Basically when a series is rolling along, and doing decent, if a bit obscure. Then one installment is released, and that installment takes over the series. Occasionally, a fan might go back and look at the obscure earlier entries, but within the general fanbase, this entry is the series from the moment of its release.
Often caused by a Surprisingly Improved Sequel
, and related to Adaptation Displacement
, More Popular Spin-off
, and Older Than They Think
. The aforementioned hardcore fans sometimes declare that It's Popular, Now It Sucks
. Usually happens with video games, but can apply to series in other media.
This does not count series which simply avert First Installment Wins
by having a non-iconic first installment that was never displaced from popular consciousness.
Exceptionally likely in video games when an old series, beloved by those who remember it but well vanished from the public consciousness, gets a new installment. See Metal Gear Solid
and Street Fighter II
Contrast It's Popular, Now It Sucks
. The exact opposite of this is First Installment Wins
Obligatory Tropes Are Not Bad note: please don't call people stupid for finding out late and starting with a sequel in the middle of the series, therefore not knowing the previous ones, especially if there are no numbers in the title. If they refuse to acknowledge what came before, then you have a case of Fan Dumb. Starting with a sequel might lead to Early Installment Weirdness.
open/close all folders
Media in General
- Any franchise released Sequel First in some part of the world.
Anime and Manga
- GaoGaiGar is well-known amongst anime fans for restarting the Super Robot Genre to the Hot-Blooded days of yore and is one of the most popular Humongous Mecha series out there. It also happens to be the eighth and last (not counting GaoGaiGar FINAL or the Vaporware Baan Gaan) installment of the Brave series, while the first seven installments where only exported to the South and East Asian countries. Much of this is due to being the only show in the series to not only appear in the Super Robot Wars games, but the only one released to Western countries.
- The parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure everyone remembers are from the third part onward. The first two parts are a lot more like Fist of the North Star than what the series later became.
- To the point that in America at the least, the series was localized with Chapter Three first, half of four next, and the rest ignored. This leads to a lot of Marth Debuted in Smash Bros. in some discussion forums.
- The video game adaptations have it even worse: first a Dreamcast fighting game based on 3, then a cel-shaded PS2 3D action game based on 5, and a beat 'em up based on 1.
- Also notable on Jump Super Stars: The first game had Jôtarô and Dio (The Hero and Big Bad of chapter 3) as playable and nobody else. The sequel promised including all the chapters, and they delivered... by making the other mains Assist Characters, but Dio and Jôtarô still as the only playables.
- While Dio is also the Big Bad of Chapter One, it is his Chapter Three incarnation that is most... iconic. In fact, every one of his panels and almost all of his moves come from Part 3.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: In France, Grendizer was aired before its predecessor series, Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. It became fenomenally popular in that country, but almost nobody knew it was the third part of a trilogy, to the point that, when Mazinger-Z was broadcast in France ten years later, people accused it of being a Grendizer rip-off.
- In Detective Conan, what many don't know is that Kaito Kid originally appeared in a short-lived manga, Magic Kaito, written by Aoyama. His appearance was just a mere Crossover. He was so popular, that he eventually became a main character and recurring nemesis of Conan.
- Dragon Ball Z: The original series had several false starts in the U.S. Harmony Gold took a crack at it with a drastically altered dub in the late '80s, though this was quickly cancelled. Later, U.S. licensee FUNimation bought the rights to the entire animated canon at once with plans of selling the entire thing to syndication, starting with the first series. It flopped so hard, they stopped production after only 13 episodes and skipped ahead to the more action-oriented sequel series. The rest, as they say, is history.
- This isn't exclusive to the USA. Z is more popular everywhere, no matter what some say. Even in Japan, where most memes and shout outs come from Z.
- Sailor Moon was a spinoff of an earlier manga titled Codename: Sailor V, which starred Minako during her days as Sailor V. The creator was asked to expand it into a team format which led to Sailor Moon. Codename: Sailor V had only been released in a handful of countries outside of Japan, and never in parts of North America that are not Quebec.Codename: Sailor V got an official English release in September 2011 alongside a new translation of Sailor Moon; though it is doubtful it will become more popular, at least people will know it exists.
- Tekkaman Blade (a.k.a. Teknoman): Many people are not aware that it was a sequel of an earlier Tatsunoko anime, Tekkaman. It doesn't help that Tekkaman Blade is barely a sequel, much less a remake.
- The presence of both in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom should help remedy this. Blade is still more popular, but the original now has SPACE LANCE for people to remember him for...
- When you think of the character Casshern nowadays, you probably think of Casshern Sins before Neo Human Casshern. In fact, you'd be lucky if you found every episode of the latter.
