20 Best Second Albums of All Time

If at first you don't succeed – or even if you do – try, try again: Here are the best follow-ups in history

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Carole King, 'Tapestry' (1971)
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Courtesy of Ode Records3/20

3. Carole King, 'Tapestry' (1971)

Already a songwriting pro for more than a decade, the woman responsible for the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" and Aretha's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" realized that if she couldn't match the sweep of those definitive renditions she could do something better – translate them into an ordinary yet expressive voice that makes their sentiments all the more personal and relatable. New songs like "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away" took that aesthetic choice a step further, recognizing just how mundane and yet how insurmountable the obstacles to modern romance could be.

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