Concept albums

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by beowulf, Sep 25, 2018.

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  1. beowulf

    beowulf Not a nice guy.

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    In these times where so many people are more interested in downloading that "hot" single from an artist, you don't see concept albums anymore. I personally am a fan of them and have a number of them. Do you have a favorite?

    Some examples
    NIN - Year Zero (At the time Reznor was hoping to have a TV show that would explore the concepts of the album but it didn't materialize)
    NIN - Downwards Spiral : A chronicle of a person's slow, painful descent into madness and possibly beyond.
    RUSH - 2112 : In a future totalitarian society, music and all free thinking is banned. A young boy, however, finds a guitar in a cave and learns to play, much to the chagrin of the authorities.
    RUSH - Hemispheres
    RUSH - Clockwork Angels (includes a pretty good steampunk novel co-written by Neil Peart)
    Pink Floyd - The Wall :Traces the life of a fictional rock star named Pink, who isolates himself from society by building a imaginary wall, each brick being a pain-inducing incident in his life (childhood abuse, rock stardom, etc). In this way, he is able to life a life free of emotional troubles, but he soon begins to question whether he has lost the ability to be human again.
    Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon : Chronicles the modern pressures (materialism, encroaching old age) that can combine and conspire to drive an ordinary person to insanity.
    Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son : A young psychic forsees an apocalytic future and attempts to warn the inhabitants of the village he lives in, only to be ignored.
    Coheed & Cambria - well all but one of their albums based on the comic books created by their singer
    A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth step : themes of addiction and recovery
    Dream Theater - have a number of them most recent is a double album concept called The Astonishing
     
  2. plank

    plank Registered User

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    The Who have been my favorite group since I was a little kid(a along time ago:() but it took many listens for Quadrophenia to grow on me. It's now my favorite album and the one I've played the most the past 25 years.

    BBC did a great documentary a few years back:


    The Real Me


    I love the movie too!
     
  3. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    Queensryche : Operation Mindcrime
     
  4. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Brennan Izza Gangsta

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    [​IMG]

    Yo, this is mood control
    Saying you might as well pay attention
    You can't afford free speech
     
  5. Wrigley

    Wrigley The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

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    Are Pet Sounds, Sargent Peppers, and Tommy concept albums or just good albums?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  6. Shareefruck

    Shareefruck Registered User

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    Unpopular opinion-- While I like a lot of concept albums, I generally prefer when albums don't try too hard to go out of their way to have an obvious concept, and perhaps a vague one just organically arises naturally from the tendencies of the band/what sounds they like/where they are in their lives and how they're feeling at the time. Overly concept-y albums (like The Wall, Ziggy Stardust, Radiohead albums, or much of Western Prog Rock for example) can sometimes feel overbearing and too much like a heavy-handed or overly self-serious intellectual exercise to me, personally.

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing (whatever you need to spark some inspiration is better than no spark at all), but I definitely don't see it as a preferable approach over non concept albums.

    Cohesiveness matters, but I'd take the Lou Reed mentality (some naturally recurring ideas that he's interested in but not hitting you over the head with it or trying too hard to tie it all together) over the Roger Waters mentality any day.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  7. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    Ziggy Stardust is a concept album? Seems contradictory considering Bowie was such a theme-based guy as it was. I always thought a concept album is something totally off the beaten path from that particular artist (Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music") and not just an album with a specfic theme that ultimately stays true to form for that band's other work. "Kid A" isn't that much off from "OK Computer" or "In Rainbows", but all three of them are drastically different from "Pablo Honey" and "The Bends", and I'd attribute that much more to simple growth of the band than them branching out into a separate concept
     
  8. NyQuil

    NyQuil Not Steve Yzerman

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    Not really. Most people don't like concept albums. You're basically reflecting the mainstream opinion.

    It's far more unpopular to like progressive rock in particular which is why they rarely get any official recognition and are laughed about by casual fans and music snobs alike.
     
  9. S E P H

    S E P H @SEPH_WHL

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    You should try Arena - The Visitor for something similar to this concept.
     
  10. kihei

    kihei Registered User

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    I think Bowie's last album Blackstar is a great concept album--one of the best works in any medium to confront mortality face to face and report back on the experience to his audience.
     
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  11. Shareefruck

    Shareefruck Registered User

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    I almost get the feeling you're saying that as if unpopularity were a desirable quality to show off with or something. I was just bracing myself and warning others of incoming disagreement.

