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22 Best Rock Album Sequels

They say the sequel is never as good as the original, but that didn’t stop these artists from trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice (or even three or four times). We explore classic rock’s most memorable album sequels in the above gallery.

When music fans think of albums that are sequels, they often focus on hip-hop acts (every rapper from Lil Wayne to Fat Joe has done one) or European metal bands (which often create storylines that arc over the course of multiple releases). But before those artists began stretching themes and characters over a series of albums, classic rockers were continuing some elements from previous LPs on their records.

Before we get too far, it’s important to specify what we are classifying as sequels. Merely having Roman numerals in the title doesn’t cut it. Van Halen II or Led Zeppelin III were merely the next album, not a sequel. Same goes for double albums released in two parts, but on the same day (like Use Your Illusion II). Also, containing one song that features a long-running character isn’t enough. The whole album needs to include subject matter or a musical approach that ties into an artist’s previous album (whether released the year before or maybe even with a span of decades between them).

The artists and albums in this gallery don’t adhere to a trend or a type of rock. Here you will find glam rockers and prog rockers, metal heads and singer-songwriters, British invaders and theatrical Americans. Each returned to the same well of creativity at least once. You can decide if the water tasted just as sweet the second time.

Next: Rock's Best Concept Albums

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