Top 10 Best Concept Albums


The Top Ten

1 Pink Floyd - The Wall

Dark Side of the Moon and Wish you were here are better albums than The Wall, but the wall is the best concept album. The songs here tell a narrative. The songs aren't as strong as the other two, but they tell a bold, tightly held narrative that pays off a ton at the end.

"Bring the Boys Back Home" is a classic in American culture.

Where would any of us be without the glory of "Vera" or the gripping tale of "Is There Anybody Out There? "

You can't deny it. This is the mother of all concept albums. You can't top it. There is no way it can be improved nor does it get old. This is a masterpiece! Arguably, pink floyds best! - Slipperyjack40

This album is practically a religion among my friends and I. There is literally nothing bad about it, sure the songs don't stand well on their own except for comfortably numb and to an extent another brick in the wall part 2 but that's not the point of a concept album. I can listen to this thing back to back to back without getting bored or wanting something else, it just never gets old.

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2 Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

I could never find a real concept for it no matter how many times I listened to it. I did notice that there is a different concept on each side. - Slipperyjack40

An amazing album with extremely deep meaning - HidekiRyuga99

It IS a concept album about the life cycle. Relatable

Aaamen brother

Although where's all the Alan Parsons Project? - CygnusX99

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3 The Who - Tommy

One of the best albums of all time- and one of the most underrated. Far better than DSOTM and The Wall.

Greatest album ever

Tommy is one of the most infamous concept records of all times. It deals with the human condition and the pursuit of answers to questions we most likely won't find until we die. - viniot

I'm pretty much obsessed with this album

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4 The Who - Quadrophenia

This should be #1. Not only is it the best concept album ever made, but the best album ever made.

From 'I am the sea' to 'Love reign o'er me', this the best concept album of all time. Each induvisual member is great and so are all the songs. If you don't believe me listen to it! My favorite part is 'Sea and sand' to Doctor jimmy'. - jarjar36

5 Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory

Not a single bad song in here

I was out after it ended

Amazing album

This should be #1

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6 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It's Sgt. Pepper. Come on - AlexZoraj

Should be top 3

The first concept album, and the best, pink floyd comes close but this is still the king of music

While I could mention how great it's premise is, it's glorious songwriting, and widespread appeal, I'll just mention the many technological innovations it brought to the studio.

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7 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

I dare say the sacrilegious statement that this is better than The Wall. Yep, that's right. Although The Wall was the first concept album I ever listened to and was my favourite album of all time for a long time, something about this is just... amazing. Unlike The Wall, I can say that I love every song on here, and thoroughly enjoy every second of each song without the need or want to skip some songs, which is more than I can say for The Wall. Although the story may be better in The Wall, Ziggy Stardust and David Bowie in general just give me shivers and goosebumps whenever I hear it. RIP BOWIE.

My mum loved bowie

Should be number 2 after The Wall

My favourite album of all time! An absolute classic that never gets old. Gives me goosebumps EVERY TIME!

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8 Pink Floyd - Animals

The best Pink Floyd album

Pink Floyd's best.

This is REAL concept album. The Wall isn't even close to this!

Arguably the greatest album in the history of music, and I'm not only referring to concept albums.

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9 The Who - The Who Sell Out

The idea of dropping jingles between songs to make it sound like a radio station is pure genius. 1967’s BEST album.

10 Metallica - ...And Justice For All

Not really a concept album.

This should be higher.

The Newcomers

? The Incident - Porcupine Tree
? Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree

Concept album about how modern youth is being lost to drug overuse, broken homes, and excessive screen time. It's message may just be more relevant now than when it was released in 2007. - SamhainMetal

The Contenders

11 Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

The best roster of the best band ever. I would put this album against any of those on this list any day of the week and it would end up on top, maybe ex-equo with The Wall lyric wise but musically... no contest. Those five virtuosos ( Gabriel vocally) have never been equaled. Find me a more emotionally charged song than Carpet Crawlers anywhere in that list! This music will still be relevant in a hundred years.

I don't know what's with people. This is an hour and a half of music that you'll never forget, and every song is fantastic! The meaning of this album is so ambiguous and strange that it's really up to interpretation, but that makes it more interesting and doesn't detract from the experience. Any Genesis fan should listen to this album, and if you're not a Genesis fan, you have to listen to this anyway (although maybe a less intense introduction to the band makes sense first). Genesis is a band that has seemingly endless great music from multiple genres, so you really should check them out! If you're a progressive rock fan, check out their stuff fro 1970-1976, and if you like 80's music that's less intense and strange, check out their stuff from 1978-1997. However, if you like their more recent stuff, you should still check out the older stuff. It's unbelievable, and this album is perhaps the greatest example of that. I got interested in progressive rock because I first heard Genesis's ...more

Not just the greatest 'concept' album but the greatest 'progressive rock' album ever conceived by man. Five men actually, with supreme musical talent. The music is breath-taking in it's complexity and detail, and Peter Gabriel's lyrics are astonishing. If you don't like this album you just don't like music.

