• Music

Which Delayed Albums Were Actually Worth the Wait?

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.

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  • 1
    143
    139
    d360rahardy added

    Hysteria (1987)

    Def Leppard

    Four years after Pyromania (1983)

  • 2
    140
    153

    Blonde (2016)

    Frank Ocean

    Four years after Channel Orange (2012)

  • 3
    127
    142
    Matt1345 added

    Recovery

    Eminem
  • 4
    122
    142
    Matt1345 added

    The Marshall Mathers LP 2

    Eminem
  • 5
    142
    171
    WarrenMitchell added

    Bad (1987)

    Michael Jackson

    Five years after Thriller (1982)

  • 6
    90
    122
    Adrian Benavides added

    Third Stage (1986)

    Boston

    Eight years after Don't Look Back (1978)

  • 7
    96
    148
    Matt1345 added

    Relapse

    Eminem
  • 8
    93
    155
    Matt1345 added

    Revival

    Eminem
  • 9
    66
    120

    13 (2013)

    Black Sabbath

    18 years after Forbidden (1995)

  • 10
    42
    94
    James Dignan addedJohn Lennon, Yoko Ono

    1980 - five years after "Shaved Fish"

  • 11
    84
    177

    25 (2015)

    Adele

    Four years after 21 (2011)

  • 12
    65
    149

    The Next Day (2013)

    David Bowie

    10 years after Reality (2003)

  • 13
    27
    80
    JamieDoyle added

    SMiLE

    Brian Wilson
  • 14
    42
    117

    Black Messiah

    D'Angelo
  • 15
    69
    189

    The Life of Pablo (2016)

    Kanye West

    Three years after Yeezus (2013)

  • 16
    51
    152

    Anti (2016)

    Rihanna

    Four years after Unapologetic (2012)

  • 17
    51
    156

    The 20/20 Experience (2013)

    Justin Timberlake

    Seven years after FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)

  • 18
    51
    164

    Compton

    Dr. Dre
  • 19
    38
    118

    The Idler Wheel... (2012)

    Fiona Apple

    Seven years after Extraordinary Machine (2005)

  • 20
    30
    105
    Kate Bush
  • 21
    29
    100

    Blackout

    Britney Spears
  • 22
    41
    169

    Chinese Democracy

    Guns N' Roses
  • 23
    34
    137

    Tour de France Soundtracks (2003)

    Kraftwerk

    17 years after Electric Café (1986)

  • 24
    29
    122

    Third

    Portishead
  • 25
    27
    112

    MBV

    My Bloody Valentine