Greatest Idea Albums – Rolling Stone

Greatest Idea Albums – Rolling Stone

From prog epics to R&B masterpieces, these are the information that outline music at its most bold

Thematic albums, tied collectively by very particular moods or interconnected songs, aren’t new to pop; the kingpin of the shape, Frank Sinatra, began making them 70 years in the past. And due to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band, the Who’s Tommy, and so many extra, rock took the idea of an idea album and ran with it—with narrators, characters, and plenty of lyrics and liner notes to elucidate all of it to enrapt listeners.

Within the streaming period, you’d assume idea albums, which require listening to a report during, would have about as a lot attraction as ripping the plastic packaging off a brand new CD. However proper together with vinyl, the theme report is having a brand new second. Taylor Swift’s upcoming Midnights is, she says, “the tales of 13 sleepless nights scattered all through my life.” That sort of thematic follow-through is spectacular even for a detail-oriented genius like Taylor. Different story-song albums launched during the last 12 months or so embody Sturgill Simpson’s cowboy revenge saga The Ballad of Dood and Juanita and the Tedeschi-Vehicles Band’s I Am the Moon, a four-EP response to Layla. Smashing Pumpkins’ ATUM: A Rock Opera in Three Acts begins a three-part rollout subsequent month.

In honor of Midnights and its idea siblings, we current the 50 Best Idea Albums of All Time. These are the mindblowers that outline music at its most bold. They map out epic narratives (from raging coming-of-age dramas to dystopian sci-fi fantasies); they try to embody huge historic and political moments; they’re “cinematic,” “operatic,” “novelistic.” Our record touches on all the pieces from traditional rock to R&B to punk to hip hop. A few of these longform listens have been rattling bongs since again when your hippie uncle purchased them on 8-track; some are newer pop masterpieces that sneak deep meanings inside slick packages. Many are lengthy, a number of are very very lengthy. One is by Styx.

To make it excessive on the record an album needed to be each conceptually tight and musically superior, which is why just a few traditional albums with comparatively unfastened thematic conceits didn’t find yourself larger. Sit again, press “play” and envelope your self in a complete bunch of music you’ve actually acquired to concentrate to.

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