vote on everything
Music
773 voters

Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?

Updated February 19, 2020 7.5k votes 773 voters 7.1k views39 items

List RulesVote 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:
  • 1
    Recovery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    145
    139

    Recovery

    Eminem
  • 2
    The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    142
    140
  • 3
    Hysteria (1987) is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    155
    157

    Hysteria (1987)

    Def Leppard

    Four years after Pyromania (1983)

  • 4
    Blonde (2016) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    154
    167

    Blonde (2016)

    Frank Ocean

    Four years after Channel Orange (2012)

  • 5
    Bad (1987) is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    156
    178

    Bad (1987)

    Michael Jackson

    Five years after Thriller (1982)

  • 6
    Relapse is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    111
    147

    Relapse

    Eminem
  • 7
    Third Stage (1986) is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    88
    130

    Third Stage (1986)

    Boston

    Eight years after Don't Look Back (1978)

  • 8
    Revival is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    108
    165

    Revival

    Eminem
  • 9
    13 (2013) is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    69
    133

    13 (2013)

    Black Sabbath

    18 years after Forbidden (1995)

  • 10
    25 (2015) is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    98
    190

    25 (2015)

    Adele

    Four years after 21 (2011)

  • 11
    Double Fantasy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    41
    101

    Double Fantasy

    John Lennon, Yoko Ono

    1980 - five years after "Shaved Fish"

  • 12
    The Next Day (2013) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    71
    159

    10 years after Reality (2003)

  • 13
    The Hope Six Demolition Projec is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    57
    141

    The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016)

    PJ Harvey

    Five years after Let England Shake (2011)

  • 14
    Black Messiah is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    45
    127

    Black Messiah

    D'Angelo
  • 15
    The Life of Pablo (2016) is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    72
    214

    The Life of Pablo (2016)

    Kanye West

    Three years after Yeezus (2013)

  • 16
    The 20/20 Experience (2013) is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    55
    171

    Seven years after FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)

  • 17
    Compton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    58
    186

    Compton

    Dr. Dre
  • 18
    Anti (2016) is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    55
    176

    Four years after Unapologetic (2012)

  • 19
    The Idler Wheel... (2012) is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    37
    136

    Seven years after Extraordinary Machine (2005)

  • 20
    Aerial is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    33
    119

    Aerial

    Kate Bush
  • 21
    Tour de France Soundtracks (20 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    37
    145

    17 years after Electric Café (1986)

  • 22
    Chinese Democracy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    44
    186

    Chinese Democracy

    Guns N' Roses
  • 23
    SMiLE is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    26
    94

    SMiLE

    Brian Wilson
  • 24
    10 New Songs (2001) is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    30
    135

    10 New Songs (2001)

    Leonard Cohen

    Nine years after The Future (1992)

  • 25
    MBV is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?
    29
    129

    MBV

    My Bloody Valentine
AlbumsMusictop 50top 20top 25