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Best Concept Albums


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I think one of the best concept albums is Funkadelic - "One Nation Under a Groove." It is most of the time a look at a place called "Funkadelia" or "Funkadelica" I can't quite remember. I will go through each track and say how it contributes to the concept:

One Nation Under a Groove - Basically an introduction to Funkadelia. It is a country dedicated to funk.

Grooveallegiance - This is funkadelia's allegiance, pledging loyalty to funk.

Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?! - This shows that Funkadelia is a land without racial barriers. In the song they ask why a funk band can't play rock, and vice versa, and also why can't a jazz band can't play dance music? Funkadelia just wants to dance and party, and play some funk. It is about racial barriers even though they aren't mentioned, because funk is mostly dominated by black people, and rock dominated by white people.

Promentalsh!tbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers) - This is more of a look at the other, unfunky countries. Where the masses are full of bull-excrement (there is lots of toilet humor) such as oppression, prejudice, and brainwashability by the government. The citizens of Funkadelia are the Doo Doo Chasers/Enema Squad try to get rid of this excrement, and change other nations into an open-minded, benevolent, Funky land.

Into You - Doesn't contribute to the concept.

Cholly (Funk Gettin' Ready to Roll!) - this one recognizes that it is OK in Funkadelia to listen to any music, but you should listen to funk

Lunchmeatophobia (Think!...It Ain't Illegal Yet!) - Like "Doo Doo Chasers" I think this one could also be a dark look at other nations. It is heavy and scary sounding, Black Sabbath-esque. While there are no official lyrics, at random times they will say stuff like "A mind is a beautiful thing to waste" and of course the title is "Think, it aint illegal yet!" which has to do with other countries and their strict laws. Could it be a look at other countries, or a look at Funkadelia's inevitable ending, turning into other societies? It's probably a look at other nations, but then why would it close the album?

In the release, they also have an instrumental version of Doo Doo Chasers, and a live version of the Funkadelic classic "Maggot Brain." These don't contribute to the album, they are just there as reissues.

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The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia albums are excellent.

Rick Wakeman came out with his story albums after leaving Yes. Albums such as King Arthur and Journey to the Center of the Earth were original in both idea and sound. For anyone who is a Wakeman fan these and his other story albums are must haves!

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I'm going with "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars". Not only do I love the album, but Bowie actually got so into being Ziggy onstage, he forgot he wasn't Ziggy off stage. It became his life, it became him. But as we all know, "When the kids had Killed the man, I had to break up the band." :bow:

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The Kinks have had several concept albums - my favorite being "Schoolboys In Disgrace". You will find that much of Roger Waters' idea for "The Wall" was inspired by "Schoolboys". "Preservation Acts I and II" are also some top-notch stories. In fact, to a degree, all the Kinks' albums, from "Village Green Preservation Society" on, are concept albums. "Low Budget" and "Give the People What They Want" can very easily be made into great made-for-TV movies, or even a miniseries.

:afro: :afro: :afro: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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Marillion's Brave.

While the band was knocking around new ideas for an album, the lead singer heard a blurb on the radio about a girl who was found walking along this one English bridge, she had no clothes on, carried nothing with her, and when questioned, she didn't know who she was or how she got there.. So, he took that idea and wrote an album about it.. About what might have driven her to that point, abusive parents, falling in with the wrong crowd, then running away, so on..

"What a brave brave girl.."

It's 74 minutes of music without a break, and each time I listen to it (which is leading near 1000's at this point) I hear something I missed before.. In the liner notes it says "Listen to it loud with the lights off" and I'll be darned if that isn't the best thing to do.. They actually recorded the sounds of silence in a cave near where they recorded the album for background.. With the lights off and your eyes closed you can literally 'feel' the silences.. It's simply amazing, I can't say enough about this album.

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  • 1 month later...

Rick Wakeman came out with his story albums after leaving Yes. Albums such as King Arthur and Journey to the Center of the Earth were original in both idea and sound. For anyone who is a Wakeman fan these and his other story albums are must haves!

And the most famous, "The six wives of Henry VIII".

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I've seen "Tommy" mentioned alot. And I whole heartedly agree with that. That was the era of the great concept albums. Although certain bands are bringing it back with a vengeance.

"The Mars Volta - Deloused in the Comatorium"

This album is the story of one of the band members overdosing on drugs. And what he may have seen or experienced leading up to his death. Insanely fleshed out and punchy, with labrynth compositions through audio madness.

"Mastadon - Leviathan"

Metal, with a capital "M". These guys are well respected in the community, and the concept of this album: Moby Dick.

And the recent concept album most liekly to be turned into a stage show or musical to milk the fans: Green Day's "American Idiot". I know it's not as technically proficient as some of the classics, but there is some charm to a 12 minute pop-punk track. Plus, they totally pulled it off live.

