I'm in this thread about Rick Beato's Seal analysis and it got me thinking about really good second albums. What are some good ones and theories about why it happens? First albums are often better than the rest from a given band. That make sense because at that point the band has a large body of work and can pick the best of it for that first record. All the other albums are whatever they do next. But why sometimes is a band's second record the best one they ever do? One theory is that the band gets record label funding and gets a great producer thrown at it. If I recall right, Trevor Horn produced that absolutely fantastic second Seal record (though he might have done the first one too). Some examples of outstanding sophomore records that the bands never again equaled (setting aside I guess any pre-signing indie records the bands might have floating around): Seal 2, the inspiration for the thread. Train - "Drops of Jupiter". Man what a great record. Smashing Pumpkins - "Siamese Dream." Not sure Corgan agrees, but this to me is by far their best work. What do you guys think?