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An album title that makes reference to the album's position in the chronological order of album releases by the artist. This generally only counts full-length studio albums; the numbers are usually (but not always) off if you count EPs and live albums. In some cases, this will only be one title among other non-numbered titles, but in other cases there are multiple, often consecutive, numbered titles.

The main reason for this is to give a sense of weight, history, context and inevitability to the albums. The name suggests (but does not guarantee) that the album is not just a lone work, but part of a wider body that will likely tie together consistent themes. It echoes the cantos and books of epic poetry, and thus has a great deal of appeal to musicians influenced by these sources, although it can come across as pretentious or facetious if handled poorly.

Some albums simply have the band's name followed by a number (in which case this overlaps with Numbered Sequels), but others are more clever with it, using a phrase related to the number.

Examples of Chronological Album Title include:

First Albums

  • Big Star - #1 Record
  • Colosseum[1] - Chapter 1: Delirium
  • Hurt - Vol. I[2]
  • Traveling Wilburys - Volume 1[3]
  • Johnny Winter - First Winter
  • ZZ Top - ZZ Top's First Album

Second Albums

  • Colosseum[4] - Chapter 2: Numquam
  • Paul McCartney - McCartney II
  • The Protomen - Act II: The Father of Death
  • The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones No. 2 (second UK album)
  • Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf the Second
  • Queen II
  • Billy Talent II
  • The Beatles - The Beatles Second Album (second Capitol US album)
  • Van Halen II (Van Halen III, however is their 11th, and the name is due to being the third singer)
  • Garbage Version 2.0
  • Hurt - Vol. II
  • The Kinleys - II
  • Scott Walker - Scott 2
  • Foreigner - Double Vision
  • Camper Van Beethoven - II & III. The title is something of a joke, although the band have commented that because it was recorded over two different stretches of time in the same year, they think of it as both their second and third album.
  • The Calling - Two
  • The Presidents Of The United States Of America II
  • Joey + Rory - Album Number Two
  • Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II

Third Albums

Fourth Albums

Fifth Albums

Sixth Albums

  • Black Label Society - Hangover Music, Vol VI
  • Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
  • The Beatles - Beatles VI (see: Second Album)

Seventh Albums

Eighth Albums

Ninth Albums

  • Procol Harum - Procol's Ninth
  • Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass - Alpert's Ninth

Tenth Albums

Eleventh Albums

Twelfth Albums

  • Neal McCoy — XII

Thirteenth Albums

Twenty-first Albums

  • Elton John - 21 at 33 (33 was Elton's age at the time. The total includes live albums and compilations.)

Artists with Numerous Examples

  • Almost every album by Chicago is simply titled with the band's name followed by the number.
    • Averted with Chicago 2, which is actually a Fan Nickname. The band shortened their name from "Chicago Transit Authority" to "Chicago" between their first and second albums, and these are both self-titled according to the band's name at the time.
  • Soul-Junk's entire catalogue is like this, but the system takes some explaining. His first album was titled 1950. Every subsequent full-length album was numbered counting up from there, while his EP's have been numbered counting backwards from 1950.
  • Every full album from Morning Musume. Some examples are: First Time, 4th Ikimasshoi!, No. 5, Rainbow 7, Sexy8Beat, and 10 My Me.
  • Led Zeppelin's first three albums. The fourth album is commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV but it really has no title at all.
  • Meat Loaf and his Bat Out Of Hell trilogy, which is linked principally by the involvement of songwriter Jim Steinman.
  • Nine Inch Nails and its "Halo numbers", which are attached in chronological order to both its album and its single releases.
  • Irish folk group The Chieftains titled nearly all of their first ten studio albums The Chieftains __, with the accompanying numeral for each. (The lone exception was their sixth album, Bonaparte's Retreat.)
  • Autechre's discography features, to name just a few examples from many, the Tri Repetae and LP 5 albums and the EP 5 and Move of Ten EP's.
  • Focus have Focus II (though it's better known under its original title Moving Waves), Focus III and Focus 8, their second, third, and eighth studio albums - well, the title of Focus 8 apparently renders a collaboration album with PJ Proby non-canon. Somewhat interestingly, all three of these albums also have title tracks.
  • Soft Machine have Volume Two, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Six, and Seven.
  • Brad Paisley has two examples in Part II and 5th Gear.

Other

  • The above-mentioned British Progressive Rock band Colosseum is a band example, in which the band broke up and was later relaunched under the name "Colosseum II". Each iteration of the band recorded several albums.
  • Doujin group IOSYS has a Stealth Pun version of this trope: Their ninth Touhou arrange album is Touhou Hyousetsu Kashuu, an album devoted completely to the Leitmotif of fan-favorite character Cirno. Where does the Stealth Pun example come in? Cirno is associated with the meme "(9)".
  • Chickenfoot released an album titled Chickenfoot III. It is their second album.
  • Morbid Angel does a variation on this trope. Instead of using numbers, the first letter of the album reflects which number of album it is, A being 1 B being 2 etc.
  • Monty Python's Previous Record and possibly Another Monty Python Record.
  • Adele's studio albums are named 19 and 21, for the ages she was when she started recording them.

Notes

  1. (Finnish Doom Metal band; not to be confused with the British Progressive Rock band)
  2. Technically they had two releases prior to this, but Vol. I was the first mainstream studio album.
  3. Their second album was called Volume 3.
  4. (the same one as before)
  5. The same one as the other two.
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