Did you know that Leftoverture was Kansas’ fourth album? On a major label? And if you did, can you name the three albums that preceded it? I mean, without looking it up on Wikipedia or Discogs? Of course you can’t.
I have no proof of this, of course, but I feel like the “not having a hit until the fourth or fifth (or later) album” was a particularly 1970s thing. Just off of the top of my head: REO Speedwagon, Foghat, KISS, AC/DC, Rush, Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult, the list goes on and on.