James O'Connor writes ...
So…there’s a tough one.
I’m VERY familiar with bands and singers with only one album, that’s sort of a music trivia classic question, and here was my contribution to that list
But two and out? Hmm….
I see Joy Division and The Stone Roses in the answers here and they were my first picks, so I’m going to have to think some more. I know there must be some, so let me review what I think I know.
There are, of course, solo albums and project albums by famous members of other bands like Syd Barrett with two; David Bowie and Tin Machine for two; Animal Logic with Stanley Clarke and Stewart Copeland for two; Go with Steve Winwood and Al DiMeola for two; The Rossington/Collins Band for two; Damn Yankees with Tommy Shaw and Ted Nugent for a couple; U.K. with Bill Bruford, John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Alan Holdsworth; Ginger Baker’s Air Force; The Power Station with Robert Palmer, Tony Thompson and Duran Duran members John and Andy Taylor; Bad English with John Waite, Neil Schon and Jonathon Cain; Chickenfoot with Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani; and Sugar with Bob Mould (of Husker Du), just to name more than a few.
So, what actual original acts were two album wonders?
Well, I guess, after all of the other answers, I’ll have to dig deep:
This San Francisco Rock band had a tremendous cult following with their blend of Classic Rock and Alternative Pop.
Albums: Bellybutton (1990); Spilt Milk (1993)
“That Is Why” (1990)
NWA (or Niggaz Wit Attitudes):
One of the most significant and influential Hip Hop acts of the Gangsta Rap genre, they were originally banned from most radio stations since their lyrics tended to glorify crime, violence, misogyny and anti-police and anti-establishment politics. Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Dr. Dre would later become solo artists in their own right in the 1990s. Their debut album marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. Their second album was the first hardcore Rap album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts.
Albums: Straight Outta Compton (1988); Niggaz4Life (1991)
“Straight Outta Compton” (1988)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood:
Liverpudlians who dance! They braved a debut double album (which has always been a no-no) and managed a HUGE hit from it and subsequent sales to match, but by the second album, had just run out of steam.
Albums: Welcome to the Pleasuredome (1984); Liverpool (1986)
A British Rock band formed in 1992, the band followed a New Wave/Punk/Post-Punk style. They split permanently in 2001.
Albums: Elastica (1995); The Menace (2000)
A New Wave band from Akron, OH, formed in 1978 and split in 1984, as many of the genre’s bands did then.
Albums: Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? (1982); Bruiseology (1983)
“I Know What Boys Like” (1982)
A unique talent, Amy incorporated Jazz, R&B, Soul, and Pop sensibilities into her music and until her death from alcohol poisoning in 2011, was considered one of the best singers England ever knew.
Albums: Frank (2004); Back to Black (2006)
There’s a few for you to double down on.