The best second albums

In many cases the second album is a band’s legacy item: the consolidation, often boasting songs tested years on the road, further toughened by either failure or anticipation of success. Here is the group I still enjoy.

1. Alexander O’Neal – Hearsay
2. The Stooges – Fun House
3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
4. Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
5. Prince – Prince
6. Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings and Food
7. Hole – Live Through This
8. The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
9. Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele
10. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
11. Elvis Costello and the Attractions – This Year’s Model
12. Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
13. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
14. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
15. Vampire Weekend – Contra
16. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
17. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
18. Belly – King
19. Joy Division – Closer
20. Fiona Apple – When the Pawn…
21. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
22. The Beatles – With the Beatles
23. The Go-Betweens – Before Hollywood
24. Dizzee Rascal – Showtime
25. The English Beat – Wha’ppen?
26. New Order – Power Corruption and Lies
27. Strokes – Rooms on Fire
28. The Replacements – Hootenanny
29. Digable Planets – Blowout Comb
30. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
31. The Feelies – The Good Earth
32. Pet Shop Boys – Actually
33. Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
34. GZA – Liquid Swords
35. Heaven 17 – The Luxury Gap
36. Migos – Culture
37. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
38. Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure
39. Bjork – Post
40. Eryah Badu – Mama’s Gun
41. Gang Starr – Step in the Arena
42. The Chills – Submarine Bells
43. Ice Cube – Death Certificate
44. 808 State – Utd. State 90
45. Eric B. & Rakim – Follow the Leader
46. Anita Baker – Rapture
47. K Michelle – Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?
48. The B-52’s – Wild Planet
49. Funkadelic – Free Your Mind… and Your Ass Will Follow
50. Psychedelic Furs – Talk Talk Talk

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2 Responses to The best second albums

  1. William Ham says:

    Can’t hardly argue with a single entry on this list. But, ahem: “Business” = “Buildings” and “Girl” = “Model.” You’ll figure it out.

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