This list is an absolute abomination. This album trumps all other on this list INCLUDING THE WALL. People just assume that the wall is the greatest concept album ever made but this album absolutely blows it away in terms of inventiveness, emotion, and the intrigue of the actual concept itself. The wall is basically Roger water just saying: Leave me alone. The lamb is autobiographical to Peter Gabriel's life and has real meaning.

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12 Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

The sound, feel, and atmosphere of this album is just amazing. I recommend it to anyone who exists.

This should be much higher. I can't believe you worthless peasants put this at 15. Ah todays generation, no taste of all. please like if listeting to seventh son in 2016!

13 Green Day - American Idiot

This is an AMAZING album and I LOVE the story. Its about a boy (Jesus Of Suburbia) who leaves his home because as he grows up he realizes that everything is a lie in his house and in America, so he leaves and enjoys his first night of freedom, its awesome, and he is happy like its a Holiday. After that, the hangover kicks in and he is suddenly depressed (Boulevard of Broken Dreams) knowing now that he needs to move into the big city (Are We the waiting) and creates a new identity (St.Jimmy) and starts doing drugs to keep away the pain of being home sick (give me novicaine) and then he meets and starts a relationship with a girl (she's a rebel) and says how amazing she is (Extraordinary girl).after seeing how much of a loser he is she leaves him (letterbomb) he is depressed, (wake me up when September ends). Now he kills his alter ego St.Jimmy and is going home (Homecoming/Death Of St.Jimmy). He is home and now the legacy ends.

This record was a monumentally important statement at a crucial time in history. It dealt with the sub-conscious of American counter culture and itsstruggle to identify itself among a malicious regime claiming to act in everyone's best interest. - viniot

Such an incredibly fascinating record. Can't stop listening.

Probably one of the best concept albums of all time

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14 Queensryche - Operation, Mindcrime

Classic. One of the greatest albums ever made.

Love the story and the guitar heavy style of this album. My favorite album of all time! It should be much higher on this list. Too bad Tate has gone nuts! I had tickets to go see them last year and my dumb ass misplaced them. Maybe a fight would have broken out! Laugh out loud They clearly separated themselves from other heavy metal bands of the 80's with this. A lot of the 80's stuff was cheesy on lyrics, but not this album or band. Their stuff always had meaning behind it.

A true concept album from start (I remember now/Anarchy X) to Finnish (Eyes of a Stranger). More than just a collection of songs with a common theme. It tells a story from beginning to end. It spawned a sequel over 20 years later (that, unfortunately doesn't quite live up to the original, but still entertaining).

This is a amazing concept album and musicians.

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15 Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns

Amazing album, a modern concept album

This album is really artistic with concept of nuclear war.. The album have spacy feels and all tracks are connected. Overall an underrated artwork

Why is this garbage here.

A amazing concept about nuclear war and apocalypyse, and very good lyrics, new sounds and music videos. Should be the first or secon, I believe this is the best album by Linkin Park. Pink Floy is also very good too

16 Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

This is one of my favorite records of all time. It deals with the full spectrum of human emotions as it takes you through the course of a day. This one you need to experience for yourself! - viniot

Best album of all time, it changed my life, NUMBER 1

17 Rush - 2112

Not really a concept album but still one hell of an album - CygnusX99

Though not strictly a "concept album", the song 2112 is simply amazing. A great storyline, coupled with great bass and guitar playing, and a positively epic drummer. The other half of the album is pretty good too.

Hey...It's not a concept album - pruvet

It is a concept album. They released a comic about how all of the songs come together

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18 Frank Zappa - We're Only In It for the Money

I see this as Anti-Sgt Pepper. While that album was full of optimistic and dreamy songs and lyrics, Frank Zappa goes for the complete opposite, outlining a lot of the issues with American Culture in the late 60s. While I cannot say I prefer this to Sgt Pepper, I will say that, as a concept album, this is a bit more coherent.

19 Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

All songs are perfect, just perfect

The best Pink Floyd album

I love this album better than the the wall (in my opinion)

How is this 23!

