Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
75.9k votes 4.9k voters 71.8k views 316 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.

1
1,094 418
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

2
1,283 613
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
838 405
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
867 499
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
759 488
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
650 323
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
692 473
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
621 521
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
537 378
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

10
705 410
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
459 485
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
428 333
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
384 437
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
500 504
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

15
542 459
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

16
516 259
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

17
419 248
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

18
430 420
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

19
277 244
The Band is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

20
467 464
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

21
490 397
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

22
465 418
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

23
450 330
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

24
336 285
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

25
350 202
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
410 355
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

27
248 111
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
345 362
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

29
568 400
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
315 381
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
227 89
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

32
396 365
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

33
274 224
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

34
208 319
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

35
277 253
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

36
309 361
21 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

37
510 335
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

38
305 176
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

39
291 280
Closer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

40
222 194
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

41
257 413
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
165 226
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

43
244 191
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

44
200 324
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

45
222 230
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

46
246 181
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

47
220 122
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

48
188 137
Desperado is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Desperado Eagles

49
213 77
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added Candy-O The Cars

50
225 286
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time