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Concept Albums which have stood the test of time for you  RSS feed

 
Michael Forest
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I'll loosely define Concept Album as an album where ALL the songs have stood the test of time for you to date and there is some kind of thematic thread (again loosely) throughout the album.
I've wondered if concept albums are all but dead. Not that musicians don't publish such albums but one can argue the digital domain has drastically weaken the appreciation for such a collection, importantly as a whole, of pieces of music. In the past with such albums sometimes there are a few songs one didn't appreciate and in the old days one had to go to the record, cassette or compact disc player in order to skip the song. A lot of the time I let the song play through only to discover after a while I really came to appreciate the song. The artist had succeeded in not only exposing me to something new but expanded my musical appreciation/ understanding. These days it is touted that "you are in control of your musical choices more than ever". With the triumphant of the mp3 we all can create our own play lists. There's nothing wrong with this except the opportunity to expand one's musical appreciation has been made much easier to ignore. Enough philosophy.

So list here your albums as defined in the first paragraph you enjoy from the first to the last song...

I'll start with Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and Mile's Davis's "Kind of Blue"
 
Adam Klaus
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The best albums are coherent wholes, concept albums; may they live long. They key to me is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; a story that unfolds.
They are often challenging artistically, albums that I look at a bit sidewise on the first listen. I am just not on the level of the art on the first pass. These albums, like you said, grow on you, and reveal their meaning slowly and with deep contemplation. What a gift!

One Red Hot Minute by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not an easy read, but something there that brings me back. Not an album for passive listening.

The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Released this year. A journey in song, philosophical and interpersonal.

Ten by Pearljam. The perfect album.
 
Rick Roman
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Thanks Michael for starting another great thread... this band recently covered the entire Dark Side of the Moon album. That recording is not a favorite, but their early records are... Yoshima Battles the Pink Robots is one perfect concept record.

The Flaming Lips - Yoshima Battles The Pink Robots (2002) Full Album - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehSaXAfg-ck


1. "Fight Test"
2. "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"
3. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" OFFICIAL VIDEO - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdDHi5SSIlM
4. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViB5nnPRuYo
5. "In the Morning of the Magicians" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jTuKHKIT4w&list=RD02ViB5nnPRuYo
6. "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tkHIMqN-YM
7. "Are You a Hypnotist??" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czd3fgnHPoc&list=RD02ViB5nnPRuYo
8. "It's Summertime" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGptuuFNIts
9. "Do You Realize??"
10. "All We Have Is Now"
11. "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)"
 
Landon Sunrich
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This fits the concept of the thread - but its cheap. 1 song. Simple concept.

Sleep - Dopesmoker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJhRNnG65ps

I'm going to be thinking about this way to hard.
 
Rick Roman
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Landon, great choice, great band... please keep posting!
 
Judith Browning
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...totally unfair...I had other things to do today and now I am diggin through our vinyl where MANY are my favorite concept albums...
Now we've got to play a few...I will get back here later
 
fiona smith
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Great thread.

tubeway army/gary numan early stuff did it for me. still does it for me now. everytime i listen to this album, i still get shivers. I was only 12 at the first time of hearing, and thought, what is a MACHMAN


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnVDn2Y0aHE&list=PLC9E47DFC8767FDE4

 
Judith Browning
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Well...for me, 'Days of Future Passed' by the Moody Blues would be close if not at the top...it has stood the test of time and is tied to many pleasant 'flash back' memories...
Then, if I correctly understand the concept almost every Neil Young album is a 'concept' album and many are my favorites including a couple recent ones..."Americana" and "Le Noise".
and in the jazz catagory!.. there are again many but I think John Coltrane's "Expression", "Kulu Se Mama" abd "OM" were concept albums even if only he understood......and I always have liked that feeling of not quite understanding a piece of music, a painting, a poem....
...and definitely both of those by Pink Floyd and Miles, Michael...wish I could listen to what others have chosen...no ability to link from my kndle. I love hearing new music.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The Who produced a rock opera called Tommy. Still gets radio play after 40 years.

Meatloaf was also an operatic sort of guy and his themes were usually about love lost.

Many rap albums seem to have some sort of theme. Usually the singer tells us what a super cool, bad ass he is. I suspect that most of this trite will end up in the scrap heap of history rather than in the classics department.
 
Judith Browning
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Dale, I had 'tommy' out to play next...it is a good one.

Listening to Joni Mitchell's "Mingus". One of my favorites of hers...definitely a concept album.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I rent a shed from a lady who drinks to excess. If I arrive and hear Joni Mitchell playing far too loudly, I tip toe out of there before a conversation can begin. Joni, Neil and Leonard Cohen are her drinking buddies. This should please the radio police who enforce Canadian content rules in public broadcasting.
 
Michael Forest
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Sure is good to know there is still a lot of enthusiasm for this type of musical production. There's a lot here that I'd like to explore. To mention an album where you feel all the pieces of music still have value. In fact I thought about adding: and these are albums you think you'd still be listening to in your, say, 80's. Instrumental,especially classical and jazz are probably the easiest to say will stand the test of time. Vocal oriented albums have to have a sense of timelessness to have relevance as we grow older, evolve and change do to life's experiences. That is a rare accomplishment.

