Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?

Over 800 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Voting Rules
Vote up the long-awaited and much-hyped albums that didn't disappoint when they finally arrived.

As a musician, there's danger in delaying any album: no album flops harder than a long-awaited album. On the other hand, there's a chance for magic: albums that lived up to the hype sometimes become instant legends, ranking among the best records of all time. The anticipation before their releases makes them that much more memorable, and the time spent crafting the music lends to the myth of their greatness.

Frank Ocean's Blonde has already seemingly reached legendary status. With over four years between Blonde and his previous release, channel ORANGE, Ocean did more than just deliver a great delayed album: he upended the music industry by severing ties with Def Jam, his record label, just a few days before released Blonde independently. A money move.

Not every delayed album causes an industry-wide stir, of course, but between Blonde, Kanye's The Life of Pablo, and Rihanna's Anti, 2016 is been a year of delayed gratification. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Here are the delayed albums that were most worth the wait. Vote up the records that delivered the most.

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Ranked by
  • Bad (1987)
    228 votes
    Michael Jackson

    Five years after Thriller (1982)

  • Hysteria (1987)
    201 votes
    Def Leppard

    Four years after Pyromania (1983)

  • Blonde (2016)
    218 votes

    Blonde (2016)

    Frank Ocean

    Four years after Channel Orange (2012)

  • Recovery
    180 votes
  • 25 (2015)
    193 votes

    25 (2015)


    Four years after 21 (2011)