Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
85.2k votes 5.5k voters 75.3k 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
1,222 471
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,447 673
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,013 560
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

4
946 450
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

5
667 460
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
879 549
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

7
816 509
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

8
738 350
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

9
618 418
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

10
709 576
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

11
562 534
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

12
792 452
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

13
477 381
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
434 491
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
596 548
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

16
639 492
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

17
250 203
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

18
483 269
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

19
568 301
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

20
475 388
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

21
342 273
The Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

22
583 425
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

23
498 476
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

24
248 297
2001 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

25
525 516
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

26
551 472
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

27
392 322
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

28
311 127
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
410 229
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
491 370
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
399 391
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
361 426
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

33
274 114
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

34
592 367
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
327 247
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
453 405
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
298 219
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

38
244 343
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

39
322 275
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
283 217
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
345 397
21 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

42
352 192
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

43
331 299
Closer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

44
206 250
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

45
255 354
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

46
297 195
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

47
265 247
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
264 134
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

49
272 453
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
267 305
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time