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Chronological Album Title

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An album title that makes reference to the album's position in the chronological order of album releases by the artist. This generally only counts full-length studio albums; the numbers are usually (but not always) off if you count EPs and live albums. In some cases, this will only be one title among other non-numbered titles, but in other cases there are multiple, often consecutive, numbered titles.

The main reason for this is to give a sense of weight, history, context and inevitability to the albums. The name suggests (but does not guarantee) that the album is not just a lone work, but part of a wider body that will likely tie together consistent themes. It echoes the cantos and books of epic poetry, and thus has a great deal of appeal to musicians influenced by these sources, although it can come across as pretentious or facetious if handled poorly.

Some albums simply have the band's name followed by a number (in which case this overlaps with Numbered Sequels), but others are more clever with it, using a phrase related to the number.

Sister-trope to Self-Referential Track Placement, when a song's title makes reference to its place in the tracklist.


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    First Albums 
  • The Bee Gees – Bee Gees' 1st note 
  • Big Star – #1 Record
  • Colosseumnote  – Chapter 1: Delirium
  • Faces – First Step
  • David Gates – First
  • Ella Henderson – Chapter One
  • Hurt – Vol. I note 
  • Liam Payne - LP1
  • San Holo – album1
  • Steam Powered Giraffe - Album One
  • Traveling Wilburys – Volume 1 note 
  • Johnny Winter – First Winter
  • ZZ Top – ZZ Top's First Album

    Second Albums 

    Third Albums 

    Fourth Albums 

    Fifth Albums 

    Sixth Albums 
  • The Beatles – Beatles VI (see: Second Album)
  • Black Label Society – Hangover Music, Vol VI
  • Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
  • Five Finger Death Punch – Got Your Six
  • Haken - Virus (same interview as above)
  • Tom Paxton – 6
  • Steeleye Span has Now We Are Six, which has a double meaning: not only is it their sixth album, but their first album recorded with a six-member lineup. (It's also a Shout-Out to the children's book of the same name by A. A. Milne.)
  • Iris – Six

    Seventh Albums 

    Eighth Albums 

    Ninth Albums 

    Tenth Albums 

    Eleventh Albums and After 
Eleventh Albums

Twelfth Albums

Thirteenth Albums

  • Anvil – This Is Thirteen (Yeah, they managed to use this trope while continuing to have alliterative Idiosyncratic Episode Naming)
  • The Cure – 4:13 Dream (as for the "4" in the title? It refers to the fact that the record marked the first time that the band had been a quartet since the 1990 remix album Mixed Up)
  • Rage – XIII
  • Megadeth – TH1RT3EN

Fourteenth Albums

Twenty-first Albums

  • Elton John – 21 at 33 (33 was Elton's age at the time. The total includes live albums and compilations.)
  • Rage – 21

