I admit it - I LOVE concept albums! What are your favorites?

I was thinking about my favorite albums/CDs, and noted that almost all of them have one thing in common - they are concept albums.

Definition of concept album

List of concept albums (this doesn’t seem complete to me)

My favorites include:

Quadrophenia by The Who
Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis

What are some of your favorites? Or do concept albums suck, in your opinion?

In no particular order:

Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
Animals – Pink Floyd
Quadrophenia – The Who
Angel’s Egg – Gong

Honourable Mention to Paradise Theatre by Styx.

Two by my all-time favorite band:

The Wall and Animals by Pink Floyd

David Bowie has some good stuff.
Deltron 3030’s self titled album is awesome

Personal favorites:

Kate Bush - Aerial: Kate’s most recent album is two discs A Sea of Honey and A Sky of Honey. Sea is an album of unrelated songs, but Sky is either a song suite on the theme of birdsong, or a concept album about one perfect day. Which is fairly unique in a world of concept albums that are mostly about how awful life can be, she makes one about how wonderful life can be. It’s as difficult and unusual as writing a requited love song.

Todd Rundgren - Healing: CDs are wonderful, but there is something to be said for having two separate sides of the record to explore two different themes, or for one to answer the other. Healing is like that. Todd wrote this album after John Lennon was murdered. Side one tells the story of a person granted the ability to heal people, and how it proves ultimately destructive. The other is an album side song cycle attempting to accomplish healing through music. Todd was hit especially hard by Lennon’s murder - first, in that he and his band Utopia had, shortly before, recorded a Beatles pastiche called Deface The Music that slagged Lennon with a song called Everybody Else Is Wrong. The second is that Mark David Chapman was a Todd fan.

Some favorite Concepts :

Hemispheres – Rush
2112 – Rush
Hope – Klaatu
Plus the Floyd listed above.

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Kate Bush - The Ninth Wave (“side 2” of Hounds of Love)
Kate Bush - A Sky of Honey (album 2 of Aerial)

The Who - Tommy

A Grand Don’t Come for Free - The Streets.

The first album, Original Pirate Material, was bedroom-mixed, raw, innovative British rap, talking about being a young man in the urban blight of Britain’s inner cities.

Then, as a massive surprise to everyone, the second album, released 2004, was a concept album on the same subject, with a story arc and alternative endings based on the behaviour of the protagonist at one point in the narrative. And it’s very good.

Local H - Pack Up the Cats

Not sure if this falls under the strict definition of concept album, but Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf is just plain awesome, with several great songs and no real filler. “Go With the Flow” is one of my favorite rock songs of the past decade.

Green Carnation’s Light of Day, Day of Darkness
Edge of Sanity’s Crimson

Rick Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII

Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. It’s Eric Clapton’s best work, in my opinion.

I’ll second the accolades for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Dark Side of the Moon, though I’ve always thought The Wall was overrated. I prefer Wish You Were Here.

Marcus Garvey, by Burning Spear, the reggae album which should be in everyone’s collection,

Autobahn and Man Machine by Kraftwerk,

I just downloaded (legally) Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh, by Magma, so I haven’t listened to it enough times to rate it as a favorite. However, it did blow me away when I first listened to it, so I’m going to give it a mention. I surely will be adding more of them to my collection.

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, by Charles Mingus

A Love Supreme, by John Coltrane

Nothingface by Voivod

and though nearly every album the Residents make is a concept album, the only one that really consistently worked for me was Commercial Album. I must admit I have not heard all of their albums, however.

I don’t typically like them, but I love The Hazards of Love by the Decemberists. It’s one of my albums of 2009.

Jo Stafford’s the Ballad of The Blues is absoulely brilliant. It follows a story line and has Thurl “Tony the Tiger” Ravenscroft as a back up singer

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Verson of War of the Worlds. Not only great music, but also the best dramatization of the book since Orson Welles’s (and may be better).
Derek and the Dominoes – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Not usually considered one, but it was called one at the time, and it’s about Eric Clapton’s feelings for Patti Harrison.
Rick Wakeman – Six Wives of Henry VIII

The Downward Spiral.

The Kinks’ ***“Arthur” ***and "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society" both deserve a mention.

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.