Roger Water Playing ‘The Wall’ At Wrigley Field on June 8

Roger Water Playing ‘The Wall’ At Wrigley Field on June 8

This summer, Wrigley Field in Chicago will host Roger Waters and a special stadium version of “The Wall Live.” After months of speculation, the bassist for Pink Floyd finally announced that he’ll play the legendary baseball stadium on June 8 as part of the 2012 North American leg of his historic world tour.

In the middle of next year, Roger Waters tickets will be collected in several major U.S. markets. Fans should look for Roger Waters in Houston on May 1, Roger Waters in Los Angeles on May 19, and Roger Waters in Atlanta on June 13.

Prior to this monumental and state-of-the-art undertaking, The Wall had only been played live 31 times—30 during the band’s 1980-1981 tour and once in 1990 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The seminal concept album of the same name was released by Pink Floyd in late 1979. Waters not only conceived the idea, but wrote and composed—either individually or with a partner—all of The Wall’s music and lyrics.

To get fans even more excited than they already are for Roger Waters to come to Phoenix on May 15, or for Roger Waters to come to Philadelphia on July 14, Land of Punt looks at five of the greatest concept albums of all-time. If these classics aren’t in your music collection then you need to log onto iTunes ASAP.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is not the first concept album ever released but it is the most famous. The ironic thing about this 1967 cultural landmark is it’s barely a concept album. If you remove reprise from the second side and separate “With A Little Help From My Friends” from the title track you’re left with a fairly random collection of great songs (granted, the greatest collection of songs in the history of humanity). While every one of the tracks on Sgt. Pepper’s is a classic, none were released as singles.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spider From Mars (1972)
David Bowie picked the name “Ziggy” because it was the only Christian name he could think of that started with the letter “Z” and because it sounded like “Iggy” (as in Iggy Pop). The “Stardust” part came from the novelty act “Legendary Stardust Cowboy,” inventor of a genre of music known as pyschobilly. The persona of “Ziggy Stardust” was inspired by Vince Taylor, a rocker from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s who had his career cut short by drug abuse and mental illness. We can only guess where Bowie got the “Wham Bam thank You Ma’am” part from one of the album’s better-known songs, “Suffragette City.”

Tommy (1969)
This concept album from The Who is widely referred to as the very first “rock opera.” When it was released in the spring of 1969 it was “just” a concept album. Only later was it turned into a proper musical, both on the silver screen and on Broadway. Tommy was composed by Pete Townshend and his epic story of a deaf, dumb, and blind pinball wizard, who eventually attains spiritual enlightenment, was inspired by the works of Indian mystic, Meher Baba.

The Wall (1979)
Pink Floyd’s 1979 concept album owes its existence to a glob of saliva, to be precise, the spittle of Roger Waters. During a show in Montreal, in July of 1977, Waters spat on some extremely rude fans. He soon discovered that he wasn’t the only member of the band that was frustrated with some of the patrons attending Pink Floyd’s mammoth stadium concerts. Basically, Floyd was starting to feel isolated from their fans. Waters used the spitting incident, as well as his feeling of detachment, to create The Wall. Later, producer Bob Ezrin assisted in refining the Wall’s story while keeping the peace between Waters and Dave Gilmour.

American Idiot (2004)
Green Day’s concept album has its roots in a project called Cigarettes and Valentines. The master tapes for that album were stolen and instead of re-recording the songs the band decided to start over. While working on new material, Mike Dirnt sneaked into the studio and recorded a 30-second song. Enjoying his idea, while also hoping to best him, the other two band members began making their own half-minute ditties. Eventually, Green Day put together all the snippets and created the “Homecoming” suite that’s found near the end of American Idiot. Inspired by The Who, Jesus Christ Superstar, and West Side Story, the band developed a concept album around a character Billie Joe Armstrong had created named “Jesus of Suburbia.”

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