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
+ - 904 395
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 Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

2
+ - 770 278
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
+ - 587 271
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
+ - 568 282
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
+ - 567 296
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
+ - 456 203
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
+ - 484 301
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
+ - 437 334
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
+ - 508 286
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
+ - 345 322
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
+ - 378 243
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
+ - 376 333
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
+ - 273 284
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
+ - 417 296
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

15
+ - 309 263
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 Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

16
+ - 383 262
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
+ - 349 269
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

18
+ - 329 313
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

19
+ - 306 241
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
+ - 373 193
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
+ - 292 194
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

22
+ - 267 256
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

23
+ - 175 178
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

24
+ - 227 147
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
+ - 290 201
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

26
+ - 296 239
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

27
+ - 247 212
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

28
+ - 353 282
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
+ - 315 247
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 The Greatest Shower Thoughts Ever Thought

30
+ - 214 232
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
+ - 146 196
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
+ - 200 178
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
+ - 367 218
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dookie Green Day

34
+ - 214 268
21 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

35
+ - 156 217
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
+ - 192 156
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

37
+ - 133 73
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
+ - 189 298
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
+ - 175 137
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
+ - 158 164
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
+ - 208 179
Closer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

42
+ - 134 101
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Odelay Beck Hansen

43
+ - 156 184
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 Netflix Original Documentary Series

44
+ - 219 126
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

45
+ - 116 46
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Imagine John Lennon

46
+ - 169 139
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

47
+ - 109 130
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
+ - 162 171
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

49
+ - 123 70
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
+ - 127 113
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time