1. The Kinks, Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One (1970)

Though they were one of the great singles bands of the British Invasion era, The Kinks adapted well to the late 1960s/early 1970s vogue for concept albums and rock operas, recording song-suites that spoke tunefully about generations of social change in the United Kingdom. After releasing two poor-selling masterworks—1968’s The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and 1969’s Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire)—frontman Ray Davies wrote a set of songs about the capriciousness of the music business, and was ironically rewarded with the band’s most successful album in years, thanks to the hit songs “Lola” and “Apeman,” as well as enduring cult favorites like “Get Back In Line,” “This Time Tomorrow,” “Powerman,” and Dave Davies’ “Strangers.” The Kinks were so inspired at the time that they considered making Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround a double LP, before deciding to release it as a single disc with the tag “Part One.” But the second part never really got off the ground. Instead, The Kinks shifted focus on the country-inflected 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies, and then chose to revisit The Village Green on the poorly received Preservation: Act 1 and Preservation: Act 2. [Noel Murray]


2. The Clash, The Story Of The Clash, Volume I (1988)

Whether The Clash ever intended to release a second Story is a matter of debate: Depending on the source, the title was either a joke—the band had broken up, and this set offers a pretty comprehensive overview of the hits—or there were plans for Volume II to feature live tracks and rarities. Either way, it never materialized, though plenty of Clash sets have been released since this one, including the massive Sound System box. All of these collections, to their credit, ignore Cut The Crap, and Volume I is the best place to get Joe Strummer’s hilarious liner notes, written from the perspective of the band’s non-existent valet, Albert Transom. [Josh Modell]

3. George Michael, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 (1990)

Although George Michael’s 1990 LP Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 wasn’t as massive as Faith—despite the success of “Freedom! ’90” and the hit single “Praying For Time”—it seemed like all systems go for Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 2; Billboard even reported in October 1991 the album would have a mix of studio and live songs, including the Elton John duet “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” But the sequel never materialized, for reasons unknown, whether it was a casualty of Michael’s bitter lawsuit with Sony or a by-product of the first volume’s commercial performance. Nevertheless, at least a few songs rumored to be on Vol. 2—such as “Too Funky”—surfaced on the AIDS benefit compilation Red Hot + Dance. [Annie Zaleski]


4. History Of The World, Part I (1981)

The “Part I” in the title of Mel Brooks’ raunchy revue History Of The World, Part I is an extension of the movie’s main joke, riffing on the bloated historical epics of the 1950s and 1960s (and also swiping the title of Sir Walter Raleigh’s unfinished world history). The whole idea of the film is that the story of mankind is too huge to be contained in a motion picture, which is why Brooks doesn’t really try. Instead, he offers a smattering of bawdy, tossed-off sketches about masturbating cavemen, singing-and-dancing inquisitors, and horny chamber-pot attendants. Brooks confuses the issue by ending the film with a teaser for a sequel, featuring an ice-skating Hitler and Jewish astronauts. But a “Part II” wasn’t ever going to happen, because if Brooks had soldiered on, he actually might’ve documented the whole history of the world, and where’s the comedy in that? [Noel Murray]


5. Martin Wagner, Snowblind, Part One (1995)

Cartoonist Martin Wagner had a marvelously detailed, fine-lined style even back when he was doing his Hepcats comics series as a gag-a-day strip for his college newspaper. By the time he graduated it to comic-book form, his funny-animal characters had developed depth to match his fantastically precise, clearly time-consuming art. His work looked like he was trying to rival Dave Sim’s Cerebus for sheer visual richness, but Hepcats was never particularly financially successful, and after Wagner collected the existing comics into a graphic novel ambitiously called Snowblind, Part One, he left the field. The book ends on a cliffhanger, with one of the primary characters having attempted suicide, and promising the backstory that brought her to that pass. Twenty years later, her story still hasn’t been told. From time to time, Wagner resurfaces online with a new plan to complete the series as a webcomic, or to re-release the old material while working on new material to finish the story. The world of 2015 seems much friendlier to idiosyncratic comic-book storytellers with a cult following than the world of 1995 did, but even so, there’s still no solid reason to believe that Snowblind, Part Two will ever see the light of day. [Tasha Robinson]