- Outside of Japan, the first season of Jewelpet is frequently ignored by anime watchers due to lack of a complete subbed version. Some sites even mistakenly replace videos from the first season with videos from the second season.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has an in-universe example with the Second and Third Impacts. The First Impact was the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs off way back when.
- Yatterman managed to do this to Time Bokan, its predecessor in a meta-series. In fact, there are some fans that don't have any idea it was part of a series at all. This has come to a head in the 40th anniversary anime for the franchise, which mainly takes its inspiration from Yatterman.
- Yatterman has eclipsed the entire Time Bokan franchise to such a point where people are surprised that a non-Yatterman Time Bokan protagonist (Ippatsuman) managed to be featured in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
- Although created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, X-Men didn't take off as a franchise until its relaunch by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum with the addition of new and highly popular characters like Storm, Nightcrawler, and especially Wolverine. Today, most people remember that particular team when asked to describe the X-Men and their ensuing adventures written by Chris Claremont.
- Adaptation Displacement is also in effect here, as the later additions to the team became far better known thanks to the movies and the various animated series. Characters like Wolverine and Storm are now largely recognizable, while far fewer people would be likely to identify someone like Angel or Polaris.
- The Belgian comic Johan and Peewit is not very famous around the world. However, everybody knows its spin-off The Smurfs.
- Like the X-Men example above, nobody really cared much about Supreme until Alan Moore came along. Many modern readers are unaware that there were already 40 issues prior the start to Moore's run.
- The second volume of Doom Patrol wasn't popular at all until Grant Morrison took over, and the title subsequently became one of the most iconic comics of the '80s and early '90s. Today, few people remember the initial 18 issues that preceded Morrison's run.
- Naturally,most people were unaware of the 1986 Superman reboot Man of Steel or anything that continued from it. When The Death of Superman was released after a flurry of media coverage unheard of for a comic book saga, some more familiar with earlier comics or the character's various film and TV incarnations may have been confused to learn that Ma & Pa Kent were alive or that Superman and Lois were officially a couple with her knowing his secret identity. New and returning fans may have been even more confused by subplots born of elements introduced in the period between 1986 and 1992.
- When most people think of Rambo, they picture the character shirtless in the jungle, slaying hundreds of mooks with machineguns and explosive arrows. In Rambo's first film, First Blood, he's fighting American lawmen and only kills one in self-defense with a rock (and the man's death wasn't even intentional, or even really directly caused by Rambo). And it's also a relatively anti-war movie, though not nearly so much as the original book, focusing on the shameful reception of Vietnam veterans upon their return home. The film ends with Rambo crying his heart out over the injustice of war and those who wage it. The sequels are pure war porn.
- At least the second and third movies were fairly plausible. Most of the violence in First Blood Part 2 consists of Rambo methodically taking out soldiers one at a time, with one firefight against a small group of enemies and a couple wrestling duels with Yashin; the bulk of his kills happen after he commandeers a helicopter. 3 has him defeating an army, but with the help of a smaller army. The fourth movie, on the other hand...can you say Up to Eleven?
- Partially because of its title and partially because it came out literally months after the first, only die hard Pink Panther fans realize that the first sequel was not Return of the Pink Panther, but the less well-known A Shot in the Dark. Ironically, it's Shot that brought in many of the elements (Clouseau's karate "prowess", the increasing tomfoolery of his accent) and characters (Dreyfus and Cato) that were key to the later films; it's also commonly regarded as the best film of the series.
- Most people also think of the series as centering around the humorous slapstick misadventures of Inspector Clouseau, which started with A Shot in the Dark. The original Pink Panther film actually had the Phantom as the main character with Clouseau as an antagonist. It's just that it was so hard not to relate to him.
- The original Mad Max (which was only given limited release in America) is far more obscure than its two sequels Mad Max 2 (renamed The Road Warrior in America) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Notably, while the sequels became highly influential visions of an After the End world in their depictions of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the original film is set in a pre-apocalyptic civilization that is on the verge of/in the process of falling apart.
- While all James Bond films have recognition, the most famous is the third, Goldfinger (Dr. No is the first, and even that was preceded by a TV adaptation of Casino Royale). And others haven't seen any before Golden Eye, the 17th.
- Many people have no idea that Robert Rodriguez's Desperado is actually the second film of a trilogy, the first being El Mariachi, which was made on a shoestring budget and never received a wide release.
- The Good The Bad And The Ugly, the third installment of Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, is even more famous than A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.
