Sometimes you should just leave well enough alone. This list cites six sequel albums that weren’t as successfully received as the original. Some of the albums on this list were relative successes, but compared to the first, fell short critically and/or commercially.
Copycatted: F.A.M.E. (2011)
From the beginning of Fortune, it was obvious this Chris Brown album looked to copy and build off the success of the Grammy-winning F.A.M.E., which was a big-time rebound album after a questionable effort on Graffiti (2009). Fortune critically was panned across the board – rightfully so – and sales didn’t quite match those of F.A.M.E.
Copycatted: The Emancipation of Mimi (2005)
Hard to follow up a juggernaut like the multiplatinum The Emancipation of Mimi was in 2005. Carey tried it and didn’t do badly for herself onE=MC2 (particularly critically), but it didn’t receive the same caliber of cumulative sales despite opening healthily.
Motown II / Soul Speak
Motown, 2004 & 2008
Copycatted: Motown (2003)
The platinum-selling Motown album was nothing short of a hit for Michael McDonald, who seemed a natural at covering Motown classics. However, successive efforts didn’t have the same effect commercially despite being overall fine efforts. Win some and lose some I suppose.
Copycatted: Musicology (2004) & 3121 (2006)
Prince was back following the multiplatinum success of Musicologyand a no. 1 bowing, gold-selling 3121. Unfortunately for Prince, third time wouldn’t be charm with Planet Earth, which both debuted less impressively and sold less than the aforementioned.
Warner Bros., 2011
Copycatted: Soul (2008)
To Soul II’s credit, it actually debuted in a higher peak position than the original. Where the swag falls is commercially, Soul sold better overall and received more attention compared to the sequel.
My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)
Mary J. Blige
Copycatted: My Life (1994)
Why even try – might be the better question to ask my girl Mary in the first place. My Life is widely considered one of Blige’s best/most important albums, as well as one of the best R&B albums of the 1990s. Why even bother to use the classic as basis? I understand using My Life as a springboard, but the second installment didn’t sale nearly as well as the original or more importantly, paled in comparison to sales of The Breakthrough (2005), Growing Pains (2007), or even Stronger With Each Tear (2009).