    Depends on the circles you're in, I guess. What I mean is that I tend to get the feeling that people find the ambition and scope of concept albums inherently superior, and more rewarding, intellectually interesting, or impressive (in the sense that putting a creative spin on something makes it better) , and I don't really subscribe to that enthusiasm. Too obvious of a concept risks feeling a tad gimmicky and tends to put a ceiling on how good something can get, to me. Perhaps it makes everything feel too self aware and somewhat loses the illusion of spontaneity for me or something. Maybe that is a common opinion, but I certainly don't hear it often. I usually hear high-concept ideas being heavily praised instead.
    I have never associated how different or off-the-beaten-path something is with the idea of a concept album, personally. To me, a concept album is just anything where the album is designed and built around a deliberate central theme, narrative, or idea. Ziggy Stardust (or any storytelling rock opera, really) absolutely does, IMO. So do OK Computer and Kid A, although I agree that Radiohead's other less revered albums probably don't. I'd take the less ambitiously high concept but still cohesive approach of In Rainbows over OK Computer, which I guess is an example of what I'm getting at.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  12. x Tame Impala

    x Tame Impala Registered User

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    I might just be wrong about what a concept album is
     
  13. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Meaningless leaning mess

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    Haha - what the ****? :laugh:

    Are Rush the Ayn Rand of music or something?
     
  14. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Meaningless leaning mess

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    While I'm at it, this thread has reminded me of one of my favorite musical abominations of all-time...

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, that's right - a symphonic prog album based on the life and times of Scrooge McDuck. Sometimes this pops into my brain for no reason and it always makes me laugh.
     
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  15. beowulf

    beowulf Not a nice guy.

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    They are not the only one's to have an album on this topic. Dream Theaters most recent album The Astonishing is similar with regards to the topic.
     
  16. peate

    peate Good grief!

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    Sarah Brightman's album Dive is all about water. With the hit Captain Nemo, a Salty Dog, Ship of fools, the Second Element and a bunch more all related to water.
     
  17. Violenza Domestica

    Violenza Domestica Registered User

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    Serge Gainsbourg's L'homme à la tête de chou, in which a man slowly goes insane from jealousy and ends up killing the object of his desire, bursting her skull with an extinguisher.
     
  18. NyQuil

    NyQuil Not Steve Yzerman

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    Lyricist Neil Peart flirted with Ayn Rand and libertarianism back in the day.

    Needless to say, I think he's moved on from that phase.
     
  19. Leafsdude7

    Leafsdude7 Stand-Up Philosopher

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    No. Sgt Pepper started off as a concept album, but it strayed from that concept almost immediately. IMO, Abbey Road is more of a concept album (and, also IMO, of better quality) than Sgt Pepper.

    The Suburbs is my favourite concept album.
     
  20. irunthepeg

    irunthepeg Mark ScheifELITE

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    Lupe Fiasco's The Cool is a concept album. And one of my favourite albums of all time. Hip hop, too, if you're into that.
     
  21. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Registered User

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    Dream Theater: Scenes from a memory.
     
  22. The Mars Volchenkov

    The Mars Volchenkov Registered User

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  23. Hippasus

    Hippasus 1,9,45,165,495,1287,

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    Incantation: Onward to Golgotha, as well as Immolation: death metal about Jesus, his death, and Christianity.

    Summoning: Lord of the Rings mythology through layering and repetition to create an epic journey. They started as black metal but are now more electronic and classically-styled.

    Burzum: black metal emphasizing Norse mythology, also implementing repetition.

    Deicide: death metal about Satanism.

    Bolt Thrower: death metal focused on war as reality and metaphor.

    Immortal: black metal with created medieval-like mythological realm.

    Amorphis: Tales from the Thousand Lakes: death metal album dedicated to an epic Finnish mythological poem from ancient times.

    Voivod: thrash metal with dystopian sci-fi backstory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  24. kook10

    kook10 Registered User

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    Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
    Willie Nelson - Phases and Stages
     
  25. Aladyyn

    Aladyyn Free Nylander & Pilut

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    King Diamond - Abigail
    Helstar - Nosferatu
    Persefone - Core
    Devin Townsend - Ziltoid, the Omniscient
    Slough Feg - Traveller
    Masta Ace - Disposable Arts
     

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