Top Rock Operas/Musicals

The Top Ten

The Wall - Pink Floyd

My criteria for a quality rock opera: - pleasure of listening - quality of message - how interesting the story is - re-listen value - ability to portray a feeling - excitement

This ticks all of the boxes better than any other rock opera or album I have heard.
Runners up for me are Quadrophenia and Operation: Mindcrime.

Truly a wonderful listening experience. The story isn't as easy to listen to as Tommy by the Who but provides a more diverse selection of music.

the story of a sucessful rock star named pink who, as a child suffered trama such as having his father killed in the war, and having to go to boarding school, as well as having an overprotective mother. this album tells the story of his life trying to cope with the wall he built between himself and the outside world. in te end, he puts himself on trial, is found guilty, and knocks down the wall.

The Wall is a musical triumph. Just the words "Hey you, would you help to carry the stone? ", especially with that harmonization, are enough to send chills down my spine. I'm working on a script for a stage album, and it's turning out greatly. Thank you Nick, Dave, Roger and Rick for giving us a masterpiece, and God bless the last one, you are forever in our hearts.

Tommy - The Who

Tommy is just the best written of them all. Plus, it has the most obscure, but interesting story line. A boy who witnesses his fathers death and is told not too see or say anything about it and his mind takes it to an extreme and he becomes deaf, dumb, and blind. He is then given to his molesting Uncle Ernie. He discovers he is a "Pinball wizard" and becomes famous around the world. He becomes very attached to mirrors and they feel he can't see the things around him but himself in these mirrors. His mother is mad that he is becoming too attached to the mirrors and smashes them. This cures tommy of his odd disease, hence the songs "Sensation" and "I'm Free." Uncle Ernie tries to take advantage of Tommy's fame and starts a wildly overpriced camp for children of Tommy's old nature to be cured and learn pinball. The children in the end rebel, which is the song "We're Not Gonna Take It." I feel that this storyline by itself makes it #1.

This album is the original rock opera and has by far one of the best stories in any opera I've ever heard.

how can you do this! it shud be 1 this film/rock opera was the first and the very best long live the who

The Who invented concept albums and rock operas. There's no way number one is not for them

American Idiot - Green Day

This is clearly the most powerful/political rock opera EVER. Following the Jesus of Suburbia and his view of how F-ed up the world is, and how he can't stop it, as he has his own problems. Add his alter ego; St. Jimmy, and the girl he falls in love with, Whatsername and you have the story of the century! On top of that, it hit Broadway

Green Day's American Idiot is one of the absolute best Rock Operas of the 21st Century. Jesus of Suburbia is such a powerful song comprised of 5 movements, adding up to a 9 minute track. It is followed by several songs that simply add to the story of Jesus of Suburbia, eventually closing the album with a sort of aftermath track: Whatsername. Legendary Masterpiece. 10/10

One of my most favorite album ever!

One Of There Best Albums Yet

Quadrophenia - The Who Quadrophenia - The Who Product Image

Quadrophenia is simply a masterpiece, with a beautifully made plot line, interesting characters, not to mention the sheer talent from every member of the Who! It's just a great story and a great album (why is everyone comparing it to American Idiot or whatever, you don't need to put down another album to know that this one is amazing)

Definitely has the best movie. How is it lower than American Idiot. American Idiot barely has a story. Quadrophenia is really meaningful and has characters that you can relate to.

Best album of all time that also happens to be a concept album

Best rock opera that has and ever will be written

Moon - Gackt

Consisting in two albums (Moon and Crescent), two tours (Kagen no tsuki and Jougen no tsuki), two novels (Moon Child and Requiem) and a movie (Moon Child), is one of the most amazing musicals of all time!

Jesus Christ Superstar - Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber

There is no question that JCS is the greatest rock opera; the quality of the music surpasses both the Who and Pink Floyd, and the lyrics are far more complex, akin to top literature; whilst the themes of the Wall and Tommy (especially the latter) are by comparison quite straightforward. JCS asks fundamental questions about the meaning of one of the greatest stories in history (whether it is actually historical fact or not). I find it quite amazing that this work is so little celebrated.

