They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but these music acts have tried (pretty darn successfully) to make the second time a charm. We're taking album sequels, a concept mostly championed by the hip-hop community but which also has been big among classic and prog rockers. Here are four of our faves:
The Smashing Pumpkins
Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music
The Chicago quartet ended its original run in 2000 with the grandiose, Cure-tinged Machina/The Machines of God. That album baffled many with its intricate mythology and lesson in alchemy, so many were relieved when Billy Corgan and Co. released Machina II FOR FREE later that year. A more stripped-down and sincere offering, it was also the first album by a major band released on the Internet for no price. A 2013 re-release of Machina will include a physical version of its sequel - which was up until now limited to 25 copies.
Standout track: Home
Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
HEY! Judge not, lest ye be judged. You know you rocked out to "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" back in the day. Before he was the angry Hulk of Celebrity Apprentice, the arteest whose Christian name is Marvin Lee Aday had a lot of cred. He was in "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Fight Club." And though he had a little, ahem, meat on his bones, he could still make the ladies swoon. This 1993 comeback album was really composed of redo-s of songwriter Jim Steinman's work, but it's definitely not Steinman's who's the household name these days.
Standout track: I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)
Coheed and Cambria
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow Consider C&C's oeuvre the "Star Wars" of emo-metal. Their first four albums told a complicated, compelling space-age tale that would make even the most schooled "Matrix" expert furrow his brow. Then with 2010's Year of the Black Rainbow, they brought the narrative to prequel land. (Obsessives should check out "The Amory Wars," the graphic novel series based on the albums.) It's 2007's No World for Tomorrow that was particularly genius - staying in line with the Amory plotline but also allowing front man Claudio Sanchez to reflect personally. ("Justice in Murder" is an homage to his deceased aunt Antonia.) This duality - not to mention the dichotomy of Geddy Lee-like vocals soaring over ferociously dark riffs - makes NWFT one of the best album sequels.
Standout track: The Running Free
The one and only! (Well, except for this guy.) As we breathlessly await his Chinese Democracy aka Detox, we can still celebrate this end-of-the-'90s triumph. Originally titled The Chronic 2001, until Suge Knight nabbed the name for a compilation, this party staple was the rap sequel that set the standard for the wave of hip-hop offspring in the aughts. His bombastic Coachella headlining performances proved that thankfully we haven't yet forgot about Dre.
Standout track: The Next Episode