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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10 The Velvet Underground - White Light, White Heat
Ok, so I know it is critically acclaimed, hugely experimental and more. But let's face it, had this been the first Velvet album, they would have been little more than a footnote in avant garde 60s music. I mean, have you listened to it lately? More than half of it is The Gift and Sister Ray, neither of which I want to sit through again? None of the other four tracks, which are great in their own way, would have made it on to that debut. Give me Squeeze any day. It might not have Lou, John, Nico or Sterling on it, but it is a load more fun than this dirge.