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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Jimi Hendrix, 'Axis: Bold as Love' (1967)
Courtesy of Track Records8/20

8. Jimi Hendrix, 'Axis: Bold as Love' (1967)

Rock guitar's Charlie Parker proved himself a superior songwriter and an uncanny studio experimentalist on an album released less than seven months after May 1967's Are You Experienced? Hendrix sings about his childhood in "Castles Made of Sand," recalls losing his musical virginity in "Spanish Castle Magic," and confesses his emotional vulnerability in "Bold as Love." But he speaks most lucidly through pure electricity. The sound of his guitar is in nearly constant motion, oscillating between channels in the psychedelically symphonic "If 6 Was 9" and spiraling into the stratosphere in the coda to "Up From the Skies." And as a career moment, Axis perches perfectly between the revelatory rock of Experienced? and the even more outré surprises of October 1968's(!) Electric Ladyland.

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