Which Recurring Musical Franchise Is The Most Successful?

by (@unclegrambo)


If you’re asking yourself, “Hey, didn’t Justin Timberlake already release an album earlier this year?”, the answer is yes, yes he did. The 20/20 Experience came out in March and, thanks to pent-up demand for new Timbertunes, has sold 2.279MM copies, making it the best-selling LP of the year so far. Apparently, our pal JT abides by the ole “Strike while the iron is hot” philosophy, which is why you see that the The 20/20 Experience: Part II was just released yesterday. Which got us thinking: How have OTHER sequel albums released this century performed?

The folks who churn out big budget Hollywood movies have long since understood the power of sequels. Since one has already spent considerable energy establishing things like a brand and a concept that audiences have responded positively to, it makes economic sense not to always start from scratch when considering your next project. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Well, as well all know, the movie business and the music business are considerably different animals. While sequels have a solid track record at the multiplex, their success is less certain when it comes to recorded music. So, on the day that JT releases his first official sequel, we thought we’d take a look back at how other musical sequels—from the likes of Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Timbaland and more—have performed so we’ll know how to gauge the success (or failure?) of The 20/20 Experience: Part II.

So, moving from least successful to most successful, here goes nothing…

8. Gym Class Heroes, The Papercut Chronicles I and II
FIRST RELEASE: The Papercut Chronicles (2005)
SALES TO DATE*: 32,000 copies

SECOND RELEASE: The Papercut Chronicles II (2011)
SALES TO DATE*: 63,000 copies

ANALYSIS: Gym Class Heroes aren’t really what you’d call an “album” band. Like a lot of other acts of their generation, they live and die by their (at times very popular!) singles. Their 2005 release of The Papercut Chronicles isn’t widely viewed as an important or influential work, but it did win them a decent-sized fanbase (including the members of Fall Out Boy). After a few middling works and Travie McCoy’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to go solo, the band churned out a second volume of The Papercut Chronicles in 2011, which featured the biggest hit of the group’s career to date: “Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine).”

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