Here are two words that may have slipped from your vocabulary in the last 10 years: concept album. We've collected the best concept albums in country music in this gallery.

The concept album — a collection of songs all centered around a unifying theme or idea — was first introduced to country music by Woody Guthrie in 1940 with his release of Dust Bowl Ballads. It was a song cycle about his time in rural 1930s America, and it gave other country artists the itch to take a shot at some larger themes of their own.

Fast forward to the modern world of radio-ready singles and you'll notice the concept album is a rare animal in contemporary country music, but these 10 timeless albums have weathered the singles storm.

From Willie Nelson's twisted tale on Red Headed Stranger to Garth Brooks' alter ego Chris Gaines, these albums explore everything from road trips and political commentary to broken hearts and shattered dreams.

Flip through the photo gallery above to learn more about 10 concept albums that every country music fan should hear at least once.

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