- In the Evil Dead series, most people remember the ass-kicking character of Ash, toting a shotgun and sporting a chainsaw for a hand. The first film of the series, however, is a more straight horror film with an ensemble cast. Ash is just a regular college kid who happens to make it to the end. Producers were even reluctant to call the second film Evil Dead 2 out of the belief that few people had even heard of the first film.
- Cult classic kung fu flick Master of the Flying Guillotine is actually a sequel to the little-remembered film One Armed Boxer.
- Batman Begins is considered a pretty good Batman film, especially compared to the Schumacher horrors that preceded it. However, it's The Dark Knight that is considered the great film of this generation, and thus is more remembered and acclaimed. This caused some confusion with The Dark Knight Rises's plot, as it pulls more from the events of Batman Begins than of The Dark Knight. Subverted in that "Batman Begins" is far from forgotten.
- Although it works fine as a stand-alone film, Film/Another Time Another Place is actually a sequel to a Made-for-TV Movie based on another Jessie Kesson novel called The White Bird Passes, which deals with the protagonist's childhood.
- Tom Laughlin released Born Losers in 1967, a typical biker flick featuring a half-breed Indian ex-Green Beret named Billy Jack. The movie proved a surprise success and Laughlin made an even more successful sequel, Billy Jack, three years later. These days Born Losers is fairly obscure while Billy Jack has a massive cult following, followed by two sequels of its own.
- James Branch Cabell wrote 20-odd books set in his "Poictesme" universe. They were little-read until the 7th one, Jurgen, appeared in 1919: that one inspired the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice to attempt to prosecute Cabell for obscenity, naturally giving the book great publicity. Afterwards Cabell went right back to obscurity. Jurgen is still by far the best known book in the series, although, in the author's own opinion and that of some fans, it's not the best. (One reprinted edition of his works gave a collection of pans from the critics... then after 1919 he issues book after book to be told that it was "not nearly as good as JURGEN.")
- Lampshaded in his later novel SMIRT, where the author Author Avatar protagonist talks God out of writing a sequel to the Bible, knowing how critics would treat it.
- Dan Brown's runaway success The Da Vinci Code was a sequel to the much less known Angels & Demons. This was retroactively countered by publishers and filmmakers, who hoped to take advantage of lingering Dan Brown fever by snapping up Angels and Demons and marketing it aggressively. Most people probably think Angels and Demons is the sequel; certainly this is the case for the movie.
- The Silence of the Lambs is the second part in a series, though it's an easy mistake to make. As protagonist Clarice Starling is investigating her first case during the said book, and due to the movie adaptation's huge popularity, many fail to realize there was a first book; Red Dragon covers the last case of Will Graham, and is connected through later-recurring characters like Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford.
- Following a proper film remake of Red Dragon and a prequel series, however, the series better known as of late.
- Last of the Mohicans is far more well known than The Pioneers, to which it was written as a prequel.
- Although not a Real Life example, in Dune, Duke Leto, who was a charismatic and powerful leader that purchased one of the most important planets in the political system and created the second-best army in the universe, was completely overshadowed by his son, Paul.
- H. G. Wells' The Crystal Egg, a short story about an alien artifact sent to Earth to spy on it in preparation for a coming invasion isn't remembered very well by most, especially compared to the story of said invasion.
- Little House in the Big Woods was Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book, but it is the second in the series, Little House on the Prairie, that is better known, to the extent that it is the name by which the whole series is now known.
- While The Hobbit is by no means obscure, it's not as well-known as The Lord of the Rings. With The Lord of the Rings getting a film adaptation before The Hobbit, some people now believe that The Hobbit was written as a prequel after LotR.
Live Action TV
- The Barenaked Ladies are probably best known in the US for their border-crossing breakout hit "One Week" from the album Stunt (1998). It's possible, even likely, that most Americans believe Stunt is their first album. The band had been together for a decade before that and had recorded nine albums, Stunt included, in that time. In fairness, of those nine, five were independent demo recordings, three of which weren't even widely released (one wasn't released at all), but even if you lived in Canada, it's unlikely you knew they even had an album before 1992's Gordon.
- Deadmau5's debut album wasn't Random Album Title. His first two albums aren't even mentioned on the official website, despite having one of his more popular songs, 1981.
- Felix Mendelssohn's first violin concerto is relatively obscure. His second is one of the most recognizable pieces from the early Romantic period. Most people think he only wrote one.
- Did you know that that famous piece Liebestraum by Franz Liszt is actually Liebestraum No. 3? Now you do.
- Similarly, Fryderyk Chopin's first piano sonata, in C minor, is often overlooked and rarely performed. The second, in B-flat minor, is much more famous, as it contains a well-known Funeral March as the third movement. The third, in B minor, is also better-known and much better-received than the first.
