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GREIN ON GRAMMYS: ALBUM OF THE YEAR A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW

When the Grammy nominations were announced last month, two artists who won Album of the Year with their last releases weren't even nominated in that category. Taylor Swift was MIA with reputation, her follow-up to 1989. So was Beck with Colors, his follow-up to Morning Phase.

(This is the second time this has happened to Swift. Speak Now, her follow-up to Fearless, the 2009 Album of the Year champ, was also passed over for a nom in the top category.)

Swift and Beck are far from alone. Most follow-ups to Album of the Year winners weren't even nominated in that category.

Take a look at how artists have fared with their first studio albums following their Album of the Year winners. (I only took it back to 1969 because release patterns were so different before that, with artists releasing multiple albums a year.) I've broken the follow-ups into four categories, based on how well they did in the Grammy process. (No fair peeking ahead to the dreaded fourth category—the follow-up wasn't nominated in any category.)

The follow-up also won Album of the Year.

Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale, his follow-up to Innervisions (1973).

Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, his follow-up to Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974).

Adele's 25, her follow-up to 21 (2011).

The follow-up was nominated for Album of the Year, but lost.

Billy Joel's Glass Houses, his follow-up to 52nd Street (1979).

Michael Jackson's Bad, his follow-up to Thriller (1983).

Phil Collins' …But Seriously, his follow-up to No Jacket Required (1985).

Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints, his follow-up to Graceland (1986).

Bonnie Raitt's Luck of the Draw, her follow-up to Nick of Time (1989).

Eric Clapton's From the Cradle, his follow-up to Unplugged (1992).

Bob Dylan's Love and Theft, his follow-up to Time out of Mind (1997).

The follow-up wasn't nominated for Album of the Year, but it (or one or more tracks from it) was nominated in some category.

Simon's One-Trick Pony, his follow-up to Still Crazy After All These Years (1975).

Wonder's Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, his follow-up to Songs in the Key of Life (1976).

Christopher Cross' Another Page, his follow-up to Christopher Cross (1980). (Note: The thrice-nominated "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" was a bonus track on the cassette version of this album, thus keeping it from the dreaded fourth category.)

U2's Rattle and Hum, their follow-up to The Joshua Tree (1987).

George Michael's Listen without Prejudice, Vol. 1, his follow-up to Faith (1988).

Quincy Jones' Q's Jook Joint, his follow-up to Back on the Block (1990).

Natalie Cole's Take a Look, her follow-up to Unforgettable with Love (1991).

Whitney Houston's My Love Is Your Love, her follow-up to The Bodyguard soundtrack (1993).

Tony Bennett's Here's to the Ladies, his follow-up to MTV Unplugged (1994).

Alanis Morissette's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, her follow-up to Jagged Little Pill (1995).

Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love, her follow-up to Falling into You (1996).

Santana's Shaman, their follow-up to Supernatural (1999).

Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, her follow-up to Come Away with Me (2002).

OutKast's Idlewild, their follow-up to Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003).

U2's No Line on the Horizon, their follow-up to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2005).

Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project, his follow-up to River: The Joni Letters (2007).

Taylor Swift's Speak Now, her follow-up to Fearless (2009).

Arcade Fire's Reflektor, their follow-up to The Suburbs (2010).

Beck's Colors, his follow-up to Morning Phase (2014).

Swift's reputation, her follow-up to 1989 (2015).

The follow-up wasn't nominated in any category.

Blood, Sweat & Tears' Blood, Sweat & Tears 3, their follow-up to Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969). In fact, BS&T were never nominated again following their big win.

Carole King's Music, her follow-up to Tapestry (1971).

George Harrison's Living in the Material World, his follow-up to the all-star The Concert for Bangla Desh (1972).

Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, their follow-up to Rumours (1977).

Bee Gees' Spirits Having Flown, their follow-up to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1978).

Toto's Isolation, their follow-up to Toto IV (1982). As with BS&T, Toto were never nominated again following their big win.

Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling, his follow-up to Can't Slow Down (1984).

Steely Dan's Everything Must Go, their follow-up to Two against Nature (2000).

Mumford & Sons' Wilder Minds, their follow-up to Babel (2012).

And how about?: Simon & Garfunkel never released another studio album after Bridge over Troubled Water (1970). Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have yet to re-team following Raising Sand (2008). John Lennon & Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy (1981) and Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company (2004) were Lennon's and Charles' final studio albums before their deaths. We have yet to see follow-up studio albums to Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way (2006), Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (2013), Adele's 25 (2016) and Bruno Mars' 24K Magic (2017). And the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack (2001) lacked a headliner. 

 

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