Thirtieth Albums

    Artists with Numerous Examples 
  • Almost every album by Chicago is simply titled with the band's name followed by the number. The band shortened their name from "Chicago Transit Authority" to "Chicago" between their first and second albums, and these are both self-titled according to the band's name at the time.
  • Danzig did this for several years. After their first Self-Titled Album, their next six studio albums were all numbered in various ways: Danzig II:Lucifuge, Danzig III:How the Gods Kill, Danzig 4, Danzig 5:Black Acid Devil, 6:66 Satan's Child, and finally Danzig 777:I Luciferi. Following that, they abandoned the numbering with their subsequent albums, starting with Circle of Snakes
  • Soul-Junk's entire catalogue is like this, but the system takes some explaining. His first album was titled 1950. Every subsequent full-length album was numbered counting up from there, while his EP's have been numbered counting backwards from 1950.
  • Russian nu-metal band Slot has also followed this trend, with all of their Russian-language album releases - with the exception of their anniversary compilation album #SLOT 15 - taking on a chronological number: "Slot 1", "2 войны" (Two Wars), "Тритини" (Trinity), "4Ever", "F5", "Шестой" (Sixth) and Septima.
  • Every full album from Morning Musume. Some examples are: First Time, 4th Ikimasshoi!, No. 5, Rainbow 7, Sexy8Beat, and 10 My Me.
    • Hello! Project albums in general have this; Berryz Koubou, C-ute and S/mileage currently all do the same, and many of H!P's former soloists did as well until leaving the label.
  • Led Zeppelin's first three albums: Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III.... The fourth album is commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV but it really has no title at all.
  • Meat Loaf and his Bat Out Of Hell trilogy, which is linked principally by the involvement of songwriter Jim Steinman. The three Bat albums were not consecutive, however; Meat Loaf released four albums between Bat 1 and 2, and two more between 2 and 3.
  • Nine Inch Nails and its "Halo numbers", which are attached in chronological order to both its album and its single releases.
  • Irish folk group The Chieftains titled nearly all of their first ten studio albums The Chieftains __, with the accompanying numeral for each. (The lone exception was their sixth album, Bonaparte's Retreat.)
  • Autechre's discography features, to name just a few examples from many, the Tri Repetae, LP5 and Exai(Roman numerals for 11) albums and the EP5 and Move of Ten EP's.
  • Focus have Focus II (though it's better known under its original title Moving Waves), Focus III and Focus 8, their second, third, and eighth studio albums - well, the title of Focus 8 apparently renders a collaboration album with PJ Proby non-canon. Somewhat interestingly, all three of these albums also have title tracks.
  • Soft Machine have Volume Two, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Six, and Seven.
  • Brad Paisley has two examples in Part II and 5th Gear.
  • She & Him's "main sequence" of albums are numbered Volume One, Volume Two, and Volume Three (so far). There's A Very She & Him Christmas between the second and third, but they don't seem to count that. They also ditched the pattern for their 2014 album Classics.
  • Scott Walker's Scott 2, Scott 3 and Scott 4
  • Baroness' first two EPs are named First and Second, while their first album, A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk is sometimes known as Third
  • Kanye West's first three albums are sequential chronological theme naming. First was The College Dropout, then when it was apparent he'd be a continuing artist came Late Registration (someone still going to school, at least), then came Graduation. What comes after Graduation? If you answered a Good-Ass Job, you'd be half right. The Call-Back title was the working title for the album 808's and Heartbreak, but during the album's creation, the theme was dropped on its last leg in favor of something a bit more literal.
  • Every album by both the Bronx and their mariachi alter-egos Mariachi El Bronx is self-titled, and generally referred to by their number. They've released two as Mariachi El Bronx and they've announced the upcomign release of IV for the main band. Their reasoning is that they would rather have the focus be on the album art rather than a title.
  • Bob James' One, Two, Three, BJ4, Lucky Seven, 12. There are also a couple of Stealth Pun examples: his fifth album (Heads) features a nickel on its cover (a nickel being a five-cent piece), while his sixth album (Touchdown) features a football on its cover (a touchdown being worth six points in football).
  • Don Williams' first three albums were named Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.
  • '70s funk group Brass Construction numbered its first six albums I through VI.
  • Gamma's Gamma 1, Gamma 2, Gamma 3 and Gamma 4.
  • Down Low's third album was called Third Dimension, and the ones after that The 4th Level and Down Low V / Adrenaline. The latter was rejected by their record company, however, and the replacement album no longer followed the trend.
  • With Alice Glass as singer, Crystal Castles released a self-titled album, followed by II and III. Despite it being her debut album as a solo artist, Alice Glass titled her first album after leaving the group Prey//IV, with the subtitle being a reference to the previous Crystal Castles albums. Meanwhile, Crystal Castles' Amnesty (I) was their fourth album overall, but first with vocalist Edith Frances.
  • While Peter Gabriel's first four albums were all self-titled, various international releases appended numerals to them to help people tell them apart. The American and Japanese releases of the second and third albums respectively retitled them Peter Gabriel II and Peter Gabriel III, and the Japanese releases of the first and fourth albums called them Peter Gabriel I and Peter Gabriel IV. The Japanese release of So additionally added the subtitle Peter Gabriel V to keep up the pattern. This eventually carried over to the 2002 remasters, which respectively retitled each of the first four albums 1, 2, 3, and 4 (in North America, 4 kept its original retitle for that region, Security).
  • Tim Lambesis's Arnold Schwarzenegger tribute side project Austrian Death Machine's second and third albums were named Double Brutal and Triple Brutal.

