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
+ - 875 379
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

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2
+ - 747 266
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
+ - 572 261
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
+ - 546 264
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
+ - 551 279
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
+ - 437 197
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
+ - 471 288
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
+ - 422 318
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
+ - 492 276
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
+ - 331 310
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
+ - 366 233
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
+ - 369 316
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
+ - 264 268
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
+ - 406 280
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

15
+ - 299 249
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

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16
+ - 369 248
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
+ - 364 185
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

18
+ - 338 254
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

19
+ - 315 302
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

20
+ - 294 232
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

21
+ - 290 230
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

22
+ - 258 249
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

23
+ - 282 188
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
+ - 169 170
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
+ - 222 140
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
+ - 273 188
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

27
+ - 240 205
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

28
+ - 341 271
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
+ - 211 217
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

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30
+ - 306 236
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

31
+ - 142 184
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
+ - 197 174
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
+ - 357 205
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dookie Green Day

34
+ - 186 147
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

35
+ - 168 129
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

36
+ - 150 207
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

37
+ - 207 257
21 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

38
+ - 128 69
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
+ - 185 284
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
+ - 170 134
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
+ - 155 157
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
+ - 202 169
Closer is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

43
+ - 110 41
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Imagine John Lennon

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44
+ - 152 173
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

45
+ - 209 122
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

46
+ - 105 121
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

47
+ - 159 162
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
+ - 95 173
Neon Bible is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Neon Bible Arcade Fire

49
+ - 110 67
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
+ - 163 189
Fashion Nugget is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time