Thursday, 16 May 2013

Can’t Make You Think

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 …

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