Two stalwart rock bands, Coldplay and Imagine Dragons came out with albums recently. Both albums implied there was more to come in this vein.
The title of the Imagine Dragons album is Mercury Act I. Act I usually implies that there is more to come. The one act plays I’ve heard of don’t say they are one act plays. People only list act number one when there are more acts. So Imagine Dragons is saying there is more to come with such a title.
Coldplay’s album is entitled Music of the Spheres. But on the back of the cover it says, Vol. 1, From Earth With Love. Again implying that there will be more in the “series”.
It’s just that I doubt either act will follow up with more music in the same vein. The only times I knew bands carried over a series from one album to the next, was Green Day’s Uno!, Dos!, Tre! and Led Zeppelin’s I, II, III, and IV.
Green Day is a three piece with one of their members named Tre. That’s the only link I see in these three albums. I think they had a lot of music and just wanted an easy naming convention for all that music. These albums came out about a month or two apart.
With Led Zeppelin I think the idea that they are a four piece is accidental to the names of these four albums. And in fact, I believe these albums were all turned in by Led Zeppelin with no name. Thus the record label named them I, II, III, and IV. They had to call them something.
I am betting that both Imagine Dragons and Coldplay ironically named these albums as a continuing series. Ironic this, and ironic that is very much in the culture of today. This allows, for instance, one to wear the t-shirt of any act you like. Then if questioned by someone in an embarrassing way, you can say you are wearing it ironically.
I don’t think Mercury Act I is getting an Act II partially because of popularity. This may be a better album than Imagine Dragons usually puts out because virtually all the tracks are listenable. But to the public, there are no breakaway hits, like Imagine Dragons are usually known for. Follow You and Wrecked are the closest the band comes to that on this album. But this time they aren’t creating a large following willing to sample the rest of this album.
Music of the Spheres (they’re talking planets so really it should be Music of the Oblate Spheroids) is a bit of concept album with My Universe being a sort of climax to the package with BTS drawing more ears to the song. My Universe actually has done well enough that Coldplay might consider making a “Vol. II”. But the basic concept that this album espouses is sending out music to the universe to encourage love. Getting a response back from an awfully big universe might be years at best, eons if you are more pessimistic. So I think there will be no follow up from this band, too.
Welcome to the age of the ironic album title!