7 / 10
A prime example of the sophomore slump. One of popular music's most accurate axioms is that second albums are the toughest, and the 347 ten-hour days spent in the studio to produce these 78 minutes of music is testament to this. The audaciously titled Second Coming was greeted by most of the music press with disappointment. Legal wrangles and increasingly fractious inter-band relationships meant the LP took five years to complete, by which time former devotees Oasis had taken the initiative. Aside from the fact that the product was simply not good enough, four main factors hindered the release of this LP:
1. The fact that it took too long and a generation had moved on. Britpop had kicked off, with Oasis riding a tidal wave of tribalism. There were no such anthems to be found here.
2. The sheer weight of expectation generated by both the five and a half year gap since the eponymous debut, and the band's withdrawal from the live arena for four and a half of those years.
3. The band gave their exclusive comeback interview to The Big Issue.
4. It was released two weeks before Christmas (think Mr Blobby... Mike Flowers Pops... you get the idea).
The album going through the hands of several producers did not allow for continuity; one glance at the back cover, detailing some of the most convoluted production credits in living memory, tells its own story. The album does contain some fine moments, but one cannot escape the impression that Led Zeppelin were covering the same ground some twenty years earlier, with much greater finesse and prolificacy. In the equivalent five and a half year period that it took The Stone Roses to record Second Coming, Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin I, II, III and IV, Houses of the Holy and had commenced work on Physical Graffiti.
Second Coming was dedicated to Philip Hall, the band's publicist, who died of cancer in 1993.
1. Breaking Into Heaven
2. Driving South
3. Ten Storey Love Song
5. Your Star Will Shine
6. Straight To The Man
7. Begging You
9. Good Times
11. How Do You Sleep
12. Love Spreads
90. The Foz
Released December 1994:
Second Coming (Geffen, GED 24503, CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEC 24503, cassette)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEF 24503, double LP)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFD 24503, Australian CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFD 24503/22081, Australian CD with Crimson Tonight bonus disc)
Second Coming (Geffen / BMG, GED 24503, Taiwanese CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFD-24503, US CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFSD 24503, Canadian CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFD-24503, Brazilian CD)
Released 16th December 1994:
Second Coming (Geffen / MCA, MVCG-146, Japanese promo CD)
Second Coming (Geffen / MCA, MVCG-146, Japanese CD)
Released January 1995:
Second Coming (Geffen, GEC-24503, Turkish CD)
Second Coming (Geffen, GEFD2, Mexican CD)
Released February 1995:
Second Coming (Crescendo/BMG/Geffen, Premium 50353, Indian cassette)
Second Coming (Geffen, GED-24503, Korean CD)
Released March 1998:
Second Coming (Geffen / MCA, MVCG-19323, Japanese CD reissue)
Released 1st November 1999:
Second Coming (Geffen / Simply Vinyl, SVLP 111, double LP reissue)
Second Coming (Geffen, GED 24503 / 424 503-2, French CD)
UK chart position: #4
The Second Coming artwork is from 'Second Coming' (mixed media collage, 30" x 40", 1994).
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