The best rock operas in history according to Fuzz Music magazine: selection, performers, interesting facts
More than half a century ago The Who released "Tommy", and introduced fans to the new form: rock opera. Of course, they were not the first to create a narrative on the record, but they popularized the very idea, using the bombast and intensity of the music to tell an ambitious story. As they later said Pete Townsend:
"So much depends on the music, so much. There will be nothing wrong with the lyrics, we were sure of that from the beginning. But every trap of what we're trying to say lies in the music, lies in how we play the music, how we interpret our opera..."
The success of "Tommy" established a format that has embraced subgenres and the minds of new generations of rockers for decades. Unlike the rock musical, rock opera itself. First and foremost, it acts as an album, telling a story solely through the music. Although many have subsequently been adapted for stage or screen, these are only consequences of the record's global success. Today we have assembled the most legendary rock and roll operas in the history of the genre, and we want to point out right away that these are only small part a great abundance of pearls.
The Who - "Tommy" (1969)
"Tommy" tells the story of a deaf, dumb and blind boy who suffers from the neglect and cruelty of the world, and struggles to come to his senses. This is a stretchy double LP with a complex, and extremely dark, psychologically heavy narrative.
The record was such a resounding success that in 1975 the opera was made into a film of the same nameThe main role in which was played by Roger Daltrey. By the way, there are some differences in the plot between the opera and the movie, but the main thing is that the essence remains the same. And yes, the film features such stars as Elton John and Tina Turner!
Pink Floyd - "The Wall" (1979)
Released exactly ten years after "Tommy," the iconic "Pink Floyd's "Wall is also an exploration of childhood trauma. Over the years, these traumas accumulate and, as bricks, are added to the symbolic wall that closes in and isolates the protagonist Pink from society. The death of his father, his abusive teachers, the infidelity of his beloved, his substance use, all overlap in his mind, forcing the hero to retreat behind his wall before he finally realizes that he needs to tear it down and reconnect with the outside world. It's an important concept that also led to some of the band's most beloved songs, including "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" and "Comfortably Numb."
As with "Tommy," a film was subsequently made on "The Wall" with Bob Geldof starring. In the early '80s, the band also went on an elaborate album tour with a 40-foot wall, animated projections and the iconic giant inflatable pig. It certainly went down in history as the most spectacular rock show of its time.
Frank Zappa - "Joe's Garage" (1979)
The sunset of the '70s turned out to be full of quality narratives. In the opera Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage tells the story of protagonist Joe, who forms a garage band, experiments with religion and sexuality, and goes to prison before being released back into a dystopian society...
In his usual manner, in this opera Zappa makes fun of almost everything - from religion and faith to love and modern society's desire to "touch new sensations.
Green Day - "American Idiot" (2004)
"American Idiot." - is one of the best rock operas of the 21st century, created by the band green day under the reign of George W. Bush. It turned out to be so topical and in demand in the USA that it completely revitalized their career, providing a brilliant comeback after the disappointing release "Warning". The album is quite political: on some tracks Green Day actively criticizes Bush Jr. and the "conflict" in Iraq, using these problems as a background to tell the story of growing up.
The album was a resounding success, and in 2010 On Broadway a stage musical based on "American Idiot" was staged.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice - Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)
And to complete today's selection we decided to classics of all time - truly the greatest rock opera "Jesus Christ the Superstar"! Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice deserve a standing ovation... By the way: it is claimed that the role of the leading character here is given to Judas, who, according to Rice, was "the most thoughtful of the apostles.
There is no doubt that "Jesus Christ Superstar" is The greatest rock opera! According to many, the quality of the music here surpasses both the Who and Pink Floyd, and the lyrics are far more complex... This opera asks fundamental questions about the meaning of one of the greatest stories in history.