6. The Honeydrippers, Volume One (1984)

Ever since Led Zeppelin called it quits, singer Robert Plant has done his best to defy fan demands that he either revive Led Zep or record albums that sound just like the old stuff. In 1981, Plant started playing R&B covers occasionally with a group he dubbed The Honeydrippers, and in 1984, the makeshift band recorded a five-song EP, featuring Plant’s old Zeppelin partner Jimmy Page on two tracks (as well as appearances by Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers, and Paul Shaffer). Even with its smooth, retro sound, The Honeydrippers’ Volume One became a surprise platinum-selling hit, led by a dreamy version of the ballad “Sea Of Love” that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Plant could’ve easily capitalized on that success and released a full LP. Instead, ever the contrarian, he returned to his solo career, leaving The Honeydrippers as another of his curious pieces of unfinished business. [Noel Murray]


7. David Bowie, 1. Outside

Has Brian Eno ever had a non-ambitious project? When he and David Bowie decided to work together in the mid-’90s, for the first time since collaborating on Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy (Low, Heroes, and Lodger) in the late ’70s, the two planned another trilogy. This one would be built around a short story Bowie had written about a dystopian future in which art is highly regulated by the government. The first album alternates between some of Bowie’s best work of the ’90s and droning spoken-word interludes meant to illuminate the story. Despite occasionally trying the listener’s patience, Outside was a success, charting in the top 10 in the U.K., and lending the song “The Hearts Filthy Lesson” to David Fincher’s Seven. But after sketching out the second album, Contamination, Bowie instead followed up Outside with the drum-’n’-bass-influenced Earthling and never returned to the project. At least, not unless Bowie and Eno resume their every-two-decades schedule and decide to collaborate again this year. [Mike Vago]

8. The Beach Boys, Stars And Stripes Vol. 1

As The A.V. Club’s Beach Boys Primer noted, the band’s story over the past 50 years has been defined by the tension between singer Mike Love’s mercenary instincts and mastermind Brian Wilson’s eccentric whimsy. In the abstract, the Stars And Stripes project seems more like a Love idea: a covers album that plays to the band’s massive heartland audience by recruiting major country stars like Lorrie Morgan and Toby Keith to sing twangy versions of Beach Boys classics. But this record actually marked the return of Brian Wilson to the producer’s chair after a long hiatus, and though it suffers from some of the reserve of mid-1990s country, the overall sound of Stars And Stripes is clean, pretty, and harmonic, with some terrific vocal performances from Willie Nelson and Timothy B. Schmidt, among others. The album didn’t sell well, and even though The Beach Boys banked some performances for a second volume, the sequel has yet to materialize. [Noel Murray]


9. The Olivia Tremor Control, Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One (1999)

The Olivia Tremor Control was a key part of the Elephant 6 Collective—arguably one of the big three alongside The Apples In Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel. But OTC’s sideways psych-pop experiments were never destined to headline festivals, and releases like Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One are evidence of that. Which isn’t to say they aren’t great—this release is one of the band’s most purely entertaining. Each song is built around a similar bass line, and the band layered samples from fans—who recounted their dreams and sent the audio recordings in—onto many tracks. And yet Volume Two never surfaced, and though the group reunited in 2009 after a long break, it also lost founding member Bill Doss to a tragically young death in 2012, so any further music seems unlikely. [Josh Modell]

10. Fear Of Pop, Volume I

In 1997, Ben Folds, Robert Sledge, and Darren Jessee released Whatever And Ever Amen, the album that launched the Ben Folds Five into the cultural mainstream. Whatever And Ever went platinum, with the massively successful single “Brick” still topping many critics’ list of the best Christmastime abortion songs ever written. But after the album’s success, Folds was ready to play around with less conventional songwriting, teaming up with the Five’s producer, Caleb Southern, and John Mark Painter of John And Fleming to form an experimental side project, Fear Of Pop. Their only album, Fear Of Pop: Volume 1 is an odd beast—Folds told a fan site at the time, “Once you’ve sold a million records, you’ve earned the right to experiment self-indulgently at the expense of your record company”—and self-indulge he did, with an album full of long, instrumental jams, and precious little of the piano-driven pop that’s defined so much of his career. There’s some great music on Volume 1—the second track, the funky instrumental “Kops,” is begging to be laid over a chase scene in a movie one of these days—but the album’s most notable track is “In Love,” a spoken-word piece performed by William Shatner. In 1997, Shatner was well into his post-Star Trek career as a walking pop-culture punchline, but the gleeful venom with which he rips into the imagined listener of his bitter, hate-filled rant (“You’re right, I can’t commit… To you”) breathes life into the album. Volume 1 apparently got most of Folds’ experimental urges out of his system; the band never released a follow-up, and Folds seemed happy to return to his signature sound for later releases. He did collaborate with Shatner again, though, producing and co-composing his 2004 album Has Been, which likely never would have come into being without Fear Of Pop. [William Hughes]


