Music

Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait? 

Jessica L. Yarbrough
Updated February 19, 2020 6.6k votes 754 voters 6.9k views 39 items

List 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.

list ordered by
1
Recovery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Matt1345 added By Eminem (2010); Tracks: Cinderella Man, [untitled] & Almost Famous
2
Hysteria is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
d360rahardy added By Def Leppard (1987); Tracks: Hysteria, Women & Love and Affection

Four years after Pyromania (1983)

3
The Marshall Mathers LP ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Matt1345 added By Eminem (2013); Tracks: Evil Twin, Wicked Ways & Wicked Ways
4
Blonde (2016) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Blonde (2016)

Four years after Channel Orange (2012)

5
Bad is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
WarrenMitchell added By Michael Jackson (1987); Tracks: Dirty Diana, Bad & Liberian Girl

Five years after Thriller (1982)

6
Relapse is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Matt1345 added Relapse By Eminem (2009); Tracks: Steve Berman (skit), Medicine Ball & Same Song & Dance
7
Revival is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Matt1345 added
8
Third Stage is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Adrian Benavides added Third Stage (1986) By Boston (1986); Tracks: To Be a Man, Hollyann & Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me) / Still in Love

Eight years after Don't Look Back (1978)

9
13 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Black Sabbath (2013); Tracks: Damaged Soul, Loner & End of the Beginning

18 years after Forbidden (1995)

10
25 (2015) is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
25 (2015)

Four years after 21 (2011)

11
The Next Day is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By David Bowie (2013); Tracks: The Stars (Are Out Tonight), Dancing Out in Space & Boss of Me

10 years after Reality (2003)

12
Double Fantasy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
James Dignan added By John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980); Tracks: Kiss Kiss Kiss, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) & Hard Times Are Over

1980 - five years after "Shaved Fish"

13
Black Messiah is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Black Messiah
14
The 20/20 Experience is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Justin Timberlake (2013); Tracks: Strawberry Bubblegum, Spaceship Coupe & Blue Ocean Floor

Seven years after FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)

15
Anti is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Love Shop (2001); Tracks: S.t.o.p., Lysende London & Det Tog Mig Et År

Four years after Unapologetic (2012)

16
Compton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Compton
17
The Life of Pablo (2016)... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
The Life of Pablo (2016)

Three years after Yeezus (2013)

18
The Idler Wheel... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Fiona Apple (2012); Tracks: Every Single Night, Anything We Want & Valentine

Seven years after Extraordinary Machine (2005)

19
Chinese Democracy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Chinese Democracy By Guns N' Roses (2008); Tracks: I.R.S., Chinese Democracy & Catcher in the Rye
20
Tour de France Soundtrac... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Kraftwerk (2003); Tracks: Tour de France 03 (Version 1), Tour de France Étape 2 & Tour de France 03 (Version 3)

17 years after Electric Café (1986)

21
10 New Songs (2001) is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
10 New Songs (2001)

Nine years after The Future (1992)

22
Blackout is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
Blackout
23
Aerial is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Kate Bush (2005); Tracks: Nocturn, A Coral Room & Joanni
24
Third is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By Portishead (2008); Tracks: Silence, Deep Water & We Carry On
25
MBV is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
By My Bloody Valentine (2013); Tracks: in another way, who sees you & only tomorrow