Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
95.9k votes 6.1k voters 78.7k views 309 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
1,381 541
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,613 749
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,082 499
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,115 657
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
802 552
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
849 390
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
303 267
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
737 466
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
971 622
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
909 571
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
799 653
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
622 608
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
888 502
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
494 558
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
304 372
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
550 434
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
668 609
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

18
708 550
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

19
404 157
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
655 334
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

21
563 306
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

22
484 270
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

23
411 319
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

24
448 372
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

25
521 436
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
634 469
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
545 533
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
580 569
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
612 529
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
538 422
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
453 431
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
332 138
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

33
404 486
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

34
655 408
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
386 285
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
498 448
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
331 248
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
342 260
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

39
363 315
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
404 222
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
262 285
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

42
264 398
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

43
384 452
21 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

44
330 155
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

45
353 223
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

46
363 343
Closer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

47
304 276
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
279 388
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

49
312 126
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars

50
297 495
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time