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.
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3 The Strokes - Room On Fire
Another band who should have defined the noughties. The Strokes came out of New York with a musical cocktail that reminded you of all the best bands from that city, but sounded unique too. They had the looks, the songs, the celeb girlfriends. Why weren't they unstoppable? Heaven knows. Although it has its fans now at the time Room On Fire was an incredible let down. The opening single 12:51 didn't sound like band looking to re-define rock and roll, it sounded like a Fountains of Wayne B side. Actually it wasn't even that good. Like The Second Coming, Room On Fire is the sound of a band who know they will never ever match the genius of their debut. It is the sound of towels being thrown. Ironically there are glimpses of their debut on later albums and I still maintain a soft spot for You Talk way Too Much, but Room On Fire still makes me sad.
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