Concept Album

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Concept Album
Concept Album

 A Concept Album loosely describes a studio album unified by a larger purpose or meaning to the album collectively than to its songs individually.

 A Concept Album loosely describes a studio album unified by a larger purpose or meaning to the album collectively than to its songs individually.

There is no clear definition.

 Since there are so many possibilities to define  Concept Albums I’ll place here some obvious and not so obvious choices.

The format originates with traditional pop singer Frank Sinatra, who released a string of concept albums throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but the term is more often associated with rock music.

 In the 1960s, several well-regarded concept albums were released by various rock bands, which eventually led to the invention of progressive rock and the rock opera.

Since then, many concept albums have been released across many different musical genres.

There is no clear definition of what constitutes a concept album. Fiona Sturges of The Independent stated that the concept album “was originally defined as a long-player where the songs were based on one dramatic idea – but the term is subjective.” A precursor to this type of album can be found in the 19th century song cycle.

AllMusic writes, “A concept album could be a collection of songs by an individual songwriter or a particular theme — these are the concept LPs that reigned in the ’50s … the phrase ‘concept album’ is inextricably tied to the late 1960s, when rock & rollers began stretching the limits of their art form.”] Author Jim Cullen describes it: “a collection of discrete but thematically unified songs whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts … sometimes [erroneously] assumed to be a product of the rock era.” Author Roy Shuker defines concept albums and rock operas as albums that are “unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical. … In this form, the album changed from a collection of heterogeneous songs into a narrative work with a single theme, in which individual songs segue into one another.”

AllMusic writes, “A concept album could be a collection of songs by an individual songwriter or a particular theme — these are the concept LPs that reigned in the ’50s … the phrase ‘concept album’ is inextricably tied to the late 1960s, when rock & rollers began stretching the limits of their art form.”] Author Jim Cullen describes it: “a collection of discrete but thematically unified songs whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts … sometimes [erroneously] assumed to be a product of the rock era.” Author Roy Shuker defines concept albums and rock operas as albums that are “unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical. … In this form, the album changed from a collection of heterogeneous songs into a narrative work with a single theme, in which individual songs segue into one another.”


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Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys 1966


Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

Pet Sounds is the 11th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released on May 16, 1966. It initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 in the Billboard 200, a significantly lower placement than the band’s preceding albums. In the United Kingdom, the album was hailed by its music press and was an immediate commercial success, peaking at number 2 in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart and remaining among the top ten positions for six months.

Pet Sounds has subsequently gathered worldwide acclaim from critics and musicians alike, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential albums in music history.

The album was produced and arranged by Brian Wilson, who also wrote and composed almost all of its music. Most of the recording sessions were conducted between January and April 1966, a year after he had quit touring with the Beach Boys in order to focus more attention on writing and recording.

 For Pet Sounds, Wilson’s goal was to create “the greatest rock album ever made” — a personalized work with no filler tracks. It is sometimes considered a Wilson solo album, repeating the themes and ideas he had introduced with The Beach Boys Today! one year earlier.

 The album’s lead single, “Caroline, No“, was issued as his official solo debut. It was followed by two singles credited to the group: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (backed with “God Only Knows“) and “Sloop John B“.

 Listen to Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys and more……

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Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska” 1982 Columbia


Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska” 1982 Columbia

Nebraska is the sixth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. The album was released on September 30, 1982, by Columbia Records.

Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on Nebraska were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos himself. Nebraska remains one of the most highly regarded albums in his catalogue.

Listen to Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska” 1982 Columbia and more at……….

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Astral Weeks by Van Morrison
Astral Weeks by Van Morrison


Astral Weeks by Van Morrison

Astral Weeks is the second studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was recorded at Century Sound Studios in New York City during three sessions in September and October 1968, although most participants and biographers agree that the eight songs were culled from the first and last early evening sessions. Except for John Payne, Morrison and the assembled jazz musicians had not played together before and the recordings commenced without rehearsals or lead sheets handed out.
The cover art, music and lyrics of the album portray the symbolism equating earthly love and heaven that would often feature in Morrison’s work. When Astral Weekswas released by Warner Bros. Records in November 1968, it did not receive promotion from the label and was not an immediate success with consumers or critics. Blending folk, blues, jazz, and classical music, the album’s songs signaled a radical departure from the sound of his previous pop hits, such as “Brown Eyed Girl” (1967)
Listen to “Astral Weeks by Van Morrison and more………..
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“Ride This Train” by Johnny Cash 1960 Columbia

Ride This Train is the eighth album by country singer Johnny Cash. It was originally released in September 1960 and re-issued on March 19, 2002, with four bonus tracks.It is considered to be Cash’s first concept album. The album is billed as a “travelogue”, with Cash providing spoken narration before each song to give context, in several cases playing historical characters, such as John Wesley Hardin, and describing different destinations around the United States visited by train. The songs themselves are not generally railroad-themed.The original album was included on the Bear Family box set Come Along and Ride This Train. The success of this LP inspired his first label, Sun, to release the compilation LP, All Aboard the Blue Train which consisted of previously released “train” inspired songs, including his hit, “Folsom Prison Blues“.Listen to “Ride This Train” by Johnny Cash 1960 Columbia and more…….

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Bat Out of Hell is the second studio album and the major-label debut by American rock singer Meat Loaf, as well as being his first collaboration with composer Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, released on October 21, 1977 on Cleveland International/Epic Records. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time, having sold over 43 million copies worldwide. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it at number 343 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003.
Its musical style is influenced by Steinman’s appreciation of Richard Wagner, Phil Spector, Bruce Springsteen and The Who. Bat Out of Hell has been certified 14 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. As of May 2015, it has spent 485 weeks in the UK Charts. The album went on to become one of the most influential and iconic albums of all time and its songs have remained classic rock staples.
 Listen to Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell and more………
 
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