Are sequel albums ever necessary? There have been plenty of them over the years, some brilliant, some totally superfluous. At best, they’re more of a great thing, such as 2013’s ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2’ from Eminem. Here’s some of the good, the bad and the immensely flaccid…
Yes, Jay Z’s ‘The Blueprint’ was better, but ‘The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse’ was a pretty skilled follow-up. The double-CD had no concept as such but ‘2’ was much poppier, reaping the hits ‘Excuse Me Miss’ and ’03 Bonnie & Clyde’. It also had a lot more guest appearances such as Beyoncé, Dr Dre, Killer Mike and Rakim.
‘2001’ was released by Dr Dre in, erm, 1999 as a follow-up to ‘The Chronic’. Both albums were next level good, with ‘2001’ matching up to its predecessor. It was produced by Lord Finesse and featured Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Xzibit, the late Nate Dogg and Eminem.
‘Tha Carter II’ is Lil Wayne’s fifth studio album (2005) and the sequel to ‘Tha Carter’. It reached number 2 in the US Billboard 200 and received positive reviews for its lyrical development.
Billed as the sequel to ‘Raw Power’, Iggy Pop & The Stooges’ ‘Ready To Die’ received an 8/10 from NME, with the review praising its licks and dirt vigour.
Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ is considered to be a sequel to ‘Harvest’, released 20 years before it in 1972. It featured many of the same musicians that worked on Harvest in 1972 and won the Juno Award for album of the year in 1994.
Ostensibly a sequel in that Nas was trying to reaffirm his position in the rap world after his crown had fallen slightly after ‘Nastradamus’, ‘Stillmatic’ is seen as a sequel to ‘Illmatic’. Though ‘Illmatic’ is clearly Nas’s greatest album, ‘Stillmatic’ is an impressive follow-up.
Raekwon’s ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx… Pt.2’ was released in 2009. The Wu-Tang Clan-member received acclaim from critics and the album hit number four on the Billboard 200.
‘Scott 2’ is the second album from Scott Walker. Despite songs of a controversial nature the album got to number on in the UK charts in 1968. It followed ‘Scott 1’ and Walker went on to make ‘Scott 3’ and ‘Scott 4’.
Between 1969 and 1971, Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin (1969), Led Zeppelin II (1969), Led Zeppelin III (1970), Led Zeppelin IV (1971), perhaps the greatest suite of albums ever made.
“It makes you want to fight, fuck or flee, to jump on the nearest table and start ape-grimacing and throwing things, possibly your own faeces,” we wrote about Crystal Castles’ ‘II’.
About Grinderman’s ‘Grinderman 2’, NME wrote: “The second offering from Nick Cave’s side project is unrelentingly sex-crazed – and very, very funny.”
It’s not easy to tie conceptuality into music but Janelle Monáe does it with brio and class. ‘Metropolis: Suites II and III – The ArchAndroid’ finds her in ambitious form, executing the album with bundles of fun and a fizzing personality. NME gave it 8/10.
‘Guns‘n’Roses’ Use Your Illusion II’ was one of two albums released with the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1991′ ‘Use Your Illusion II’ was more popular than the first instalment, selling 770,000 copies in its first week and hitting number 1 on the US and UK charts.
Queen’s ‘A Day At The Races’ is seen as a second part to ‘A Night At The Opera’ and released in 1976. It was the group’s first entirely self-produced record.
And now on to the bad…. Starting with ‘Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience Part 2’. “Pieces from the cutting-room floor cobbled together on the cheap,” we wrote in a 4/10 review.
Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt.1’ was the 2012 follow-up to Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor’ (2006) and just wasn’t nearly as good.
“The queen of the guest slot makes a royal mess of album two,” NME said about Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’.
Lil Wayne is keen on the sequel. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. ‘Lil’ Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being Pt.II’ showed the “once-great Cash Money star is bankrupt of ideas,” we said in a 3/10 review.
Mariah Carey released ‘E=MC2’ in 2008 to follow ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’. It was, unfortunately, a flatulent mess.
‘Blackout! 2’ was the second studio album by rap duo Method Man & Redman released in 2009. It was OK, but just nowhere near as good as the legendary ‘Blackout!’
Alice Cooper – ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ was the sequel to ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ (1975) released in 2001. One word: why?
Green Day released a trilogy of albums in 2012 which were patchy to say the least. ‘¡Dos!’ was particularly cluttered with filler to measure up against the best of the band’s stuff.
Shakira’s ‘Oral Fixation Vol.2’ was the sequel to her sixth studio effort ‘Fijación Oral, Vol. 1’. Just look at that album cover.
Odd Future’s ‘The OF Tape Pt. 2’ released 2012 served as a sequel to the Odd Future Tape. It was one of those albums that suggested the group as a whole were running out of steam before going on to their solo efforts.
Metallica’s ‘ReLoad’ was released in 1997 as a sequel to ‘Load’. The reviews at the time were warm but just not as positive as those for ‘Load’.