- Sergei Rachmaninoff is perhaps best known for the virtuoso piano writing and lush romantic melodies of his second (C minor) and third (D minor) piano concertos, the latter of which was featured in The Shining. The first concerto, in F-sharp minor, is rarely heard, as is the fourth, in G major.
- Grammy awards for Best New Artist are often given to new stars whether or not they have released any albums prior to their break-out success.
- Paula Cole received a Best New Artist Grammy for her second album.
- Kenny Chesney won a Best New Male Vocalist award shortly before the release of his fourth album.
- Shelby Lynne won this award in 2001, and in her very irritated acceptance speech reminded everyone that she had been recording and releasing albums for over 10 years.
- Welcome Interstate Managers was the third album by Fountains of Wayne, released seven years after their first, self-titled, album. But the breakaway hit "Stacy's Mom" (the first - and usually, only - Fountains of Wayne song the general public is widely familiar with) from Managers led to Fountains of Wayne getting nominations for Best New Artist.
- Amy Winehouse. Won Best New Artist although she already had a best-selling album in Britain beforehand. Back to Black is her second album.
- The Jonas Brothers. Nominated after being discovered by Disney.
- The Backstreet Boys. First album? 1996. Grammy Best New Artist nod? 1999.
- Alanis Morissette. Jagged Little Pill was her third album; she'd released two albums of cheesy synth-pop in her native Canada as just "Alanis".
- Bon Iver won the 2012 Grammy for Best New Artist, despite their first album being released in 2007. Skrillex also already had several EPs before being nominated.
- Similarly, Suzy Bogguss had been recording since 1981, but won the Country Music Association's Horizon award in 1992. The fact that said award is now called the New Artist Award should clue you in as to how her win fits this trope.
- Gary Allan won the same award in 2003, even though he had been recording since 1996.
- And Justin Moore won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Artist award in 2014, months after the release of his third album. And it's not like his previous albums were flops, either — the first two both went gold and produced a combined three #1 hits.
- Bob Dylan's first album was not The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but a self-titled album containing only two original songs.
- Anything an artist records before they score a major studio deal is usually ignored. For example:
- Only hardcore Eminem fans even know of his first album, which was not The Slim Shady LP. Only 250 copies of Infinite were sold.
- Good News For People Who Love Bad News was the fourth Modest Mouse album and their second album on a major label. Their first being The Moon & Antarctica in 2000.
- Green Day exploded in 1994 with the hit single "Basket Case", from their third album, Dookie. Unless you were a major follower of the independent punk rock scene, you probably thought Dookie was their debut. They actually released two EP's, 1,000 Hours (1989) and Slappy (1990), as well as two full albums, 39/Smooth (1990), and Kerplunk in 1991. The first three were re-released in 1991 in one extended recording, now called 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. Unless you're a huge Green Day fan, you likely have still only ever heard of Kerplunk and even that is unlikely.
- It would seem that no tracks from Green Day's International Superhits! precede Dookie. Until you realize one of the Dookie's most well-known songs, "Welcome to Paradise", is a re-recording from the previous album.
- Fall Out Boy's From Under the Cork Tree, often listed as their debut by even music writers, is their second album. While "Take This To Your Grave", their first album, and "Evening Out With Your Girlfriend" (their second ep and an Old Shame for the band) are more often listed as their debut, but that honor goes to a split EP they did with drummer Andy Hurley's then current band Project Rocket. The split EP featured songs that would later appear on "Evening Out" and Andy would later join Fall Out Boy after Project Rocket's breakup in 2003.
- Yes, Nirvana made an album before Nevermind. "About A Girl" is most likely the only song non-fans would know from Bleach, due to the Unplugged In New York version getting radio airplay. The studio version of the song is the only Bleach track on the self-titled Greatest Hits Album too. Kurt even lampshades this in the Unplugged album: before playing "About a Girl," he quips "This song is off our first album, which means no one has ever heard it before."
- Kurt Cobain's death and subsequent legendary rock-martyrdom (as well as being labeled "The Godfather of Grunge" even while still alive) has provided Bleach with some retroactive recognition but it's not impossible that if Cobain was still alive, no one would remember that Nirvana had an album before Nevermind. Also, considering the number of compilations, live albums, et al released well after Cobain's death, it's possible for many to forget that they only had three studio albums, the third and last being 1993's In Utero.
- Switchfoot's three albums prior to The Beautiful Letdown, featuring "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move", are largely unknown outside the Christian Rock fandom.
