Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist" – 2:50

"The Lamia" – 6:57

"Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" – 3:06

"The Colony of Slippermen (Arrival - A Visit to the Doktor - Raven)" – 8:14

"Ravine" – 2:05

"The Light Dies Down on Broadway" – 3:32

"Riding the Scree" – 3:56

"In the Rapids" – 2:24

"It" – 4:58

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