Joe's Garage was originally released in 1979 in two separate parts; Act I came first, followed by a two-record set containing Acts II & III. Rykodisc's reissue puts all three acts together on two CDs. Joe's Garage is generally regarded as one of Zappa's finest post-'60s conceptual works, a sprawling, satirical rock opera about a totalitarian future in which music is outlawed to control the population. The narrative is long, winding, and occasionally loses focus; it was improvised in a weekend, some of it around previously existing songs, but Zappa manages to make most of it hang together.
Elton John has always liked having it both ways. He's flamboyant and vain, yet empathetic and sincere. He sits at his piano playing sentimental melodies, but the words come not from inside his soul but from friend Bernie Taupin. For Captain Fantastic, he and Taupin wrote a concept album which sketches their career together. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is easily the strongest song outside of the concept. The addition of several songs "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" featuring John Lennon, "Philadelphia Freedom," and "One Day at a Time" blow the concept but up the entertainment value considerably. ~ Rob O'Connor