20 Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age

Why is this low on the list this album is up their with The Wall as one of the greatest concept albums ever has some great musicians on this album Josh Homme is a great vocalist and wizard guitarist and Dave Grohl is on this album with some amazing drumming and Nick Oliveri is a great bassist my two favorites are Another Love Song and Do it Again the concept is about driving from LA to Joshua Tree,California and meeting many strange people and listening to the radio this is a modern classic

21 The Eagles - Hotel California

The title track is the obvious standout and I don't think anyone knows entirely what it means. The guitar solos and riffs are some of the best of all time. "New Kid In Town" is a great country ballad from Glenn Frey about trying to make it in the music business. "Life In the Fast Lane" is a great rocker from Don Henley (vocals) and Joe Walsh (the riff) about the rush of fame and everything that comes with it (money, sex, drugs, booze). "Wasted Time" is a great take on a Philadelphia piano ballad from Henley about broken hearts. "Victim of Love" is a great rocker from Henley that features some tasty licks from Don Felder. It continues the broken heart theme, but is much less sympathetic than "Wasted Time" (the creative ownership of this song would become a problem and would cause tensions that later led to the band's breakup in 1980). "Pretty Maids All In a Row" is a great piano ballad (with great slide guitar) from Joe Walsh ...more

22 Gorillaz - Demon Days
23 Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

Vote for this or you be gay

The greatest of all time. Why? The concept is The spiritual and mental deconstruction of a human being as his mechanical side appears and leads him into committing suicide.

In my opinion, A much better concept album than Year Zero. It follows the trajectory of a person losing control in a way that is so relevant it moved Cash to cover "Hurt"

In my opinion, one of the greatest albums ever and without a doubt greatest "storyline" ( or a concept) of any album ever. But its not for everybody, and certainly not fir the mainstream audience, so I'm not suprised this is number 34

24 Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
25 Rush - Clockwork Angels

A full concept album and one of the best albums in Rush's discography filled with amazing work. This band of three masters of their craft ended their career with an album that has an incredible story and music.

26? Are you kidding me? Clockwork angels is one of the best concept albums I've heard, it follows a story of a character and his dreams in kick ass song like the caravan, headlong flight, seven cities of gold and the best final of an album that can exist: the garden

This is the only true full concept album from the band and like most in this genre takes a few listens to absorb. If this is the last studio album the went out in epic fashion

26 Brian Wilson - Smile

Brian Wilson's Masterpiece. If it came out in 1967 as originally intended it'd probably higher on this list.

27 Dream Theater - Octavarium

People if you r a music lover vote this album and take it to number 1 no one can match to DREAM THEATER the story is incredible.

Not a concept album lyrically, but musically it is the most complex piece of work where everything flows with concepts such as the keys they play in.

28 Daft Punk - Discovery

Great album, should be higher.

29 Jeff Wayne - The War of the Worlds

As top quality as concept albums come

One of the best...

30 My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

If you are afraid of death, this album will help you. I'll recapt the album's most memorable songs. The beginning is The End... literally. It's a short intro that brings power. It is followed by Dead! With a catchy chorus telling you that you are dead in a happy way. If saying that no one ever even liked you anyway is happy. Welcome to the Black Parade is probably their best song ever, with inspirational lyrics and a pop feel, and the band's only one to hit many chart's top tens. It is one of the first songs told from the view of the main character. I Don't Love You is about a love that has gone dull, and is an amazing slow song (Even though the chorus 'I don't love you like I did yesterday' may seem a bit cheesy). Cancer is short and sweet, and we finally know why our album's main character is dying (the fans call him 'The Patient'). He is days before dying, and the grossest part about it is all the hairs have abandoned his body (they actually sing that). Mama has a early 1900s ...more

As a massive Floyd, Bowie, Queen fan my initial reaction to this was rip off! but as time went by I realised that this is a properly excellent album with a great (if depressing)concept. Some real kick ass tunes that always liven up my drive to work. you know it's a great album when your favourite song keeps changing and this definitely happens with the Black Parade.

This album has saved my life. It starts with a sick person who is on their home stretch, and the album goes through making preperstions for your own funeral, saying goodbye, going through final cancer treatments, being afraid of dying, and then finding comfort with whatever happens in the afterlife. This is a very powerful album, each song contributing to the journey of dealing with the deepest fears humans have.

This should be higher.

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31 Abbey Road - The Beatles

Well, Abbey Road is not really a concept album. The medley is, though. The medley is about poor people and how they deserve more money. At least, that’s how I interpret it. If it was a concept album, here’s how it would go:

I interpret Side One as just a party at midnight. Here Comes the Sun, starting Side Two, marks the end of the party, when the sun rises. The song Because is when people start waking up, becoming aware of their surroundings. Then comes the medley, when the people go to work and have money troubles. More than halfway through the medley, there is a pause and it leads into another medley, the Bedtime Medley. Golden Slumbers is a song about sleeping. Carry That Weight is just a track looking back on the first song of the medley, You Never Give Me Your Money. The End is just the end of the album, saying love is more important than money. Her Majesty, the hidden track, is about the Queen of England, and a poor person wanting to marry her to have more money. ...more

32 Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Explores themes of maturity and death and god and love, an absolutely perfect album. I would go so far as to say it's up there with the wall in terms of emotion.

