12 of the most disastrous second albums of all time – Stone Roses, Duffy and more

By Stefano on January 9th, 2013 6 comments

Aaah the tricky second album syndrome, it catches a lot of bands on the hop doesn’t it? After all you have a decade or so to piece together the tunes for your first album, while the second is often flung together in a heartbeat after months of touring.

If you are smart you have saved a few great songs from your early days to tide you over. If not then you better hope that the substance induced writers block disappears and fast.

The tricky part is deciding do you simply try and replicate that first album and risk accusations that you haven’t moved on? Or take the band in a different direction and then risk alienating the fans who loved your early stuff. Either route is fraught with danger.

Here then are twelve apocryphal tales of bands whose second albums were in one way or another disastrous. Some of them, in fact many of them, are actually pretty good, but, poor reviews, a lack of hit singles and a general falling from fashion meant that they stalled, and in some instances killed, a band’s career.

So have a look through the list and tell me which ones I have missed in the comments.

If you enjoyed this check out the following

Under rated 90s British indie bands

Under rated 80s British indie bands

The best Psychedelic albums of 2012

5 Morrissey - Kill Uncle

Picture 8 of 12
Picture 8 of 12

Kill Uncle is different from every other album on this list as Moz had already made a series of fabulous albums with The Smiths. The strength of his debut, Viva Hate, caught a lot of critics (there was a school of thought at the time which never expected the Moz to have a hugely successful solo career) on the hop in how good it was. They probably felt a lot more comfortable with the Clive Langer produced Kill Uncle, which while it has its moments, is a pale shadow of his recording career up until then. Take Driving Your Girlfriend Home - it isn't quite the same as The Smiths song about driving. I know some Moz fans who rate this among his best work, not many but a few. As for me Morrissey only really hit his stride with Your Arsenal, and don't get me started on Vauxhall and I.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672841086 Kenny MacPhee

    White Light White Heat on this list?! Go to your room and have a think about what you’ve done.

  • Sam

    Gotta chip in that White Light White Heat is an awesome album which takes far more chances than the debut.

    Also, how could you miss The Darkness’s second album, ‘One way ticket to Hell… and back’ Dreadful second album that tanked a band who were genuinely big at the time.

  • http://twitter.com/brandish Brandish

    Really good call on The Darkness, should have included that one. 

  • Me

    No list of disastrous second albums is complete without weezer’s Pinkerton. An album so badly received the band split up for four years. Turns out it got better with age, but that really should be top 3 on this list.

  • Derek

    :O what is wrong with you? Room On Fire was amazing!!! i loved Is This It, but Room On Fire was just….better! admittedly 12:51 was one of the weaker songs on there, but it seem like you’re focusing on just that. Plus, Room On Fire has more influences from Is This It than any of the other two seeing as how they basically sound alike.

  • Brandish

     I really like Room On Fire, but in the UK at least, they went from being the coolest band on the planet to also-rans overnight, so that is why it is so high on the list




©2012 Shiny Digital Privacy Policy
-->