greatest 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
911 323
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

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2
1,028 486
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
675 324
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
686 371
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
641 375
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
529 245
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
561 376
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
507 418
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
582 330
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
436 302
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

11
389 395
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
425 411
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
316 360
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
352 275
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

15
459 370
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

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16
350 333
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
427 320
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

18
385 376
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

19
394 335
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

20
432 220
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
351 258
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

22
330 292
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

23
306 291
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

24
211 207
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
336 220
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

26
273 169
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

27
256 295
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
280 243
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

29
427 333
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

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30
354 299
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

31
178 87
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

32
175 252
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

33
223 194
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
425 266
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

35
153 63
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

36
244 315
21 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

37
172 264
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
206 155
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
214 353
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
186 187
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
221 206
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

42
163 81
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

43
196 155
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

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44
250 144
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

45
181 229
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

46
166 142
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

47
236 226
Closer is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

48
133 171
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
184 209
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
140 129
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time