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
936 425
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

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2
817 291
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
612 285
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
597 319
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
591 325
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
477 214
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
511 330
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
458 368
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
531 300
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
360 350
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
395 270
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
392 365
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
288 315
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
430 328
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

15
327 291
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

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16
391 291
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
332 254
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

18
363 299
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

19
344 340
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

20
397 203
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
282 267
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

22
304 205
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

23
242 155
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

24
183 187
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
224 260
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
312 260
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

27
309 227
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

28
255 224
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

29
371 303
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album Crimes You'd Commit (If You Could Get Away With It)

30
328 271
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

31
156 221
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
204 185
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
389 238
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

34
224 291
21 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

35
148 78
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

36
207 179
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

37
160 241
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

38
182 142
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
197 324
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
165 171
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
130 51
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

42
235 133
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

43
218 200
Closer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

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44
139 75
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

45
176 147
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

46
145 120
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

47
163 207
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
119 148
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

49
172 188
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
132 117
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time