Last year James Lileks on The Diner revealed something I never knew, nor really needed to know: Mungo Jerry, the band that had a massive hit with "In the Summertime" in 1970, tried to do a sequel with "Summer's Gone."
That worked about as well as you might expect.
Still, the idea of a sequel is oh-so-tempting when you've had a hit, especially if it looks like your bite of the cherry is all there is likely to be. You suddenly understand the idea of the sophomore slump---you threw your best pitch and now you can either vary it or throw as near the same pitch again, knowing that that's what the public expects. And then the public yawns and says, "They're still doing that same dumb thing."
Chubby Checker essentially made a career of it---although he had many non-Twist hits, he followed the massive 1960 chart-topper "The Twist" with "Twistin' U.S.A.," "Let's Twist Again," "Slow Twisting," "Twistin' Round the World," "Twist It Up," and, with the Fat Boys in 1988, "The Twist (Yo, Twist!)." All charted. But no less a light than Irving Berlin wiped out with a reworking of "Cheek to Cheek" called (really!) "Back to Back." * What was Irv thinking?
As they say: No one knows nothing. Hey, if I knew what the public wanted, I'd have freaking five books on the best-seller lists now.
Still, one can only wonder what sequels other musicians might have tried... [Cue woowooshwoo music, woozy screen, dream sequence]
|Blue Oyster Cult||Don't Fear the Reaper||Fear the Reaper's Cousin Melvin|
|The McCoys||Hang On Sloopy||Look Out Below (Sloopy's Fallin')|
|David Bowie||Suffragette City||Suffragette Sprawl|
|Paul McCartney/Wings||Band on the Run||Band Settles Down, Gets Work|
|Jethro Tull||Thick as a Brick||Slimn as a Hymn|
|Peter Gabriel||Shock the Monkey||Revenge of the Monkey|
|The Drifters||Under the Boardwalk||Over the Tattoo Parlor|
|Sir Mix-a-Lot||Baby Got Back||I Changed My Mind About the Butts|
|Bill Withers||Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone)||Now There's Sunshine (Since She's Back)**|
|Chuck Berry||Sweet Little Sixteen||Bitter Old Seventeen|
|The Lemonheads||It's a Shame About Ray||Sucks About Bob, Too|
|R.E.M.||Losing My Religion||Also Lost My Car Keys|
|Shirley Ellis||The Name Game||The Date of Birth-Social Security Number Game|
|The Bangles||Walk Like an Egyptian||Crawl Like an Etruscan|
|Murray Head||One Night in Bangkok||Equals Three Nights in Buffalo|
|Dire Straits||Sultans of Swing||Barons of Bebop|
|Don Henley||The Boys of Summer||The Puberty of Autumn|
|John Mellancamp||Jack & Diane||Jack,
Diane, Jack Jr., Lynnette, Little Peewee,
Francis, and Ditty the Labradoodle
|The Free Design||Kites Are Fun||Balloons Are Okay|
|Frank Sinatra||My Way||(Thud)|
|Led Zeppelin||Stairway to Heaven||Dumbwaiter to Purgatory|
|Benny Goodman||Sing, Sing, Sing||Shut up, Shut up, Shut up|
|The Foo Fighters||Long Road to Ruin||Wide U-turn to Resignation|
|The Shangri-Las||Leader of the Pack||Treasurer of the Pack|
|Pink Floyd||Learning to Fly||Get Me the Hell Down|
|Clint Holmes||Playground in My Mind||Parking Lot in My Medulla|
|Tony Orlando & Dawn||Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree||Tie a Pink Bandanna to the Willow Stump|
|Bobby Darrin||Mack the Knife||Bill the Spork|
|Leslie Gore||It's My Party (And I'll Cry if I Want to)||It's the Next Day (Still Cryin')|
** He knows, he knows, he knows, he knows, he knows, he knows, etc.