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I've heard it's an anti-Bush CD, but according to a friend who has it, it tells a story. He wouldn't explain the story though.

Only the first song is anti-bush.

Here is what Wikipedia says...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Idiot

American Idiot is Green Day's seventh album (not counting the previous release Shenanigans), which was released on September 21, 2004 by Warner Bros. Records.

After the release of International Superhits, Green Day's greatest hits album, the band was scared and inspired into writing American Idiot. Their writing process had become mechanical and they felt they needed to release something more relevant. This inspired them to write their most critically acclaimed album to date, American Idiot. It is a rock opera, similar to other thematic albums such as The Who's Quadrophenia and Pink Floyd's The Wall. American Idiot will also become a movie and will begin shooting some time in 2006. See also: American Idiot: The Motion Picture

The theme of the album largely deals with the nature of rebellion. Some real political issues are mentioned, the inevitable result of Green Day's passionate negative feelings toward George W. Bush, but the story is really about the life of a rebellious youth. The main character, Jesus of Suburbia, must choose an outlet for his rebellion: finding what he truly believes and fighting for it, or self-destruction. See below for details.

American Idiot was nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and won the Best Rock Album of 2005. The opening track of the album, "American Idiot", won an award for best song in a video game in EA Sports' Madden NFL 2005.

Ironically, in light of its success, the album was not originally planned to come out. Green Day was working on a followup to Warning:, but its master tapes were stolen. Instead of trying to rewrite the stolen album, they began the long and arduous process of writing another album.

The album ranked at #7 for the Top 100 Albums of 2004 and #833 for overall by Rate Your Music.

It is currently certified triple platinum in the US.

American Idiot (1. "American Idiot") describes media coverage of the War in Iraq and the hold media has on our perception of government and world events.

The album tells the story of Jesus of Suburbia, who lives with his negligent divorcee mother in a suburb called "Jingletown, USA". His younger years were spent on a "steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin", watching television, experimenting with drugs (2-I. Jesus of Suburbia), and loitering in front of convenience stores. He doesn't seem to like his parents very much and apparently, they drink, smoke, do drugs, etc.

Disillusioned with life in Jingletown (2-II. City of the Damned) and its effect on his psyche (2-IV. Dearly Beloved), Jesus decides to leave Jingletown for "The City" (2-V. Tales of Another Broken Home).

At first his vacation seems exciting and he is happy to go out on his own (3. "Holiday"), but Jesus later finds himself alone in spite of The City's crowd (4. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), so he eventually decides to radically change his personality. In doing so, he adopts a new moniker, "St. Jimmy", and lifestyle, that of an unpredictable, tough, and rebellious criminal (6. St. Jimmy).

Jesus meets Whatsername, a girl who fascinates him - she is a real rebel, not someone pretending to be one like he is (8. She's a Rebel), and they begin dating. As he slowly metamorphosizes into St. Jimmy, he falls thoroughly in love with her, but he is unable to give her what she deserves due to his personal insecurities (9. Extraordinary Girl). In a letter to Jesus/Jimmy, Whatsername expresses her frustration towards him, and tells him she's leaving both him and The City (10. Letterbomb).

Track 11, Wake Me Up When September Ends, is about Billie Joe Armstrong's father, who died when he was 10. On the VH1 show Storytellers, Billie Joe mentions that this song is the only song that veers from the overall plot of the album. Seeing as it has a date in the liner notes along with the other songs, and has lines such as 'let's ring the bells again, like we did when spring began' which was a happier time in the story, the track probably has dual meanings.

Eventually Jesus decides to abandon his St. Jimmy identity, which he had been using as a crutch. In order to abandon his title, Jesus feigns suicide as St. Jimmy (12-I. The Death of St. Jimmy).

Following his supposed suicide, Jesus gets a desk job on East 12th St. that he finds oppressively boring (12-II. East 12th St.) (Note: East 12th Street is the real location of the police station in East Bay, California where Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong had to fill out paperwork for his DUI in 2002) much like his personal life (12-III. Nobody Likes You). He decides to return to Jingletown to escape this trap (12-V. We're Coming Home Again) and is left with his memories of what could have been had he stayed with Whatsername (13. Whatsername).

The single "Shoplifter" is billed as a "non-album track", but is significant to the story. Where it fits in is of question.

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Interesting story! It sounds surprisingly mature for a band like Greenday.

"Songs for the Deaf" by Queens of the Stone Age is kind of a concept album. It has no story, but the entire album is made to sound like it's coming out of a radio, with DJs and everything. "The Who Sell Out" is another good one, I like the front/back covers where they show the members of Who advertising some products.

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Alice Cooper's "Alice Cooper Goes to Hell" tells of his journey into hell and back. An interesting trek, for sure. He meets the others in hell, meets the devil himself, questions whether or not he should be there, pleads his case.

It's a very good trip.

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