sophomore successes

It’s reasonably rare that a musical group’s 2nd album is as good as their 1st.  Many factors play into what’s often called the “sophomore slump” and I applaud a group that can break out of the slump and produce a 2nd album better than their 1st.

Two bands come to mind immediately: Van Halen and Iron Maiden.

Please leave a comment if you can think of another band whose second release is as good as or better than their first.  I wanna hear what you have to say!

And if you want to know why Van Halen and Iron Maiden come to mind, just let me know.

Categorized as Music


  1. Iron Maiden’s first album was called “Iron Maiden” and while it has many of the musical elements that set the tone for the band for years to come, it’s very rough and raw sounding. On their second album, “Killers”, they took the musical complexities that they hinted at on “Iron Maiden” and really emphasized them. “Killers” has songs with several key elements that would set Iron Maiden apart from most 80’s metal bands – mixing up time signatures in a song, key changes, and instrumentals. The complexity of their music really showed in “Killers” but the quality of the lyrics also came out, and they started to perform songs that had more intricate story lines.

    In the case of Van Halen, their first album “Van Halen” was also raw and very original. It’s hard to beat the opening one-two-three punch of “Running with the Devil” and “Eruption” and “You Really Got Me.” But their sophomore effort, “Van Halen II” was recorded and mixed better. It also has an arguably wider variety of musical styles from poppy dance songs (“Dance the Night Away”) to classical acoustic guitar experiments (“Spanish Fly”) to drinking songs (“Bottom’s Up”) to love songs (“Women in Love”) to full throttle hard rock (“Light Up the Sky”).

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