albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

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List Rules Must be a band/artist's second full-length album. No EPs, live albums, reissues, etc.

The best sophomore albums of all time include some of the greatest albums of all time and will largely divide music fans as to whether they're the best second albums ever or just another record in a musician's collection. Many of these second albums by bands are superior to the first albums, while others are simply better than most other albums ever released.

It was Elvis Costello who once said something to the effect of "you have your whole life to write your first record and six months to write the second"; it's quite the daunting task for a musician or band who has found themselves fast in the spotlight and under pressure to turn out a second album that's as successful as the first. Most bands fail when it comes to record #2 and never rebound (The Strokes, Futureheads, Tokyo Police Club) while others have done some of their best work many albums in (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Religion, Gogol Bordello). Many of the bands on this list of the greatest sophomore albums went on put out albums better than the first or second, and some just gave up after their sophomore effort.

What is the best sophomore album of all time? What band put out the greatest second album? What bands had better second records than the first? This list of the best second albums by bands is sure to spark a debate among music fans, and that's precisely the point. Make sure to vote for your favorite sophomore album and feel free to add any great second albums that aren't on the list.

If your favorite band made an awful second album, do not put them on the list just because they are your favorite band! This list is about the top second records by bands, not a list of bands that people like. These are important albums that have stood the test of time that will still be the top albums in years to come. If you're out to vote for the best bands ever, check out the greatest bands of all time and vote there.
list ordered by

1
920 405
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

The Greatest Albums of All Time The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

2
788 283
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
599 276
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
579 296
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
578 308
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
469 206
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
494 313
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
447 350
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
517 295
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
352 335
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
387 253
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

12
382 349
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
283 296
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
422 313
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

15
317 275
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's The 36 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

16
388 273
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

17
354 283
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

18
339 321
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

19
317 248
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
383 196
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
271 260
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

22
235 150
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

23
295 200
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

24
179 182
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
304 209
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

26
305 245
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

27
249 217
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

28
362 288
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
322 255
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album Jordan Harbinger's Tips on Being a Better Host

30
218 243
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
151 205
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

32
202 180
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

33
379 224
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

34
218 277
21 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

35
158 225
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

36
199 164
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

37
140 76
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
193 307
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
180 140
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
162 167
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
211 187
Closer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

42
139 108
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

43
158 192
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

The Greatest Guitar Rock Albums of All Time The Best British Documentaries

44
172 142
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

45
119 48
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

46
223 130
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

47
111 137
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

48
168 177
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

49
128 71
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

50
129 114
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time