A History of Artists Releasing Two Albums at Once

These examples teach us that it's never easy to bottle lightning twice

On their best days, most musicians can barely muster the energy, talent, and good luck required to release a single hit record at a time. However, there has always existed a certain subset of artists hellbent on ignoring conventional wisdom in favor of doing things their own way. Throughout the last half-century of popular music, a few of these ambitious souls have attempted a seemingly suicidal proposition: releasing more than one record on the same day (or very close to it).

Forget the dangers of cannibalizing sales or frying fans’ attention spans. Whether they had devised a sprawling artistic message, developed diverging sounds that demanded equal attention, or simply exited the studio with more material than they knew what to do with, the musical acts on the following list all presented their fans with an option and an opportunity: to buy two (or more) records instead of one and enter into a headphone odyssey that lasts longer than the average spin.

Earlier this year, rumors emerged that Kendrick Lamar might be doubling down on his latest game-changer, DAMN.. Those headlines, of course, turned out to only be rumors. But this Friday, Deer Tick will manage to do what even King Kendrick couldn’t pull the trigger on when they release Deer Tick Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. So, we thought we’d look back at how doubling down worked out for other notable artists. Here’s a sampling.

Note: Most of these albums came out on the same day, but we also included a couple of examples that were intended to be companion records, even though more time passed between their release dates. We also specifically excluded record combos that artists went out of their way to declare unrelated: You’re welcome, 2015 Beach House.



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