With the first round of assessments complete, my focus has now turned to how i can improve on my existing work and better prepare myself for the writing of my thesis next semester.
I had never written a literature review before, so my first attempt at this for research strategies was challenging, but ultimately very useful. From this writing process, the important research resources were made very clear and my understanding of how they will help me and in what instances they should be referred to was strengthened. From the preliminary literature review process, i have identified the important texts and resources that will shape my writing for the expansion exercise – and of course my thesis next semester, while also revealing where more research and work needs to be done.
The key texts on progressive rock (Macan, Stump, Martin etc.) offer me the cultural and social framework in which i can discuss the early developments of the concept album, as it was such a pivotal component of the genre’s success (and fall from popularity). David Montgomery’s ‘Rock Concept Album’ PhD, likely the only one of its kind, provides detailed summations of the popular definitions and histories of the concept album – knowledge that i must be familiar with in order to formulate my own definitions and opinions of the medium. Montgomery also features case studies and interviews with the likes of Bob ezrin and Alan parsons. Hegarty and Halliwell’s recent book on progressive rock, ‘Beyond and Before’ is of particular interest in mapping out the development of the concept album through the 1980s and 1990s into the 2000s, offering one of the more concise contemporary accounts of progressive rock music, discussing concept albums released in the 1980s by bands like marillion, IQ, rush, roger waters and queensryche – as well as more recent explorations of the medium by the likes of talk talk, dream theater, radiohead, the mars volta etc.
The hunt now begins for more journal articles, research papers and most importantly THEORETICAL conventions and popular music discussion frameworks that i can apply to devise my own case studies of concept albums in terms of technological, musical and and/or cultural development that i consider important in the dissemination of the format from ‘the time of progressive rock’ until now – where concept albums are emerging each and every day!