Best/favorite 'concept'/theme/story albums?

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dtcarson

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I'm probably misusing the term 'concept album', but I'm meaning an album that flows, tells some sort of story as a whole, or where the songs all deal with a theme and are meant to be heard together.

What are your favorites?

Anyway, here are some of mine.

Of course Pink Floyd/The Wall, and The Who/Tommy. Those are no-brainers.

* King Diamond - Most of his solo albums tell a story, though certainly some are better than others. I like "Them" and "Conspiracy" the best, though I haven't really given "Puppet Master" and "Voodoo" a serious listen.

* Alice Cooper - "From the Inside". This album is based on a rehab/detox/mental cleansing stint he served in a mental health facility, IIRC, and all the songs are based either on himself or on real people he met in the big house. He's got a couple more great ones, Welcome to my Nightmare and Last Temptation.

* Christian Death - All the Love/All the Hate, while not telling a story, are definitely thematic albums. Born Again Anti Christian could probably qualify as a concept album, telling the story of a serial killer.

[You can tell what i primarily listen to, I'm sure there are lots of 'classic rock' concept albums, please share].

What else?
 

Kristiano

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I might take some slack for this but Green Day- American Idiot
 

papayaninja

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Here Kris, have some slack. :p

A little lesser known, but Phish's "The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday" is really great. Not officially released though, so it takes some work to find.
 

jedk

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Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory; The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Pink Floyd - The Wall.
 

bdb

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I'm not real big on theme albums, but I've always liked Joe Jackson's "Big World". I think its out of production now, but is still pressed in Canada. It was themed on travel and cultures, and I always liked to listen to it when I travel.

Its recording is also unique. It was recorded live, but the audience was instructed to hold applause until the recording was stopped. So there isn't a lot of crowd noise but still a lot of energy. It was recorded around 1984, before CDs were really popular, but was intended for CD release. It was too long to fit on vinyl, so the original release (which I also have) was 1 1/2 sides - one side of the second disc was completely smooth...!
 

Chricton

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Operation: Mindcrime and most of the Ayreon albums, especially The Human Equation.
 

Rbiz

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Not really the greatest ever, but its the only ska concept album I've ever seen. Permanant Revolution By Catch 22. It has some pretty good songs, but overall not a great album. i guess its just worth a mention for its uniqueness. The Album tells the Story Of Leon Trotsky, google it if you don't know who that is. I don't. :p
 

Wednesday

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Would Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick count? The album is essentially one long song (or two 20 minute songs if one owns the record). I also like Tori Amos's album Scarlet's Walk, which doesn't tell a story as such, but that she describes as a "sonic novel" of travelling across America. And of course The Who's rock opera Tommy and the original concept album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. Classic.

~Wednesday~
 

mizzle

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Neutral Milk Hotel's album In an Aeroplane over the Sea is supposed to be influenced by the Anne Frank story...its a great CD
Little Brother's The Minstrel Show is a hip hop album with a constant theme throughout
 

bdb

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Wednesday said:
Would Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick count?
Are you kidding? Of course it'd count! Remember the crazy story in the liner notes about the kid who wrote it? (or am I thinking about Aqualung?)

Great album! Jethro Tull had great stuff back then. I'm going to have that song in my head all night now. <trivia>Anyone know how they got that name?</trivia>
 

cks2006

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Styx Kilroy Was Here. Oh you said best concept albums, sorry.

Pink Floyd's wish you were here is good, and it is kinda a concept album (tribute to Syd Barret).

And some of Styx's albums weren't really bad.
 

shadowknight

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I'll add:

Radiohead - OK Computer (my favorite "modern" album)
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed
 

Signal to Noise

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I'll second Radiohead's OK Computer, NIN's The Downward Spiral as well as the Rush and Pink Floyd albums

Also,

David Bowie - The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Prince - Purple Rain
Robbie Robertson - Robbie Robertson
Meatloaf - Bat Out Of Hell
The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Tool - entire catalog
 

dtcarson

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Powerpuff Girls - Heroes and Villains
the songs all focus on a character or a concept from the show, and are bookended by snippets of dialog, so the album is basically a musical episode.
 
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