- Good Charlotte made a self-titled album with a different drummer before they achieved worldwide success with The Young and The Hopeless. At concerts they'll sometimes say they were going to play a song "off our first album", and everyone would cheer thinking it was from The Young and the Hopeless... Then they'd play "Festival Song" and half the audience would get really quiet... and the other half would scream even louder!
- In the UK, this is in place even more so than America - the self-titled album was only released after The Young and The Hopeless, and the music videos have never seen any airplay in the country.
- Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers is his third album, but his first on a major label, and his first with a major hit in "Black and Yellow".
- Drake released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006 but didn't get a record deal until 2009. Only hardcore fans really know about that and the other mixtape he made. A weird version with this, because his first hit single, "Best I Ever Had", was actually released on a mixtape made before he had a record deal.
- Tears For Fears's second album, Songs From the Big Chair was far more popular than their first and contains their best-known songs, including "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Shout" and "Head Over Heels". The main reason for its success is that it was huge in America, whereas their first album "The Hurting" and its singles had mostly had success in the UK. "Mad World" was a hit single in the UK at the time, but gained worldwide popularity when it was covered byMichael Andrews and Gary Jules. years later. The band have gone on record saying that they love this Cover Version.
- Despite the title track being one of their best known singles, The Who's My Generation album was out of print in the UK for decades, and prior to 2005 only an altered U.S. release was available on CD.
- Six years before his breakout album Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf recorded a duets album with Stoney Murphy. Even the record's producers forgot about it in the intervening six years, reissuing it with Edwin Starr's vocals in place of Meat Loaf's. After Meat Loaf became a household name, the album was reissued again, with his lyrics restored, but Stoney's removed.
- Japan's first two albums 'Adolescent Sex' and 'Obscure Alternatives'. David Sylvian has even gone on record saying they should never have released their first album. This isn't surprising because the album is a So Bad, It's Good attempt at jazz influenced glam rock. They did however perform tracks from 'Obscure Alternatives' up until they broke up, but it divides fans due to Sylvian's completely different vocal style and the occasionally banal lyrics. The compilation 'Assemblage', which features a couple of tracks from their first album is much better remembered, and some people believed it was their first album until the remasters came out, which contains an image on the spine which can only be completed by buying all the albums in the set.
- Many people are unaware that Bob Marley And The Wailers released many singles and four albums in Jamaica before signing with Island in 1973. This happened 11 years after Bob released his first single.
- Many people think that New Gold Dream was Simple Minds' first album, despite the fact it was their sixth (or fifth if you count Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call as a double album).
- The Offspring's Greatest Hits Album include nothing before their third/breakthrough album, Smash.
- Hardly anybody knows Supertramp's first two albums, which preceded a revamp in line-up (only the two bandleaders stayed) and sound.
- David Bowie had recorded 2 entire albums and released one before Space Oddity (titled Man of Words, Man of Music until a 1972 reissue) made him famous and codified his style. His 2nd album in recording order, Love You Till Tuesday, was a casualty of Deram Records' financial problems, and received no authorized release until recently (although the lead single was released, complete with an ad for the thought-to-be-upcoming album on the sleeve).
- Journey released 3 albums, with 2 different frontmen, in a weird experimental style that drifted between jazz and techno, before Steve Perry and an arena rock sound made them superstars.
- Queen's first (self-titled) album is largely forgotten or unknown by all but the most hardcore Queen fans. Their popularity began to pick up with Queen II, spiked with Sheer Heart Attack and probably peaked with A Night At The Opera, but Queen has (almost) never had a single song featured on any collection albums. This is a shame, because it's a strong debut.
- In fairness, the band only included Top 20 hits on Greatest Hits, thus several later period singles don't appear on it either. The band remained proud of "Keep Yourself Alive" and performed it constantly later on, however, so this is simply a case of too many hits.
- Possibly because Queen II was where the "classic" sound came together. One can argue the merits of their debut, but it had a noticeably different sound to their later work, with a more pronounced early '70s Zeppelin-influenced hard rock feel and some religious themes.
- Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was either their sixth or eighth album, depending on whether or not you include two albums the band made as soundtracks for obscure French hippie films. Either way, you'd be surprised by how many casual/new fans earnestly believe the band's debut album was Dark Side.
- The band did have two top 20 hits in the 1960s, but only in Britain. Most Americans aren't familiar with it.
- Not really surprising, seeing the band themselves admitted they didn't really know what they were doing before Dark Side or possibly Meddle.
- Elton John made an album before his self-titled one. But almost no one has even heard of it, except for Americans who think it's his tenth album (it was released there six years after it was released in Britain).
- Wicked Lester, founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Nobody remembers it. KISS, however, is quite well known.