One of the greatest albums ever made. Not sure if it counts as a concept album though

Not really a concept album.

33 Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

What makes this album great is it keeps up the story line while still allowing all of its songs to be great stand alone songs as well. Hip hop doesn't get as much consideration in this list as it should.

34 Jethro Tull - Thick As a Brick

They made fun of the concept album. They had fun while doing it. And it earned them a CULT FOLLOWING.

Should be in the top tem

This album is the definition of a concept album. How it's below American Idiot and some album by linkin park is baffling.

Is it or is it not a concept album? There’s only one song on it, split in two parts. I guess it’s a concept album. But it’s the BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME, ALRIGHT PEOPLE?

35 Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth

Music is great, the story is based on Tolkien's The Silmarillion. - Metal_Treasure

Must be MUCH higher - DejanKalinic

36 The Mars Volta - De-loused in the Comatorium

Considering it was the bands first album release with a story to go with it about a close friends coma which drove him to commit suicide. You can feel the true emotion in the album, with an original sound and incredible lyrics, I think it is the greatest album I have heard to date and should be nearer number 1 in this list.

Why the absolute Hell is Linkin Park above this masterpiece of an album?

his concept blew me away. When people have near death experiences they commonly report their lives flashing before their eyes. This notion fascinates me, as it obviously does Mars Volta. - viniot

My all time favorite album

37 Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar

I just think it has one of the most fascinating story of any concept album, as well as the music being amazing and the album tackles a lot of subject while still being not adventuring away from the storyline of the album. 10/10

38 Opeth - Still Life

Pure masterpiece

Should honestly be at least in the top 10, if not then 20. Great instrumentation and the vocals are godly as ever with Opeth. Plus you have a great story about a man who wants nothing more but to be with his beloved, but he is exiled, she gets killed, and he goes after the townsfolk who killed her and he dies trying to get revenge.

PS. If I could actually add to the list I would add the concept album Odyssey To The West by Slice The Cake. It's literally the best concept album in terms of sound and story. It tells the tale of a Man who leaves the love of his life in search of God.

39 Camel - The Snow Goose

Camel are one of the most prolific producers of the concept album. This is not necessarily their finest but certainly their most successful based on the book of the same name.

40 Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

Year Zero takes a look at a kind of apocalyptic situation from about 16 different views all of them come in together perfectly and thnk about this Capital G and Survivalism were the singles on this album and about half of the rest of the album is better than both of those songs amazing album

This record was a gripping and fully engaging story line that unfolded itself in stages leading up to the release, with clues hidden in bathrooms at shows and all over the internet. The band is amazing and the concept is right up my alley! - viniot

41 Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare
42 King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

I don’t think this is a concept album, but it is still amazing! I can see why it’s on this list, as it is the first progressive rock album. Lots of prog rock albums have concepts.

43 Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

This concept album deals with the age-old battle of good vs evil which is nothing new. However, what the Flaming Lips did was add the post script of emotions over the battle. It incites thoughts and reflections of death and regret that aren't generally dealt with in that kind of story. - viniot

Great album that I think is about breast cancer? - InsertNameHere

44 The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

By far one the most beautiful and innovative albums of all time.

45 Tool - Lateralus

Not a concept album.

Is not only about a story... y all about FIBONACCI SEQUENSE... The best conceptual album ever!

46 Misplaced Childhood - Marillion

How is this album not on the list. This should be top 10. - jasonbogen

Top 10 definitely...

47 Time - Electric Light Orchestra

Love it. It was my first ELO album and I enjoy all the songs, when I listened to Twilight and Ticket to the Moon my head exploded, lol.

So many imitators of this record's sound. A great story too!

Love it

48 Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown

Any album with 21 Guns, Know Your Enemy, and 21st Century Breakdown deserves to be recognized

49 Radiohead - Ok Computer

How are those American morons Green Day over 50 higher.

50 Marilyn Manson - Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)

Holy Wood really brings out how much of an intelligent and genius lyricist Marilyn Manson - Lem

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List Stats

1,000 votes
144 listings
9 years, 206 days old

Top Remixes (17)

1. The Who - Quadrophenia
2. The Who - The Who Sell Out
3. Pink Floyd - The Wall
1. The Who - Quadrophenia
2. The Who - Tommy
3. Metallica - ...And Justice For All
1. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
2. The Who - Tommy
3. Rush - Clockwork Angels

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