Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Concept Albums

We spoke about the development of concept albums, in the mid-1960s, when the audience began to consume music in album-sized chunks, rather than singles (45s). There have been several well known concept albums, like those by the Kinks (try Muswell Hillbillies) Pink Floyd (try Animals) and Rush (2112) in the 1970s, a few metal-related ones like Queensr├┐che's Operation Mindcrime in the 1980s and 1990s.  But in the current century there are many more, and more to come - not exclusively for reasons of creativity. In an era of downloading singles rather than full albums, a concept album will induce fans to go for more than the single.


  1. Are you familiar with the band Coheed and Cambria?
    All of Coheed and Cambria's albums are concept albums that reveal a science fiction storyline: The Army Wars. It is a story written by the lead singer Claudio Sanchez.
    The band has released five studio albums. In 2008, Coheed and Cambria held a four-day concert series, Neverender, during which they played their first four studio albums in succession.

    Interesting stuff!

  2. Concept albums are certainly an interesting tactic (and creative solution) for giving fans the incentive to buy a full-length album... it's a risky move, though. Depending on the genre, the quality of the concept, and the popularity of the artists, it could either be a raging success or a horrible failure. Even still, sometimes the concept album approach doesn't work if the songs are still picked apart and played separately.

    For example (and to reference what Stephanie mentioned), I have heard of Coheed and Cambria and I've heard some of their songs... but I was not aware their albums were all concept albums with a unified science fiction storyline! I've only ever heard the songs out of context. If I had heard the songs in their rightful context, I probably would have appreciated them more the first time I heard them.