Top 10 Best Concept Albums


The Top Ten

1 Pink Floyd - The Wall

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.

This concept was so well thought out and the mystique was cleverly perpetuated by the tight lipped nature of the band's discussions about the concept. It was brilliantly executed and an almost psychic creation of art. - viniot

Dark Side of the Moon might be a bit more revolutionary, but the wall is a better concept album. Roger Waters is still touring with it. And come on, it has Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2, Mother, Young Lust, Hey You, Comfortably Numb and Run Like Hell. All are some of Pink Floyd's greatest songs and don't get me started on Comfortably Numb and it's solos.

You don't get how deep the wall is. it's like, there's a wall, and it symbolizes... a wall. - Brobusky

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2 Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Anyone who thinks the Wall is better clearly mistaken. The Wall harbours similar themes of isolation and mental illness and but the Wall does it from a first person perspective. I think if you're going for the first person perspective appeal, there's plenty albums on here that do that better such as quadrophenia. Dark side of the moon in my opinion tells of life, not from one's perspective. And is easier to relate too as well as more applicable.

One of my favorites but it's not a concept album

The whole album, symbolizes the human life circle.

The Dark Side of the Moon IS a concept album, but it's not a rock opera that tells a story from a first person perspective like the Wall or Quadrophenia. The Wall, DSOTM, Animals and WYWH are all my favourite albums. I'd say that The Wall and Animals have the best concepts while DSOTM and WYWH have the best music and to an extent, the best lyrics. It's hard to choose!

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3 The Who - Tommy

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

Pete Townshend is a legend - BrianScott01

Greatest album ever

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

Why is this not in the top 5? This album show cases the most brilliant harmony between the instruments and the lyrics. It's perfectly synced and the storyline is beautiful. I love the way the story is told in pieces. It's fits perfectly well together. My top 5 are : dark side of the moon, animals, metropolis pt 2 scenes from a memory, the wall, and rise and fall of ziggy stardust.

A lot of the albums here aren't true concept albums, which horrifies me to see them above this album which tells such a great story so clearly and with such musical virtuosity.

Growing up in the 70's and 80's I was a huge fan of Floyd, The Who, Genesis, Marillion, Rush and Queensryche. This album was the perfect mesh of all of them. It may not get the votes others above it get as many are not familiar with it, but this is the greatest concept album PERIOD!

Trippin into the storyline!

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6 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie's concept was exhilarating. It explored the alter ego that exists in all of us, but as humans, we feel the overwhelming pressure to subdue it. He explored his right in front of our eyes. - viniot

How is this not #2 after the wall like really what is that thing up there

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

Should be up there with the two Floyd ones

7 Pink Floyd - Animals

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.

I have everything floyd still on vinyl and this is my fave floyd and concept album.

My most favourite album of all time! It's perfect! The storyline is amazing. It shows each members strength! Roger waters amazing artist lyrics perfectly matches Gilmours brilliant guitar work. I swear I get so many mugasms (music orgasm) while I'm listening to this album.

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8 Metallica - ...And Justice For All

Not really a concept album.

This should be higher.

9 The Who - The Who Sell Out
10 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

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.

Greatest album ever PERIOD! Let alone a concept album. This album changed music forever!

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

Why is it so low on the charts anyway?

The Newcomers

? The Power and the Glory - Gentle Giant

Amazing story told within each and every song, and it goes to show the kind of writing abilities prog bands can have. Gentle Giant shall rule all. - isaaonrtdmtr

The Contenders

11 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.

No 14? Seriously? This should be after Dark side of the moon, the wall, tommy and ziggy stardust.

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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 Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns

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

14 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

15 Rush - 2112

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.

Not completely a concept album, but the song itself has one of the best stories I've ever heard.

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

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

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16 Frank Zappa - We're Only In It for the Money
17 Queensryche - Operation, Mindcrime

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).

One of the best story albums recorded. OM also showed that Metal could be more than empty posturing.

This is a amazing concept album and musicians.

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18 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.

19 Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

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

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.

This is THE concept album. There are albums out there that I prefer, but it is a true concept, a story, a theme, that stick through over an hour and a half of music. From the Broadway-esque opening through the dimly lit Cage, on a existential sexual experience, the surreal post-op and finally...just "it".

€My little runaway”.

1. Broadway

2. Tommy/Quadrophenia

3. The Wall

4. Sgt. Pepper

5. Thick as a brick

6. The Snow Goose

7. 2112

8. Ziggy Stardust

9. Three Friends

10. Eldorado

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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 Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

How is this 23!

22 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

23 King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
24 Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
25 Brian Wilson - Smile

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

26 Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

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

27 Jeff Wayne - The War of the Worlds

One of the best...

28 Daft Punk - Discovery
29 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.

30 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

31 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

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.

For it's genre this is a very good album. Its not in the same league as dark side or the wall but if you like this sort of stuff it's pretty epic in the literall sense

32 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

33 Gorillaz - Demon Days
34 Jethro Tull - Thick As a Brick

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

35 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.

36 Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
37 Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare
38 Opeth - Still Life
39 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

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 Rush - Clockwork Angels

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

42 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

43 Tool - Lateralus

Not a concept album.

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

44 The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
45 Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown

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

46 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

47 Smashing Pumpkins - MACHINA/The Machines of God

With a twisting love hate relationship with the press, it made sense that Billy Corgan would make a record dealing with how the media wars informed his songwriting. The Pumpkins include spirituality in their quest for existential answers. - viniot

48 Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile
49 The Cure - Pornography

Not a concept album.

50 Ayreon - 01011001
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List Stats

1,000 votes
131 listings
8 years, 199 days old

Top Remixes (16)

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. Pink Floyd - The Wall
2. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
3. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

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