- No one remembers a Fleetwood Mac without Stevie Nicks, even though she didn't join the band until 1975, a full eight years after the band was formed. Not even Fleetwood Mac.
- Mobb Deep's first album, Juvenile Hell, is mostly forgotten. Their follow up, The Infamous is what really made the duo stars of the New York hardcore hip hop scene.
- Genesis' first album, 1969's From Genesis to Revelation, was recorded by a lineup which featured Anthony Phillips on guitar and John Silver on drums. It was marred by Johnathan King's string-laden overproduction and Decca Records' Executive Meddling. The group do not own the rights to the album and appear to have disowned it. The more Progressive Rock -based Trespass, from 1970, featured more of the band's trademark sound and style, but was, like FGTR, a commercial failure. The first major Genesis success was 1971's Nursery Cryme, featuring the cult hit, "The Musical Box". By then, the classic line-up of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and new members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins was established, and the group's sound better defined and produced.
- Genesis have indeed disowned FGTR, and stopped performing numbers from it very early on. The majority of the fans agree with this and discount FGTR from the canon discography or treat it like an outtake or bootleg. Lineup and style aside, Trespass still has a firm place in the fandom's hearts, however, and numbers from it have made regular appearances at gigs, especially "The Knife".
- Shania Twain released an unsuccessful self-titled debut album in 1993 featuring a more traditional country-pop sound and style, before making it big with the Robert John "Mutt" Lange-produced, more rock-flavored hit style the introduced on its followup, The Woman In Me.
- Carole King's Tapestry was a huge hit in part because of the perception that after a successful songwriting career she was finally stepping out to make a statement as a performer. But she'd already released a smattering of singles in the '60s, including one ("It Might as Well Rain Until September") that became a fairly big hit in both the US and the UK. Then in 1968 she released an album with her band The City (Now That Everything's Been Said) that was basically a Carole King solo album, since she wrote all the songs and sang lead on all but one. Then a year before Tapestry she released her first official solo album, Writer.
- Most people are introduced to They Might Be Giants via Flood, which was their third album.
- Jimmy Buffett's 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean marked the debut of the style that would make him famous, but it was actually his second released album and third recorded album (after his folk-pop debut album flopped his former label refused to release the similar-sounding second album, claiming they lost the master tape. After his later success they miraculously found the tape and released it).
- Warren Zevon's debut album was not his self-titled 1975 set, but 1969's ultra-obscure Wanted Dead or Alive. And before then he recorded a couple singles as a member of the duo Lyme & Cybelle.
- Nickelback's debut album was released in the late '90s, and it was not Silver Side Up, the album that got them popular even in their own homeland of Canada. Even though the group previously had rock radio hits in "Leader of Men" and "Worthy to Say" (the former went top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts), most people don't appear to remember anything before Silver Side Up's "How You Remind Me".
- Jean Michel Jarre released a couple of albums before his international breakthrough Oxygène (one intended as library music and the other a film soundtrack), though both remained obscure and the former is still out of print.
- Michael Jackson's solo debut isn't Off the Wall - his fifth album (but like the rap examples above, the first after a label change).
- While everyone knows that Jackson was a member of the Jackson 5, one of Motown's most successful groups, few people know that he actually had solo hits "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," let alone singles. "Got to be There," "Rockin' Robin," and "Ben" were all top 10 hits, with the lattermost song becoming his first number-one.
- His little sister also falls into this. Most people tend to think Janet's first album was Control. It is actually her third. In all fairness, however, Janet stated herself that she sees Control as the official start of her music career.
- Iron Maiden's first two albums have their fans, and the first has the self-titled song that closes all concerts. But the albums are easily overshadowed by The Number Of The Beast, which introduced charismatic front-man Bruce Dickinson.
- Remember those 2 albums MC Hammer made in the '80s? No, you don't, because you'd never heard of him back then, because it was his third album, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" that he finally had his first hit with "U Can't Touch This".
- Red Hot Chili Peppers started their breakout with their fourth album, Mother's Milk... and after a label change became superstars with the fifth, Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
- Luckily, their third album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan will always be remembered because it's the only one they made with the original lineup of guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Hillel's death a year after its release affected the band so much that they constantly reference it in their music.
- Though Split Enz had a few hits with their third and fourth albums Dizrythmia and Frenzy, it wasn't until their fifth album True Colours that their success really took off.
- No Doubt was endlessly amused when they were nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy for the wildly popular Tragic Kingdom album. It was actually their third album, and they had been performing for nearly a decade. David Letterman even referred to Tragic Kingdom as their first album when No Doubt made their first appearance on his show.