11. Ween, Shinola, Vol. 1 (2005)

After the elegiac and surprisingly earnest Quebec in 2003, the writing was on the wall, like brown stains smeared on a bathroom stall. Ween’s end was near, as Gene Ween faced addiction head-on soon after, and the result, before the band’s ugly demise, was the penultimate 2005 Shinola, Vol. 1. A collection of odds and sods, the tracks are alternately juvenile, offensive, and lovely, sounding like a characteristically disjointed but disappointing proper LP. Still, it spawned live staples for Ween’s remaining years, including “Gabrielle” and “Monique The Freak.” There was rabid fan talk of a second volume, but 10 years later we’re still waiting. [Drew Fortune]

12. Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011)

The Beastie Boys were masters at keeping people guessing. In an early 2009 Drowned In Sound interview, Mike D apparently confirmed the existence of two Hot Sauce Committee albums; Part One actually had a confirmed release date of September 2009. But after Adam Yauch’s cancer diagnosis delayed the record’s release, things got fuzzy. The album was re-announced as Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, and with a familiar track listing: “Strange but true, the final sequence for Hot Sauce Committee Part Two works best with all its songs replaced by the 16 tracks we originally had lined up in pretty much the same order we had them in for Hot Sauce Committee Part One,” Yauch noted in an email to the group’s mailing list. Yet when Part Two actually did come out, that track listing was subtly tweaked from the one originally announced for both albums. To this day, it’s unclear which of the volumes is unreleased—or even if two albums were actually planned for release at any point. Well played, Beasties. [Annie Zaleski]


13. De La Soul, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000) and AOI: Bionix (2001)

Here’s a case of a part two never receiving a promised part three. De La Soul introduced 2000’s Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump as the first in a trilogy of albums they optimistically hoped to deliver within a year. For a while it seemed as if they might actually pull it off, albeit slightly behind schedule. A second installment, AOI: Bionix, followed late in 2001, but the trio’s longtime label Tommy Boy collapsed soon afterward, derailing their hopes of finishing a planned DJ-centric final installment of the series. Though the group has from time to time talked about completing the trilogy, they’ve shown little intention of following through. In truth, the project is probably past its expiration point. The Art Official Intelligence albums are such a product of their time, so steeped in the production trends and technological angst of the turn of the century, that it’s hard to imagine what a closing installment might sound like this long after the fact. [Evan Rytlewski]

14. The Traveling Wilburys, Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (1988)

In 1987, George Harrison was booking guest appearances for his solo album Cloud Nine. But by the time he finished rounding up famous friends, he had enough of them for a full band. Joined by Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other” Lynne, the Traveling Wilburys put out a well-received album of folk-rock, promising more to come with the title Vol. 1. Sure enough, the band returned with another set of songs in 1990, but they skipped right past Vol. 2 and released Traveling Wilburys Volume 3. Is there a lost album somewhere under Dylan’s couch cushions? Probably not, but the band wanted you to think so. [Mike Vago]


15. Alan Moore, Big Numbers 1 & 2 (1990)

To be strictly accurate, the world did get part two of Alan Moore’s comic series Big Numbers—it just didn’t get the promised parts three through 12. And even though it happened 25 years ago, the comics world is still complaining about the loss. Moore has described his ambitious planned follow-up to Watchmen as a masterpiece, a magnum opus meant to redefine comics and shake the mainstream industry the way Watchmen shook up superhero stories. But only two issues of the planned 500-page graphic novel were ever released. Artist Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin; Stray Toasters) broke down under the workload and quit the project, which gave the series an extra level of urban-legend allure (“This is the comic book so intense, it broke the artist!”), and attempts to restart the project failed. Given the number of successful projects Moore has undertaken since, it’s odd that no one ever got around to bringing the rest of the series—or at least the other three scripts Moore completed—to the page. [Tasha Robinson]