One of the consummate musician/producer of the concept album was Hector Zazou. Picking just two of his albums:

Sahara Blue - revolving around the poems of Rimbaud. A very sensual album
Songs from the Cold Seas - about the beautiful,haunting icy North



from Wikipedia:
The albums that he has released under his own name from the 1990s onwards are usually concept albums that draw from literary or folk sources and revolve around a specific theme. The collection of songs on each album assemble contributions from a diverse and global range of pop, folk, world music, avant-garde, and classical recording acts.[3]
Zazou's 1992 offering, Sahara Blue, was based on an idea by Jacques Pasquier. Pasquier suggested Zazou commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of author Arthur Rimbaud by setting music to Rimbaud's poetry. Contributions included spoken word from Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Dalcan and music by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance, Tim Simenon, and David Sylvian. He even adapted a traditional Ethiopian song.

In 1994, he released the album Chansons des mers froides (called Songs from the Cold Seas for the anglophone market). The album was based on ocean-themed traditional folk songs from northern countries, such as Canada, Finland, Iceland, and Japan. It featured vocals by pop and rock artists such as Björk, Suzanne Vega, John Cale, Värttina, Jane Siberry, and Siouxsie Sioux in addition to recordings of shamanic incantations and lullabies from Ainu, Nanai, Inuit, and Yakut singers. Musicians included Mark Isham, Brendan Perry, and the Balanescu Quartet. A cameraman accompanied Zazou on the project and they shot and recorded in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Japan, Scandinavia, and Siberia. The single "The Long Voyage" was the only song to be an original composition from Zazou. He wrote it in gratitude to his record company Sony who gave him complete artistic liberty. Performed by Suzanne Vega and John Cale, it was released as a single in 1995. The single featured remixes by Mad Professor as well as Zazou himself.
 
fiona smith
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zazou i will check out thanks.

i am loving APP. this is one of my faves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny7BM7wjYIc&list=PLI15PZTw-OdVXO5XqrsxuZJMeO5qQxnU_
 
wayne stephen
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The Minutemen - "Double Nickels on the Dime" Greatest punk album ever . 40+ songs in just over an hour . Great wake up record for a road trip . I have owned 3 copies and wore them all out . I am needing the 4th . Will be listening today on the way home from Nashville. One version has a 42 second cover of VanHalens "Ain't Talking About Love"
Waylon Jennings "Honky Tonk Heroes" - Kick started the outlaw country scene. Almost all are Billy Joe Shaver songs.
Every record from Leonard Cohen is a great concept record.
Rumours , Dark Side of the Moon , Physical Graffitti , Second Helping were the soundtrack of my high school years.
"Nomadic Romantic" - by Mike Spero { Bandcamp.com} - This is not a shameless plug . He might be my son , but this is a true concept record in the Mans Ruin genre. Every song is listenable , memorable , and funny. Not only trying to ressurect the concept record but trying to recreate the analog sound within digital limitations.
Pretty much all Zappa records .
Neil Young -"Zuma " Will also be needing to buy my fourth copy . And will also be listening on the 65 North from Trashville today
Speaking of Trashville - Hank 3 - "Lonesome , Broke , and Drifting "
 
chip sanft
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For Pink Floyd, In addition to "Dark Side of the Moon," I'd add "The Wall," which still works on many levels.

The Wall
 
fiona smith
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Tubular bells

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PqCyvTSOQE

 
Cris Bessette
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My favorite concept / theme albums:

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention: Joe's Garage.

Genesis: The Lamb Lies down on Broadway.

The Beatle's Sargent Pepper's album was intended to be a concept album in the beginning if I remember correctly, and it does somewhat follow a theme through
some of the songs. Something happened, maybe the drugs? lol anyways, probably my favorite album ever by anyone.

 
Landon Sunrich
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Rick Roman wrote:Landon, great choice, great band... please keep posting!


Yeah dude... So, like, this forum is basically the closest thing I've had to a social life for the last 14 months - so never fear - I will keep posting.

I just have to smack myself around and get outside from time to time because I could talk music all day everyday.

Speaking of not getting out enough... I've been scanning through the movies and music forums here - and since I don't want to comment on every last thing I read so all I have to say is that there is some seriously good taste going around on this site. I'm still over-thinking here. The entire Bad Religion discography could be one here for me - except I've been listening to those guys since I was like 12 and every album has at least one song that's overplayed for me. And that doesn't fit the definition required by the forum.

How about seattles own:

Tchkung! - Incite: A soundtrack for Post World Insurrection.

http://tchkung.bandcamp.com/album/incite

A bunch of wild and crazies struggling with the new world industrial/trade system at the turn of millennium.
 
Rick Roman
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Thanks Landon, never heard of Tchkung, just finished listening to it.....really, really good! It kinda reminds me of Sleep and the San Fransico based band Om.

