Six ‘Copycat’ Albums That Weren’t As Successful As the First


Often in trouble pop star Chris Brown preforms live on Friday morning on the Today Show. New York City 08/30/2013 © WENNSometimes 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.

Chris Brown, Fortune © RCA

1

Fortune

Chris Brown

RCA, 2012

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.

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2

E=MC2

Mariah Carey

Island, 2008 

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.

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3

Motown II / Soul Speak

Michael McDonald

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.

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Planet Earth

Prince

NPG, 2007

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.

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Soul II

Seal

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.

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6

My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)

Mary J. Blige

Geffen, 2011

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).

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