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Concept album

Usually, in popular music, an album of an artist or group simply consists of a number of songs that the members of the group or the artist have written or have chosen to cover. In a concept album, on the other hand, all songs contribute to a single effect or unified story.

The album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band of the Beatles is often considered to have been the first concept album, primarily because the title song, occurring in two versions, wraps around the rest of the album like bookends; however, most of the songs on that album are actually unrelated to one another.

The Beatles had grown tired of touring, and had the idea of making an album that would do the touring for them. McCartney's original idea was to create fictitious characters for each band member (The "Lonely Hearts Club Band") and make an album that would have been a performance by that fictional band. The cover of the album was designed to look like the band was performing in a park. The album starts with the Sgt. Pepper's theme, then introduces "Billy Shears" who sings the second song. The Beatles essentially abandoned the concept after the first two songs though. As such, then, Sgt. Pepper was not a true concept album, although its reputation as such helped in spreading the idea of concept albums.

A more generally accepted candidate is S.F. Sorrow by the Pretty Things[?], which was released in the same year (1967), and which tells the life-story of the eponymous character.

The concept album, as a concept, overlaps with rock opera and to some extent with rock musical[?].

Famous concept albums include:

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