The best fourth albums

If the second album done right consolidates the gains of a debut, and the third album shows the act at the apex of their powers, then the fourth should be everyone lined up and ready. Remain in Light, The Hot Rock, The Night We Fell in Love, and Vol. 3… Life and Times (forgotten by the kids who think Sean Carter emerged with The Black Album). The Dreaming isn’t my favorite Kate Bush album, but the way in which her mastery of the Fairlight concretizes her mythopoetic strain still startles.

1. Kate Bush – The Dreaming
2. PJ Harvey – Is This Desire?
3. Def Leppard – Hysteria
4. Aerosmith – Rocks
5. Talking Heads – Remain Light
6. David Bowie – Hunky Dory
7. Ghostface Killah – The Pretty Toney Album
8. Luther Vandross – The Night We Fell in Love
9. Brian Eno – Discreet Music
10. Jay-Z – Vol. 3… Life and Times
11. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
12. Roxy Music – Country Life
13. Joni Mitchell – Blue
14. Soundgarden – Superunknown
15. R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant
16. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
17. Bjork – Vespertine
18. Radiohead – Kid A
19. The Rolling Stones – Aftermath
20. Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy
21. Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour
22. Janet Jackson – Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814
23. Sleater Kinney – The Hot Rock
24. René & Angela – Street Called Desire
25. The Minutemen – 3-Way Tie (For Last)
26. Sonic Youth – Sister

2 thoughts on “The best fourth albums

  1. That was the Minutement not the Meat Puppets, who did 3-Way Tie for Last. Depending on how you count their releases, it could be their fifth if The Politics of Time is added in. And they did six EPs too.

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