Most bands have a remarkable debut album, but they fail when it comes to the second one. The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand fell victim to that problem, which proves the sophomore slump is still alive. However, not all follow-up albums are that bad.
In fact, the best sophomore albums maybe some of the greatest albums ever. Some artists outperformed their debut album, and there’s a group whose album was referred to as the “Sgt. Peppers of hip-hop.” These are important albums that have stood the test of time that will have people talking for years.
It Takes A Nation Million Of Millions To Hold Us Back Is One Of The Most Influential Hip-Hop Albums
The hip-hop group left fans wanting more after Yo! Bum Rush the Show. It was no surprise that they were ready to give more thanks to Chuck D’s elusive rhymes.
Flavor Flav provides his comedic routines with more personality. Since its release, music writers and publications regarded this as one of the most influential albums of the genre.
Doolittle Was Made On A Low Budget
The Pixies delivered classic rock with a side of alternative-mayhem. The low-budget album saw Kim Deal slap the bass, Joey Santiago’s reverb-heavy guitar and Black Francis’s tender and violent delivery on the vocals.
Outside of the hardness of the album, the sweetness of “Here Comes Your Man” became one of the most-known singles by the group.
Color And The Shape Was Inspired By Dave Grohl’s Divorce
The frontman’s split from photographer Jennifer Youngblood was his inspiration for a second album.
The album’s track listing was designed to resemble a therapy session, splitting the album into uptempo tracks and ballads, reflecting conflicting emotions. The Color and The Shape is the Foo’s biggest US seller to this very day. Grohl’s former band did unthinkable the in 1991. Find out which album devoured Michael Jackson’s — it will be a surprise to any fan of grunge.
What Happened To Those Guys Who Did “Creep”?
“Creep” wasn’t a one-hit wonder when The Bends was released in 1995. Radiohead moved away from the grunge-influenced style from Pablo Honey.
Despite failing to build on the success of their first single outside of the United Kingdom, the second album received greater acclaim than their debut album.
Paul’s Boutique Did Not Match The Sales Of The Beastie Boys Previous Record
For starters, Capitol stopped running the album since it didn’t meet the sales of Licensed to Ill. Critics praised it for its lyrics with Beatles references on “The Sounds Of Silence” to 70’s and 80’s funk songs in “Shake Your Rump.”
The popularity eventually grew into a breakthrough achievement. Fans even called this the “Sgt. Peppers” of hip-hop.
Nevermind Devoured The King Of Pop’s Dangerous
Bleach didn’t give hints to fans about the band’s potential. Fast forward to 1991, and Nevermind became a surprising success thanks to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Kurt, Krist, and Dave had no idea that the album would be responsible for surpassing Michael Jackon’s album Dangerous at number one the US Billboard 200 chart. The album is responsible for bringing both alternative rock and grunge to a mainstream audience. Following a strict schedule while making an album is a daunting task. Check out which Brits came up with a tougher follow-up in seven sessions over a four-month span.
Pinkerton Was Much Darker Than Weezer’s Self-Titled Debut
To better capture their live sound, the group went a darker, but more abrasive route with their follow-up album.
Rivers Cuomo’s lyrics express disillusionment with the rock lifestyle. The album is named after the character BF Pinkerton from Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 opera Madama Butterfly.
Paranoid Was Black Sabbath’s Only Album To Top The UK Albums Chart Until 2013
Ozzy and his spooky British bandmates second album had everything to appeal to the heavy metal folks. This was the only album to reach the top of the UK album charts until the group released 13.
Tony Iommi’s opening flip on “Paranoid” attracted screaming kids while Ozzy’s psychotic rant in “Iron Man” seemed less of a human invention and more of a complicated math problem.
With The Beatles Was A Tough Follow Up To Please Please Me
The Beatles came up with a tougher follow-up in seven sessions over a four-month span. References to home and happy reunions are noticeable on the songs “It Won’t Be Long” and “All My Loving.”
