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12 Self-Titled Albums That Aren't Debuts: Beyoncé, The Beatles And More

by Joey DeGroot   Sep 26, 2014 20:02 PM EDT

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Self-titled albums are pretty standard for musicians, but they're almost always an artist's debut album, establishing a brand and a presence. There are some artists, however, who decide for whatever reason to release self-titled albums later on in their career. Here are 12 self-titled albums that aren't debuts.

1. The Beatles - The Beatles (1968)

Though it's nearly always referred to as "The White Album," the Beatles' legendary double album from 1968, their ninth overall, is technically self-titled.

2. Echo & The Bunnymen - Echo & The Bunnymen (1987)

Echo & The Bunnymen's eponymous fifth album was released in 1987 at the height of the band's popularity, likely leading them to believe that their name alone would be enough to sell records.

3. Metallica - Metallica (1991)

Much like the Beatles' "White Album," Metallica's fifth studio album, released in 1991, is universally referred to as "The Black Album," even though its actual name is Metallica.

4. Sunny Day Real Estate - Sunny Day Real Estate (1995)

Though The Beatles and Metallica are known by two different names, Sunny Day Real Estate's second album is actually known by three: Sunny Day Real Estate (its official title), LP2 (the title given to it by Sub Pop), and "The Pink Album" (its fan-given title).

5. Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith (1995)

Elliott Smith's debut album Roman Candle wasn't recorded with the intention of being released, so perhaps he considered his eponymous second album to be his proper debut.

6. Portishead - Portishead (1997)

Portishead's not really one for album titles. Though their debut Dummy has a proper title, their second album is simply self-titled, while their third album is starkly titled Third.

7. Blur - Blur (1997)

Blur's decision to self-title their fifth album indicated a fresh start for the band, as they abandoned their bright Britpop sound in favor of a grittier, more experimental approach inspired by American alternative rock.

8. Liz Phair - Liz Phair (2004)

While Blur was seen as a fresh start in a positive direction, Liz Phair's eponymous 2004 album was the exact opposite, as the queen of indie rock took an unabashed swing at mainstream pop stardom by working with outside songwriters and cleaning up her production.

9. Robyn - Robyn (2005)

Robyn's self-titled fourth album signaled her reinvention as a 21st century pop star, rather than a '90s pop star struggling to stay relevant in the 21st century.

10. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (2013)

Will Oldham's ninth album under the name Bonnie 'Prince' Billy was never properly released or distributed, but rather sold at concerts, which might explain his decision to inconspicuously title it Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.

11. Beyoncé - Beyoncé (2013)

No other pop star can stir up as much excitement with a surprise album as Beyoncé, and nobody knew this better than Beyoncé herself, which explains her decision to confidently title her surprise 2013 album after herself.

12. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams (2014)

The length of time between Ryan Adams' 2011 album Ashes & Fire and his recent eponymous album was his longest gap between studio albums since he went solo in 2000, so perhaps his decision to self-title his new album was an announcement of his return more than anything.

What other artists released self-titled albums that weren't their debuts? Let us know down in the comments section!

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