Rock Operas

kelis

Forget about Carmen or Madame Butterfly. Sound Opinions’ own divas, Jim and Greg, share their favorite Rock Operas.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Music News

Some interesting chart news this week: Despite being music vets, Tom Petty and Weird Al Yankovic, both just achieved their first #1 in the past month. Over on the Jazz charts, Tony Bennett, who himself took 54 years to produce #1, has reached another hight, this time with strange bedfellow Lady Gaga. Comic book fans are showing their support for Marvel’s most recent super-powered adventure, Guardians of The Galaxy. The soundtrack for the flick, an eclectic mix of ‘70s rock, soul, and pop staples, is the current chart topper, beating out the prolific Now series, Volume 51. Over on the vinyl end of things, Jack White’s most recent release, Lazaretto, is making history with its soaring sales. The LP has already sold over 60,000 copies, the most since Pearl Jam’s 1994 album Vitalogy.

Rock Operas

For many music fans, when you hear Rock Opera, you probably think of The Who’s 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there’s a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don’t call it a concept album!

  • The Who’s Quadrophenia
  • GenesisThe Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • Green Day’s American Idiot
  • Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger
  • Janelle Monae’s The Archandroid
  • The Pretty Things’s S.F. Sorrow
  • The KinksArthur
  • Lou Reed’s Berlin
  • David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust
  • Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage
  • Pink Floyd’s The Wall
  • The DecemberistsCrane Wife
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Greendale
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar

Share your favorite at 888.859.1800, at interact@soundopinions.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Jim

Inspired by a recent trip to Portland, OR for a special taping of the show with Broken Bells (stay tuned to hear it!), Jim spends his latest trip to the Desert Island remembering The City of Roses’s 1980’s hardcore punk scene. Jim tells us that trailblazers like Greg Sage and his Wire-esque band The Wipers never quite get the credit they deserve for laying the groundwork for Seattle’s grunge music explosion in the ‘90’s. ( Nirvana actually covered a couple Wipers tunes.) Another prominent Portland-area hardcore band, Poison Idea, was also influenced by Sage. Specifically the band’s guitarist, Tom Roberts, better known as Pig Champion. Jim recalls that what Roberts may have lacked in showmanship (he mostly sat on a folding chair while on stage), he made up for in sheer metal guitar prowess. Sadly, Roberts passed away in 2006 at the age of only 47. So this week, Jim pays tribute to both the Portland hardcore scene and Robert’s indelible mark on it, by playing a live recording of Poison Idea’s Wipers cover Up Front, which features more than 12-minutes of Robert’s virtuoso guitar.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!