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Rock Operas

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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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We have a cable channel in the states called VH-1 Classic. It's a spin-off from VH-1 that was originally competetion to MTV. Last night they showed some live Who footage. The performance was typical. I always find their live performances before Moon died to be quite energetic if anything.

They closed their show out with about 1/4 of Tommy, the Rock Opera. Really not a badly put together mini-version. I was very much into it as I was the rest of the show, being a who fan of sorts. My wife just said that she didn't understand it. Not just the opera part, but the whole thing. To her, it did not sound like well put together noise.

Regardless of all that, I was wondering if that "rock opera" fad that seemed so popular after this came out ever gained any traction. I remember Queen had their fantastic "A Night At The Opera", but I don't think it was one story. Anyone else make it big with this opera notion? For that matter, what do you think of the "rock opera" as a concept and the Who's entry?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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maybe not a rock opera, but the stage took the ball ans ran with it.
Hair, the musical. Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors, another musical.
oh yeah. Jesus Christ Super Star.
I wonder if the heavy metal genre got it together for some musical epic show?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@chalkoutline)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Would Pink Floyd's "The Wall" be considered a rock opera?

Of course there is also The Who's "Quadrophenia."

EDIT: Did Quadrophenia ever get performed outside of the concept album?

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(@greybeard)
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There's also the longest running and highest grossing rock opera - Rocky Horror Picture Show. Surely everyone has heard the Time Warp?

There's Mamma Mia, but that's more of a popera.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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(@davidhodge)
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Kinks' Preservation Act (and technically Soap Opera and Schoolboys In Disgrace would be part of that I think). And Styx had a big one going for a while. I want to say that Paradise Theater was one and I also think the whole Mr Roboto thing was, too, but the I'll have to go look it up to be sure.

The thing that came up with both these bands is that not all the band members were into doing them and it did lead to a lot
of discontent. The Kinks tried to play both sides of the coin with the Soap Opera tour, the first part of the show being the Rock Opera and the second half segueing into a Kinks' concert.

And Bowie certainly played Ziggy Stardust like it was a rock opera even though no one said it was...

Peace


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Roy, was that concert footage from the Isle Of Wight festival in 1970? I caught that particular concert recently, and they certainly played a lot of the "Tommy" album. One hell of a stage performance!

As for Ziggy - I'd certainly class it as a "rock opera" for the single reason that the Ziggy album was all based around a unified theme - a concept album, if you like. They were pretty big back in the 70's! ELP's "Pictures at an Exhibition" springs to mind - I remember seeing that at the cinema, the support feature to that was the Strawbs' "Brave New World" album, if I remember correctly. Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" was also labelled as a concept album, and I think he used to do the whole album in concert - even used a full orchestra. Whether you'd call them all "Rock Operas" is, I think, open to the listener's interpretation......

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

Alrighty, it's official. I spent the 70's in an AM radio isolation chamber. There's no other possible explanation. Some of this is stuff I've not heard of, let alone heard. :oops:

dogbite, I've heard of some of those. I've never really seen Jesus Christ Superstar, but recognize the main theme. I've heard of "Hair", but not sure if I could be able to pick out a musical selection. Gives me some things to Youtube later today.

chalkoutline, I totally spaced on "The Wall". It's almost a story and most certainly one theme. I'm not sure if I've listened to "Quadropehnia". Something else to Youtube.

greybeard, I've not heard of "Mamma Mia", but have seen the RHPS plenty of times. That's definately a played out plot line, and with Meat Loaf in it too.

David, I never heard of the Kink's efforts either. Now I'm feeling really sheltered. I like the Kinks. I didn't know Styx tried it either, although I do have "Paradise Theater" along with a few others. Perhaps I missed the whole point of one of their albums. Might have been that Mr. Roboto thing. I remember a g-friend of mine and I watching a long Styx concert thing and it had the big robot on stage, IIRC.

Vic, I've never seen the whole Ziggy thing. I do like Bowie, but only have two albums.....and one of them is a greatest hits thing. That who show was described online in the VH-1 TV schedule as "In 1970, 600,000 people came to the Isle of Wight to attend a music festival. At 2 A.M., August 30th, The Who appeared and gave one of the most memorable performances of their career." I gotta say, except for the creepy suit Entwistle wore, it was a fantastic performance. Watching Moon could cause seizures. There should be a warning. I don't have any of the other entries you've listed.

Boy oh boy, I got a lot of stuff to check out. 8)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@boxboy)
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There's a movie version of 'Hair' that sank without a trace, but it's actually really good.
Great director, Milos Forman (Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus) and dynamic, inventive interpretations of the songs. Definitely worth a rent.
:)

Don


   
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(@greybeard)
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I've not heard of "Mamma Mia" - Abba stage show.

I'm getting old -- the RHPS started life as the Rocky Horror Show on the London stage and has continued being performed somewhere, continuously ever since.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

greybeard, I didn't know that started off as a live performance thing, but now that you mention it, I can see it.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@ricochet)
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Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light is almost a rock opera in a single song. :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light is almost a rock opera in a single song. :lol:
Getting Rizzuto (sp?) to play along and "broadcast" the scene was so cool. 8)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@grungesunset)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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My gateway drug to Rock Operas was Repo! The Genetic Opera. It's a movie/musical. The main difference between this and say a musical like Annie is the story is told with rock music. Basically is about a repo man who repoposses transplanted organs from patients who default on their payments. Here's one of the songs from it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HVMEbAw3ME&feature=related

I've given serious thought about songwriting for this genre. It combines two things I like, storytelling and music.

"In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House


   
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(@diceman)
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I would recommend Jesus Christ Superstar to anyone who has never heard it . I has a phenomenal soundtrack and the album had Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) as the voice of Jesus . Whether you are a Christian or not you can enjoy one of the greatest stories ever told . It was regarded as very controversial at the time . There are some gems on the soundtrack that were never hits so unless you listen to it you might not have been introduced to them .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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(@fleaaaaaa)
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My Chemical Romance's last album "The Black Parade" was a rock opera........

Every single Dream Theatre album is too lol

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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