Top 10 Rock Operas (Rock 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 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.

The Wall is absolutely the best rock opera. I can sit and listen to The Wall over and over again and never lose interest. Almost the same for Tommy, but it doesn't have that sympathy that hits me with The Wall.

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.

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

Tommy absolutely annihilates the wall

American Idiot - Green Day

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

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

One of my most favorite album ever!

My favourite album of all time

Quadrophenia - The Who Quadrophenia - The Who Product Image

Are you kidding with me!? This is definitely the best rock opera álbum, made by the genius that created the same concept, Pete Townshend.

If you went to see the lists made by critics of music about this same subject, Quadrophenia always appear in 1st place! Do I nee to say more?

Pete Townshend said about the album "The music is the best music that I've ever written, I think, and it's the best album that I will ever write"

The complexity and beauty of the lyrics in the álbum are a masterpiece.

And if you still don't believe in me that this is the best opera rock album ever made, so become to now that the respectful site Rotten Tomatoes gave to the adaptation in movie of this album 100%, do you now how rare this is is? , The movie adaptation from The Wall only receive 72% from the same site. Are you finally understanding why Quadrophenia is the best rock opera ever made, and probably the best that anyone will ever do.

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.

Qaudrophenia is a incredible original and emotional album which is amazing and how in the hell is it below American idiot? American idiot has more story than a picture book.

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.

I think there a many that claim to be "rock opera" but in my opionion this is the one, true example of what a rock opera should be like. The music, the voices, the story, the political message. And it is incredibly moving, while it at the same time manages to be catchy as hell.

Gethsemane, Heaven on their minds, I don't know how to love him, strange thing mystifying, all of these songs and more...in 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.

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

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

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

The rock opera all rock operas need to be measured against.

Best Album of all time.. Period.

Grease Grease Product Image
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

How can this not be higher? When you think of a rock opera, isn't this the first thing that pops into your mind?
It's the most iconic rock operas of all time!

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.

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.

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.

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!

Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance Product Image

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.

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

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

Rent

I love all of this music theres not a day that goes by when I'm 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!

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.

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.

Hair

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.

Cats

Also not rock

We Will Rock You We Will Rock You  Product Image

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

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

8Load More
PSearch List