Artists Remaking Themselves: Sequels and Reprises
by Dan Weiss | February 17, 2014
Vastly explored by the film industry, sequels tend to be somewhat of an anomaly in music, though it's usually cinematic-type artists who've crafted them: Eminem's harrowing, upsetting "Kim," prequel to the (relatively) lighthearted sick joke "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," remains one of the most gripping records of all time, while Bruce Springsteen cuts completely different scenes from the same cloth for 2002's "Mary's Place" and 2014's sleeker, crooked "Harry's Place." Reprises are far more common, though, with the idea that a song had more places to travel, even on the same album; it's hard to choose one version of, say, Sublime's massive hit "What I Got" over the other. Neil Young is somewhat of a legend of the alternate version, famously bookending albums with acoustic and electric takes on "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Hey Hey, My My," while Chubby Checker's famous "Twist" was arguably topped by the sequel "Let's Twist Again." Many of these double-hitters have become institutions unto themselves, impossible to separate.