This week in 1980, Van Halen released their third album Women And Children First, which contained the hits "And the Cradle Will Rock...," "Everybody Wants Some!! and fan favorite "Romeo Delight."
It's not the best VH album ever, but it was, in fact, their third album. Most VH super-freaks I know and/or read say it is one of their least favorite albums. Understandable.
But it did make me think about other "third" albums in other bands' catalogs. It seems that it took tons of bands three proper full-length studio albums to finally hit on a winning formula, or at least a signature sound.
Kinda like how some people get married three times before they either find the right person they die with, or they just stop getting married. Yeah, that's a great metaphor.
This list excludes EPs and compilations, which means that the Replacements' third album is in fact Let It Be, and not Hootenanny. 1982's Stink was an EP.
This list came from reader submissions on Facebook and Twitter, which means I had to cut the wheat from the chaff as it were when it came to some albums. Someone said that Kid A was Radiohead's third album. What's the matter with you?
Deftones, White Pony
U2, War: It's totally crazy that at this point in 1983 when U2 was releasing War, they were just then warming up. In five years they would be the biggest band on the planet. Like, after War, they could have broken up and they would still be a huge influence on indie-rock. That's saying something. They were just two steps away from The Joshua Tree at that point.
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III
Nirvana, In Utero
Everclear, So Much for the Afterglow
Spoon, Girls Can Tell
Pearl Jam, Vitalogy
Blink-182, Enema Of The State
ZZ Top, Tres Hombres
The Verve, Urban Hymns: This is probably the only album you ever owned from The Verve (no pipe), but what an album to own. Filled with singles ("Lucky Man," "The Drugs Don't Work," ""Bitter Sweet Symphony") it's one of the most underrated albums of the past two decades.
Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Armed Forces
Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run
The Replacements, Let It Be
The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
Aerosmith, Toys In the Attic
At the Drive-In, Relationship of Command
Devo, Freedom of Choice: I can't say enough great things about Freedom Of Choice, so I will let the first saide of the album speak for itself: "Girl U Want", "It's Not Right", "Whip It," "Snowball" "Ton o' Luv," and the title track.
Jay-Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead
Peter Gabriel, III (Melt)
Bjork, Homogenic:Technically this not Bjork's third album, because her first album, a self-titled 1977 collection of pop covers and originals would make 1995's Post her true third album, and not Homogenic. But since none of you have probably ever heard of this '77 disc, I am including Homogenic.
Twisted Sister, Stay Hungry
Def Leppard, Pyromania.
Bad Religion, Suffer
The Stooges, Raw Power: This one created the template for a lot of punk to come after it's release in 1973. Holy hell, it turns 40 next year?? Let's start planning the party right now.
Green Day, Dookie
Metallica, Master of Puppets
Kanye West, Graduation
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Jimmy Eat World, Clarity
The Clash, London Calling: Named Rolling Stone's greatest album of the '80s, even though it was released in December 1979, London Calling catapulted the band from the punk-rock curio cabinet and into full-on rock mythology.