  • The above-mentioned British Progressive Rock band Colosseum is a band example, in which the band broke up and was later relaunched under the name "Colosseum II". Each iteration of the band recorded several albums.
  • Doujin group IOSYS has a Stealth Pun version of this trope: Their ninth Touhou Project arrange album is Touhou Hyousetsu Kashuu, an album devoted completely to the leitmotif of fan-favorite character Cirno. Where does the Stealth Pun example come in? Cirno is associated with the meme "(9)".
  • America's Hat Trick is another Stealth Pun example; it's their third album, and "hat trick" is a sports term that denotes a player or team accomplishing a feat three times. (It also follows the band's Idiosyncratic Episode Naming convention of beginning several album titles with the letter "h".)
  • Chickenfoot released an album titled Chickenfoot III. It is their second album.
  • The Megas have a variation on this, where each album is labeled "DLN-(number)" (for Doctor Light Number, the original Robot Master serial number format). Notably, they include demoes, singles and the like among this count, so their debut album Get Equipped is DLN-02 due to coming after their initial homemade demo. The only exception is Scent Blasters, a digitally released song to promote Epic Scents' Mega Man air fresheners, which came between DLN-07 (the Fly on a Dog single) and DLN-08 (History Repeating: Red).
  • Morbid Angel does a variation on this trope. Instead of using numbers, the first letter of the album reflects which number of album it is, A being 1 B being 2 etc.
  • Monty Python's Previous Record and possibly Another Monty Python Record.
  • Adele's studio albums are named 19, 21, 25, and 30, for the ages she was when she started recording them.
  • Weezer subverts this by having several albums named simply Weezer, commonly referred to by the color most predominant on their cover (Weezer (The Blue Album), for example). Some see each self-titled album as representing a new chapter in their musical career.
  • Six Feet Under released an album titled 13. It is their sixth album.
    • Black Sabbath also released an album titled 13, but it was their nineteenth album.
  • Both Madness and James have released albums called 7 — their second and fourth albums respectively. The actual reason? Both are seven-piece bands.
  • While Iron Maiden already has two above, the Continuity Nod on The Final Frontier comes on the Title Track, "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier".
  • Roy D. Mercer, a Prank Call series created by Brent Douglas and Phil Stone, was released on seven albums titled How Big a Boy Are Ya? volumes 1 through 7 between 1997 and 2000. After that, they broke away from the theme.
  • Queens of the Stone Age very narrowly averted this with their second album. Originally, it was going to be titled "II." However, just before release, the album's title was changed to "Rated R."
  • Buffalo Springfield's third and final album was titled Last Time Around.
  • C Block's third album was initially announced as Changes, but didn't actually made it to stores (presumably due to the eurorap fad being over). When it was finally made available for streaming/download a decade later, it was titled The Last Album.
  • Negativland have issued highlights from their radio show Over The Edge as albums, numbered Vols 1-9 (so far). The earliest ones were issued as cassettes, and when they were later transferred to CD, the first was too long to fit, so part of it was split off and combined with some additional material to create a Volume 1 1/2.
  • All albums by Pg. 99 follow the chronological format "Document No. X" - sometimes there's a subtitle, but more often there isn't.
  • Ghost Of Vroom's first official release was the 2020 EP Ghost Of Vroom 2, followed by the full length album Ghost Of Vroom 1 the next year - the album was completed first, but the band held off its release for a year in the hopes concert venues would start opening again after the COVID-19 Pandemic and they could support the album with a tour.
  • The Desert Sessions, a collaborative project helmed by Josh Homme of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age fame, has all of its releases numbered as "Vol(ume) [insert number here]", followed by the title, the exact format of which varies from EP to EP (the first five volumes were numbered with Roman numerals - the rest with digits).
  • Take That released an album called III, which was their seventh album. The title refers to it being their first record as a trio.