- Finger Eleven is a very strange Canadian example. Most people first heard of them during the release of their self-titled album (which spawned a couple of big hits), which was released in 2003. However, the band (minus one member who left in the mid-90's) previously played as a group called Rainbow Butt Monkeys, which had already produced a debut album before they changed their name to Finger Eleven. Furthermore, their self-titled disc was their third studio release - the band had already released two albums in 1997 and 2000.
- Not only that, but their most famous song never came until their fourth album, "Them vs. You vs. Me". That song? A little ditty called "Paralyzer."
- Kardinal Offishall signed to Akon's Konvict Muzik Records in 2007, and promptly released his (to date) best-selling single (and his only American hit) "Dangerous" on his first album with the label, Not 4 Sale. Akon was the guest artist on the song, was the main reason it became a hit in America, where the song is still more associated with him than with Offishall. However, many people who bought the album and enjoyed it in the U.S. apparently didn't realize that Offishall had been a household rap name in Canada for a good 9 years beforehand. Not 4 Sale was Kardinal's fourth studio album, and he had already received critical acclaim and Canadian awards for several chart-topping hits.
- Many people haven't heard any of The Human League's material prior to their third album Dare, which included the breakout single "Don't You Want Me?".
- Deep Purple's first three albums, while fairly popular in the United States (like their cover of "Hush"), are generally overshadowed by their fourth album Deep Purple in Rock, which set them on the road to pioneering Heavy Metal.
- Many My Chemical Romance fans are unaware the band made music before Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and are typically surprised upon discovering 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love''.
- Abba's first album Ring Ring wasn't widely known until the band became big later in the 70s. Most people think that their Eurovision entry "Waterloo" was their first single, when it was on their second album.
- KMFDM's debut, Opium, was initially only released as a limited run of 200 casettes, and due to the tapes being lost for a long time, didn't see a rerelease until 2003. Thus, to most fans, What Do You Know Deutschland was their first album.
- You've Come A Long Way Baby was Fatboy Slim's mainstream debut. Before that, he had Better Living Through Chemistry.
- The original lineup of The Moody Blues was an R&B-influenced British Invasion quintet with Denny Laine (later to join Wings) on vocals and guitar, and Clint Warwick on bass. They had a minor hit with a cover of Bessie Banks' Go Now", and an album called "The Magnificent Moodies" in 1965. Laine and Warwick were replaced by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, respectively, who created the progressive sound the Moodies are known for with their second album, 1967's ''Days Of Future Passed" (which featured "Nights In White Satin").
- Franz Ferdinand's video for "Take Me Out" was the one that shot them to fame, no doubt due to the rather avant garde style used in the video. It was actually their second video, their first was "Darts of Pleasure", which was a more typical video.
- Many Kelly Clarkson fans outside the US never saw her on American Idol and assume her incredibly popular album "Breakaway" was her first when it's really her second after "Thankful".
- Def Leppard made two albums before its breakthrough Pyromania. Even the band itself tends to ignore them.
- Practically any huge act past its prime has a tendency to ignore songs from its two albums previous to their latest tour unless some song from said albums was a huge hit. These acts prefer to only play their classic-era songs and songs from the new album they are promoting at the time.
- Except for Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones rarely play live anything from The Eighties nowadays.
- Nor does Paul McCartney play stuff from his catalog of songs written between 1984 and 1994.
- The Who don't play in concert songs from the Kenny Jones era that much either.
- The only post-Back in Black songs AC/DC plays regularly are "For Those About to Rock" and "Thunderstruck". The ones from the album being promoted are included, and Who Made Who" has some rare appearances.
- Edguy's first album was not Kingdom of Madness, but The Savage Poetry, released two years before Kingdom. To further confuse fans, they remade The Savage Poetry in 2000 (removing the The from the title in the process). However, the first Savage Poetry was self-published, while Kingdom was their first album with a record label.
- Eurythmics' first album In The Garden wasn't much of a success at the time and is still generally overlooked today. Their career really took off with the Surprisingly Improved Sequel, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
- Even less well known is Lennox and Stewart's first band, The Tourists, who had one minor chart hit (a cover of the old Dusty Springfield song I Only Want To Be With You).
- Both "I Only Wanna Be With You" and the follow-up "So Good To Be Back Home Again" went top ten in the UK, only for the band to almost instantly fall apart. Interestingly, the album both these hits came from, Reality Effect, was itself an example of this trope, being the more successful follow-up to the largely overlooked The Tourists.
