Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
93.7k votes 6k voters 77.8k views 310 items

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
1,355 525
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,573 733
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,058 490
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,093 636
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
764 535
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
825 380
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
297 252
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
722 456
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
951 611
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
895 561
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
785 635
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
610 595
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
867 495
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
483 545
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
293 356
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
536 426
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
698 537
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

18
654 595
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

19
388 149
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
640 326
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

21
554 298
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

22
443 362
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

23
405 310
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

24
471 264
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
512 428
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
627 460
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
531 523
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
572 558
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
606 520
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
527 412
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
443 424
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
394 472
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

33
321 134
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

34
642 398
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
381 276
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

36
489 438
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
325 238
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
334 251
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

39
354 307
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
393 215
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
260 388
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

42
373 440
21 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

43
251 276
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

44
357 332
Closer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

45
312 149
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

46
341 218
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

47
296 270
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
276 378
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

49
305 120
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars

50
290 485
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time