Ten Sequel Albums That Didn't Live Up to the Original - Rolling Stone
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Ten Sequel Albums That Didn’t Live Up to the Original

From Neil Diamond’s ‘Hot August Night II’ to Ja Rule’s ‘Pain Is Love 2’

Graham Wiltshire/Redferns

Eminem pulled off a pretty amazing feat last month: he released a stellar sequel album. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 may not quite live up to the original, but compared to other sequel albums in rap and rock history it's the musical equivalent of The Godfather 2 – or, at the very least, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Sequel albums in rap are fairly common, but in rock they tend to come when an artist has trouble getting attention for any of their recent work. Predictably, most are highly disappointing. Here are 10 rap and rock sequel albums that failed to live up to the original.

By Andy Greene

Courtesy Kiss Records

Kiss – ‘Alive IV’

Imagine taking the Kiss that recorded the original Alive! in 1975, adding 28 years of wear and tear to their vocal cords, swapping out beloved guitarist Ace Frehley for former Kiss cover band guitarist Tommy Thayer and tossing the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on top of the whole thing. That's pretty much the formula behind the 2003 Kiss LP Alive IV. The symphony does make familiar fare like "Beth" and "Love Gun" sound a little different, and it is their last album with drummer Peter Criss, but nobody needs to hear this thing when the original Alive! is out there. 

Courtesy MPire Music Group

Ja Rule – ‘Pain Is Love 2’

Things haven't gone so well for Ja Rule since the release of his 2001 album Pain Is Love. Long prison sentences for tax evasion and gun and drug possession robbed him of much career momentum. He was dropped from his label, and eight years passed without the release of a single physical album. The original Pain Is Love had guest spots from Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, Missy Elliott and many other big stars. The 2012 sequel, released when he was still in prison, had appearances by the likes of Anita Louise and Amina. It's hard to promote an album from the clink, and it peaked at number 197 on the Billboard album chart. It sold 3,200 copies that week and went downhill from there. 

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