With the Beatles became the second album to sell a million copies in the United Kingdom and it remained at the top of the charts for 21 weeks. Fun fact: the album that’s considered the unofficial start to the seventies is on the way!
Queen II Is Not A Concept Album
It’s more of a collection of songs with a loose theme running throughout. The two sides of the album were labeled “Side White” and “Side Black”.
The album remains as one of the band’s lesser-known albums. Nevertheless, the album has been considered a cult phenomenon.
Siamese Dream Came With Tensions And Difficulties In The Smashing Pumpkins
All things set aside, Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts. Eventually, it sold over four million copies in the US.
This cemented the group’s importance in alternative rock music. “Today” and “Cherub Rock” are among fan favorites as it’s one of the best albums of the nineties.
Led Zeppelin II Was The Unofficial Start Of The Seventies
Incorporating elements of blues and folk music, Led Zeppelin II made fans aware that these boys weren’t just Jimmy Page’s band.
Zeppelin’s sound was a sign that the seventies was gonna be filled with heavy riffs and a guitar chug on “Whole Lotta Love.” For over forty years, it’s been regarded as the band’s heaviest album to date. Just ahead, the best selling album of the 21st century.
What’s The Story, Morning Glory? Is One Of Britain’s Best Albums Since 1990
The record propelled Oasis from being a crossover indie band to a worldwide rock icon.
The band’s most commercially successful release came with “Don’t Look Back In Anger” and “Champagne Supernova.” However, the one song EVERYONE should know the Gallagher brothers is the memorable “Wonderwall.”
The Band Slipped Away From Their Bob Dylan Roots
Despite being 80 percent Canadian, The Band gave a rustic American sound with the follow up of their debut Music From Big Pink. It’s a masterpiece which saw the group slip away from its Bob Dylan connection.
It’s no wonder why “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” drew essential themes which tackle people, places, and traditions with an older version of Americana.
21 Was Named After Adele’s Age
The Brit was 21 when she released her second album. Adele’s work quickly topped the charts in more than 30 countries and became the world’s best-selling album of the year in 2011 and 2012.
To this date, it’s the best selling album of the 21st century and it all started with “Rolling In The Deep.” Still on the way, another Brit icon took the UK by storm with her 2007 album.
This Years Model Won Best Album Of The Year But One Single Caused Costello Trouble
It was voted by The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll as the best album of 1979. A baroque-rock keyboardist, melodic bassist, and a powerful drummer gave Costello a bigger persona.
It hit its stride with British hit singles like “Pump It Up” and “(I Don’t Want To Go to) Chelsea. But, his “Radio Radio” single would have him banned from Saturday Night Live for quite some time.
Axis: Bold As Love Wasn’t Released In The United States In 1968
Reprise Records chose not to release the album in the United States due to fears that it would interfere with sales with Are You Experienced.
Songs about childhood in “Castles Made Of Sand” and musical virginity in “Spanish Castle Magic” came with sounds of Hendrix’s guitar in a constant motion.
Back To Black Was Amy’s Masterpiece But Her Last Album
The album spawned five singles: “Rehab”, You Know I’m No Good,” “Tears Dry on Their Own” “Back to Black,” and “Love Is A Losing Game.”
At the 50th Grammy Awards, Winehouse won Best Pop Vocal Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. Thankfully, fans were left with a masterpiece when she passed away in 2011.
Late Registration Throttled Kanye Into The Limelight
While College Dropout was Kanye’s coming out party, Late Registration builds on its predecessor like no tomorrow. There are Seventies slow-jams like “Drive Slow” and consumerist thoughts on “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”
The A-list guest appearances of Nas, Common and Jay-Z were enough for Kanye to win the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Demon Days Outperformed Their Debut Album
One of the most successful virtual bands came to light with Demon Days in 2005. Damon Albarn’s masterpiece entered the UK charts at number one, and it went six times platinum too.
Not only did it outperform their debut album, but their live performances were truly something to behold.