Gibson’s 10 Great Concept Albums proves that the critics weren’t always right, and that the music wasn’t always pretentious.
OK, maybe that second bit is a stretch.
Here’s the list:
1. The Who - Tommy
2. Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick
3. Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
4. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s
5. Green Day – American Idiot
6. Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare
7. Dream Theatre – Metropolis Pt. 2 …
8. Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
9. Rush - 2112
10. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
All in all, a predictable list, though if the article had made a hard distinction between a concept album and a rock opera, it might have been more interesting.
Then again, in terms of success – not to mention astonishment that the band could actually perform it live – you can’t really ignore Tommy. Or Thick as a Brick, or …
There’s a pretty broad spectrum here in terms of adherence to a “concept.” At one end you’ve got a tightly knit story (Tommy) – or a single song, actually (Thick as a Brick). At the other end you’ve got a loose collection of songs that, according to John Lennon, worked as a concept “because we said it worked.”
Anyway, it’s a fine list of masterpieces. Pretentious? Maybe. But isn’t music a form of story telling, and if the story is a long one …