It’s a truth often acknowledged on this site that a stellar debut is often followed up by a less than earth-shattering second album. But have we explored a different pattern: a respectable debut, followed by a quantum leap forwards on the second album. The Arcade Fire’s debut Funeral saw them unveil a compelling sound, but one not always fashioned into memorable songs. Its the second album, The Neon Bible, that booted them into the stratosphere: to the sound they added memorable songs, a complete apocalyptic scenario going on lyrics-wise, and an album that held together as a start-to-finish listen. Second example: Leisure is a couple of singles, one an insanely catchy/annoying earworm, and not a lot else. Modern Life Is Rubbish instantly tapped Blur into a completely new depth of songwriting, mod-derived imagery and musical stylings and – well what became the Blur that would come to define Britpop and nineties cool Britannia. Your nominations for quantum leaps between first and second please.