- Alice Cooper's first big album was Love It to Death. However, that was their third album and the last of a three record deal. The previous two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, tanked commercially and critically and it wasn't until Love It to Death that the band clued in on its signature sound. No song from the first two records has been played since the tour of the third and most people forget they exist.
- Pantera's Cowboys From Hell is actually their fifth album. Though the band does their best to convince you it's their first.
- The Black Eyed Peas are an interesting case. Elephunk is often considered to be their breakout album, but not many know that they had two prior albums that were released by Interscope prior to this - Behind the Front and Bridging The Gap. Very few people know about the existence of these records - not only did both of them fail to crack the Top 50 U.S. albums on Billboard, but they had a different female vocalist (Kim Hill), and the production values were smaller-scale and focused on "preemo" beats.
- Shakira's first two albums (Magia and Peligro) were only released in Colombia and have been long-since deleted. She also had two Spanish-language albums (Pies Decalzos and ¿Donde Estan Los Ladrones?) that were huge hits before Laundry Service launched her in the English-speaking world.
- Three of Imagine Dragons' first four hit songs-"Radioactive", "Demons", and "On Top of the World"-premiered on an EP titled, Continued Silence. Its name sets it up as the follow-up to Imagine Dragons' second independently-released EP, Hell and Silence. None of the songs featured there charted as highly as the most popular tunes from Continued Silence. Additionally, only one song from Hell and Silence made it onto the original releases of the band's first studio album, Night Visions, while all but two of the tracks from Continued Silence earned inclusion. Consequently, only the most hardcore Firebreathers remember it (as well as the other two independent EPs), for now.
- Vocaloid didn't become a big hit as a software until Miku Hatsune, which came out with Vocaloid 02, grew in popular
- Warhammer 40,000 is a good example, being far more popular outside the UK than Warhammer is.
- To the point where most people who are not into the tabletop gaming scene will refer to 40k simply as "Warhmammer," sometimes to the point of not even realizing that there is a medieval fantasy version.
- The debut of Hour Of Penance is mistaken to be The Vile Conception when it's actually Disturbance. Pageantry for the Matyrs is also quite to overlooked album.
- MS Paint Adventures offers an internal example with Homestuck compared to its immediate predecessor Problem Sleuth. Homestuck is a megahit and the most popular webcomic today. Problem Sleuth had a popular run but nowhere near the insane popularity of Homestuck.
- Hey, kids! Ever heard about "Unsound of Mind"? No? Well, how about Heart Core? In fact, many of the characters in Heart Core originated from Uo M, wich has become the Old Shame of the creator.
- The Apple II compared to its predecessor the Apple I, and the Apple Macintosh compared to its predecessor the Apple Lisa. The Apple I was literally just a circuitboard. You had to build the actual computer yourself, including the keyboard. This was not unreasonable at the time; many computers were sold as kits at the time. In fact, the Apple II is often credited with sparking the microcomputer revolution.
- World War I for many countries. In spite of being called The Great War, it's far less known than World War II. Beyond trench warfare and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, most people know next to nothing other than that it was the big war that came before World War II. This is less the case in some countries with more active involvement in the war.
- The United States Constitution was specifically meant to replace the Articles of Confederation, which formed the basis of a very different United States of America. Almost nobody remembers that there were several Presidents of Congress under the Articles of Confederation before George Washington became President under the Constitution, mostly due to the fact that the position was much less important.
- Also in American history, the French and Indian War was an obscure and relatively unimportant part of the global Seven Years' War. Except for the fact that it laid important technological, cultural, military and political groundwork for the events which would eventually spiral into The American Revolution barely a decade later, therefore directly leading to the creation of the independent United States (officers on both sides, including George Washington, first gained experience in the French and Indian War). However even in the Americas it's been greatly overshadowed by the War for Independence and remains an obscure and little-mentioned piece of American history.
- The World Wide Web compared to Usenet and Gopher.
- Doritos were introduced in 1966, but Nacho Cheese (debuted in 1972) is now considered the flagship flavor, and Cool Ranch (debuted in 1986) has also overshadowed the original (which is now labeled as Toasted Corn).
- In the UK, the three main flavours are Nacho Cheese, Chilli Heatwave (which is a later addition)... and Cool Original. Yes, the Cool flavour is the original flavour in Britain, and Toasted Corn doesn't exist at all.
- Windows 3.1 was the first version of Microsoft Windows to really take off. Windows 1.0 and 2.0 were fairly obscure (and, having severe technical limitations, were basically glorified DOS shells), and 3.0 was technically competent but undermarketed compared to 3.1. The 3.1x family (Windows 3.1, 3.11, and Windows for Workgroups) are usually the only 16-bit Windows versions that people remember.