Gethsemane, Heaven on their minds, I don't know how to love him, strange thing mystifying, all of these songs and one of the greatest musicals I have ever heard (especially Heaven on their Minds)

I love Mary in the film. Anyone who does not like this is a nutcase! It's a great film of a famous story. Although I don't believe in God myself, I really enjoy it.

A truly amazing piece of music, extremely entertaining and outstanding arrangements and singers! BEST ROCK OPERA EVAAA!

Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche Product Image

This is my favorite album of all time. Fantastic concept album. So happy that Adam Pascal is developing a version of it for the stage!

Bat Out of Hell / Bat Out of Hell II - Meat Loaf

Great music and enjoy it most every day! # 1 goes with this post as Well!

I Love Meat Loaf and these CDs they are some of the best I've heard including Bat 3 which has perhaps the greatest song of all time Seize the Night all the songs are good except track 5 and Track 13 was too slow but the last Track is very peaceful

I love the Bat II album that it was skipping a little, and I think I need a new copy!

For Crying out Loud You Know I Love Meat Loaf

Grease Grease Product Image
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Who didn't vote this top?! Oh my word! Richard O'Brien is greatest genius of our time and Rocky Horror is a testament to that!

Flashy, trashy, kinky, and leather makes this movie/musical one of the most memorable out there.

I don't believe there's every been anything quite like this movie made before.

It's The Rocky Horror Picture Show need I say more?

The Contenders

Lifehouse - The Who

This was never a real rock opera because the project was scrapped and made into Who's Next but you can hear on YouTube of what it would've been like and in my opinion, it would've been better than their number one album Who's Next!

It might have been the best album ever made, but instead we got Who's Next, which is still pretty good. - AlexZoraj

21st Century Breakdown - Green Day 21st Century Breakdown - Green Day Product Image

An even more modern version of Romeo & Juliet. Beautifully crafted, I love this album.

Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - Genesis Product Image

The story and the lyrics by Peter Gabriel are not easy to understand, but they are great.. And the music also amazing. "The lamb lies down...", "Carpet Crawlers", "The Lamia".. WOW!

The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance Product Image

This is the greatest album of all time and know one can tell me otherwise

This album is very grand and the songs don't fall off the concept of the story

A good album with lots of catchy songs, although I'm not entirely sure it's one of the best "rock operas" in that sense (the plot and characters aren't as expertly defined as, say, Tommy or American Idiot). Ignoring that part, the album's great

An album that shaped a generation of teens that felt left out in society. The Black Parade is an epic that was timely and effective.


i love rent. jonathan larson was amazing. such a story. such music. such a MESSAGE. anyone who doesn't like RENT is CRAZY. i love it.

I love all of this music theres not a day that goes by when im not singing a song from rent

Very hard-rock type of score, yet so beautifully done in terms of plot. Pretty good.

Belongs on the top of this list!

Sweeney Todd

The version by Michael Cerveris and Patti Lupone is grande in the best way possible. They renew this show into an gothic classic. You can still feel the emotions on this cd. The whole company played their own instruments - amazing!!!!

Good, but not really a rock musical.

The Wake of Magellan - Savatage The Wake of Magellan - Savatage Product Image

I don't disagree that Savatage deserves this spot. Why I am commenting is because Savatage did two other rock operas that are better than this one. Whereas Streets is my favorite and is inspirational beyond belief, musically, Dead Winter Dead is better and should be number one on this list. Covering a love story in the middle of the chaos during the fall of communism in Yugoslavia, it still strikes a chord with the people in Bosnia, even though it came out in 1995. Phenomenal!

Great album, great story, great lyrics. Very elaborate melodies, and, once more, a brilliant use of counterpoint in the vocals. It's very ambitious, because there are a few different stories, but, somehow, in the end, they seem to complete each other, and you get the sensation they really should be told together.


One of the first and one of the best!

The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails Product Image
Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull Product Image
01011001 - Ayreon 01011001 - Ayreon Product Image

The double album that set a new standard in rock operas, with amazing songs that tell a state-of-the-art story.

Have to agree; this is a killer album.

Joe's Garage - Frank Zappa

Haha this is at #25! Real music is dying.

Extremely weird, but just wow.



Also not rock

We Will Rock You We Will Rock You  Product Image

By far the best rock musical of all. Best music, best dialogue... SUPERB!

Some of the best ever Queen songs, with an insane plot-line thrown in! It couldn't get any better!


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