Turn Off Shuffle:
Concept Albums Explained

by Paul-Newell Reaves



Join us on Defenestrationism.net as we examine concept albums, track by track, one lyric at a time.

We will be hopping around in time period and genre, starting with “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and “Highway 61, Revisited“. Up next, “Transcontinental Drift” by Lyricists’ Watch.

All active links are in burgundy.


Early Innovators

The First Concept Albums
Gustav Holst, Woody Guthrie, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis
1922-1960

Highway 61, Revisited
Bob Dylan
1965

A Love Supreme
John Coltrane
1965

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles
1967

The Mature Period of the 1970s

What’s Going On
Marvin Gaye
1971

Berlin
Lou Reed
1973

The Heart of Saturday Night
Tom Waits
1974

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Genesis
1974

Trick of the Tail
Genesis
1976

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Australian Release)
AC/DC
1976

Death of a Ladies Man
Lennard Cohen
1977

The Rambler
Johnny Cash
1977

80s Weirdnesses

The Dreaming
Kate Bush
1982

Rum, Sodomy & the Lash
The Pogues
1985

Somewhere in Time
Iron Maiden
1986

Frank’s Wild Years
Tom Waits
1987

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Iron Maiden
1988

90s Hip-Hop

Edutainment
KRS-One (Boogie Down Productions)
1990

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
2pac (Makaveli)
1996

The Score
The Fugees
1996

The Carnival
Wyclef Jean
1997

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill
1998

Blackstar
Mos Def and Talib Kweli
1999

21st Century Renaissance

Stankonia
Outkast
2000

Toxicity
System of a Down
2001

Alice
Tom Waits
2002

Greendale
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
2003

The Black Parade
My Chemical Romance
2006

Opheliac
Emilie Autumn
2006

New Amerykah (4th World War)/ (Return of the Ankh)
Erykah Badu
2008/ 2010

Crack the Skye
Mastodon
2009

Born Like This
MF Doom
2009

Tempest
Bob Dylan
2012

Transcontinental Drift
Lyricists’ Watch
2014

To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar
2015

Emperor of Sand
Mastodon
2017

September 11th Response Concept Albums

The Rising
Bruce Springstein
2002

Scarlet’s Walk
Tori Amos
2002





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