OM - Pilgrimage (Full Album) -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt3rUA5iHEU

One concept record that defiantly stands the test of time is the epic (three album long) Sandinista! by The Clash. Hmmm, I can't think of another concept record other than Zappa's Joe's Garage (excellent choice Chris Bessette) and Floyds The Wall that is three albums long. Can anyone else?

The Clash - Sandinista! (1980) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD8qOC1hJZc
 
Jessica Gorton
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Ween, The Mollusk
Most of Joni, but especially Hejira and Mingus
Ani DiFranco, Dilate
Johanna Newsom, Ys
Sufjan Stevens, Come on feel the Illinoise (and others)
Pretty much anything by Pink Floyd
Mid-to-later Beatles albums
Much of the work of Bjork, Beck, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, The Residents
Not an album, but the Gamehendge saga of Phish is a pretty neat concept piece
Great Swathes of certain eras in Jazz, but especially Davis, Mingus, Coltrane, Hancock,
Aimee Mann, Lost in Space
Beastie Boys, The In Sounds from Way Out

That's all I've got off the top of my head...
 
Mike Gaughan
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Phish's Rift...the theme of the album is a series of dreams experienced by a man over the course of the night; the subject of the dreams is the rift (get it?) with his lover. Each song represents a different stage of thought/dream/time. One of my all-time favorites...!
 
Landon Sunrich
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So I've had some time to think. And to listen to many of these albums (mollusk by ween is pretty freakin' crazy album Jessica) and I have at least one more album which definitely belongs.

Anti-Product = The Deafening Silence of Grinding Gears

A-side linked here with full liner notes and lyrics.

Killer killer lyrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaZqACVkbOI


Released in 1999 while the US was busy 'building a bridge to the future' That is to say us. Here. Now. This album has stood the test of time.

TRACK LISTING:

1)It festers in their hearts.
2)And still we suckle
3)Modern Day f word
4)Of enemies in mirrors
5)The Power of Medusa
6)A backlash is here
7)Corporate Tyrannicide
Stillborn (with hardware)

From Columbus to Internet, this albums slams modernity while remaining intensely personal and strikingly honest

I think the world would be a much more permie place if at age 16 or so everyone was violently thrown into a moving mosh pit full of big spiked up rock dudes and take no shit roller girls with this music blasting the cortex.

In that sort of environment you learn to keep your head up and watch out for each other or else someone ends up getting trampled to death.

[u]Warning[u/]: Super crunchy. Combat Rock.

But hay if it gets the dishes done...
 
Dale Hodgins
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Probably the worst concept album was by my favorite band, The Rolling Stones. His Satanic Majesty's Request was their only foray into psychedelic music. It was meant to be a simple market play, but it flopped. 2000 Light years from home, was the only redeeming track. A little later in 1968, came Beggar's Banquet which is the closest thing to an unplugged album that they've done and the last useful contribution by Brian Jones who died 7 months after it was released. When everyone else was going for a wall of sound, the Stones went very bare and basic. No Expectations was covered by Johnny Cash and Joan Baez remade Salt of The Earth. Sympathy For The Devil still gets radio play 45 years later. Our neighbor Karl drove me to Kindergarten in a red muscle car, while playing that song far too loudly. Until I met Karl, church music was all that I had been exposed to.[b] Karl saved my ears from eternal damnation.[/b

I love the album art. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7rN-imfu68
 
Michael Brahier
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Alot of good ones and many I have yet to hear. I'd like to add a couple. Rush-2112. Shooter Jennings and Hierophant--Black Ribbons. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young--Deja Vu. Jimi Hendrix--Electric Ladyland. Tool--Lateralus. Lots of great stuff out there.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Bad Religion - No Control (1989)



I bought this record on vinyl in the 'old city' of Linz Austria while attending a 16th century Jesuit School in 2003.

Open lyrics

"The sheaves have all been bought, and the field have washed away..."

It continues to blow minds (and alienate stuffy old teachers) at 300 bpm from there.
 
Landon Sunrich
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I'm going to back off that last one a hair and say that while I really do enjoy that album - I have to be in exactly the right mood for ALL of the tracks to do it for me. But I'm going to double down with two X albums which Have been playing heavy in my rotation the last several days

More Fun in the New World



1. The New World - (0:00)
2. We're Having Much More Fun - (3:27)
3. True Love - (6:36)
4. Poor Girl - (8:51)
5. Make The Music Go Bang - (11:45)
6. Breathless - (14:51)
7. I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts - (17:09)
8. Devil Doll - (21:24)
9. Painting The Town Blue - (24:32)
10. Hot House - (27:52)
11. Drunk In My Past - (30:51)
12. I See Red - (33:45)
13. True Love Pt. #2 - (36:4

Wild Gift
[youtube]
[/youtube]

Track Listing:
1. The Once Over Twice - 00:00
2. We're Desperate - 02:30
3. Adult Books - 04:30
4. Universal Corner - 09:42
5. I'm Coming Over - 12:23
6. It's Who You Know - 13:38
7. In This House That I Call Home - 15:53
8. Some Other Time - 19:27
9. White Girl - 21:44
10. Beyond And Back - 25:12
11. Back 2 The Base - 28:01
12. When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch - 29:34
13. Year 1 - 31:31

 
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