Posts Tagged ‘Concept Album’

BRIAN WILSON has announced a massive world tour to honor the 50th anniversary of ‘Pet Sounds’, the Beach Boys‘ groundbreaking 1966 LP. The 70-plus date trek begins March 26th in Auckland, New Zealand, progressing through Australia, Japan & Europe. The American leg begins June 14th in Burlington, Vermont, running until late July & picking up again in September. These will be the Brian’s final performances of Pet Sounds’…Brian Wilson has announced a world tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Pet Sounds”. According to Wilson’s official website, it will be the last time he performs the Beach Boys album live. The tour kicks off at the end of March in Australia, and includes a performance at Primavera Festival.

The Beach Boys‘ classic ‘Pet Sounds’ wasn’t designed as a concept album, and it may not even appear to be one on the surface. But there’s no mistaking the underlying theme of teenage anxiety in Brian Wilsons ambitious, and gorgeously orchestrated, song cycle. It’s the moment where ’60s pop gained the sophistication of Frank Sinatra’s classic concept albums of the ’50s. Without it, there’d be no ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ … or probably any other album on this list.In 1966, several albums were deemed as concept albums by their thematically-linked songs, and became inspiration for other artists to follow. The Beach Boys‘ “Pet Sounds” portrayed Brian Wilson state of mind at the time, and was in turn a major inspiration to Paul McCartney.

Album writers Brian Wilson and Tony Asher insist that the narrative was not intended, though Wilson has stated that the idea of the record being a “concept album” is mainly within the way the album was produced and structured. Later in 1966, Wilson began work on “Smile” , an intentional narrative, though it was scrapped and later revived in November 2011. Freak Out!, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention‘s sardonic farce about rock music and America as a whole, and Face to Face by The Kinks, the first collection of Ray Davies‘s idiosyncratic character studies of ordinary people, are conceptually oriented albums. However, of the three, only Pet Sounds attracted a large commercial audience.

Welcome to the latest edition of Masterpiece Reviews. Once again, we’ve thrown on our favorite velvet robe, turned up the fire, and are here to regale you with stories of the greatest and most classic albums of all time. It’s a fresh, new perspective on why these albums are filed under “M” for masterpiece.

In honor of the upcoming summer season, we pull the curtain back on one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Following their 1965 release, Beach Boys Party!, Brian Wilson began penning new music for the band to record. Utilizing new recording techniques and instruments, 1966’s Pet Sounds would go on to become The Beach Boys’ most heralded album and still considered one of the best albums to this day.

 

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a double concept album recorded and released in 1974 by the British progressive rock band Genesis. It was their sixth studio album, and the last to feature original singer and frontman Peter Gabriel.It was only a matter of time before Genesis attempted a full-fledged concept album, and 1974’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a massive rock opera: the winding, wielding story of a Puerto Rican hustler name Rael making his way in New York City. Peter Gabriel made some tentative moves toward developing this story into a movie with William Friedkin but it never took off, perhaps it’s just as well; even with the lengthy libretto included with the album, the story never makes sense. But just because the story is rather impenetrable doesn’t mean that the album is as well, because it is a forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak. Even if the story is rather hard to piece together, the album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to pop-oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to instrumentals. This means that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway contains both Genesis’ most immediate music to date. Depending on a listener’s taste, they may gravitate toward the first LP with its tight collection of ten rock songs, or the nightmarish landscapes of the second, where Rael descends into darkness and ultimately redemption (or so it would seem), but there’s little question that the first album is far more direct than the second and it contains a number of masterpieces, from the opening fanfare of the title song to the surging “In the Cage,” from the frightening “Back in NYC” to the soothing conclusion “The Carpet Crawlers.” In retrospect, this first LP plays a bit more like the first Gabriel solo album than the final Genesis album, but there’s also little question that the band helps form and shape this music (with Brian Eno adding extra coloring on occasion), while Genesis shines as a group shines on the impressionistic second half. In every way, it’s a considerable, lasting achievement and it’s little wonder that Peter Gabriel had to leave the band after this record: they had gone as far as they could go together, and could never top this extraordinary Album.
Genesis
Tony Banks – Hammond T-102 organ, RMI 368x Electra piano, Mellotron M400, Elka Rhapsody synthesizer, ARP 2600 & ARP Pro Soloist synthesizers, acoustic piano
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals
Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, oboe, tambourine, experiments with foreign sounds
Steve Hackett – electric guitar, classical acoustic guitar
Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals, fuzz bass