greatest albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
74.4k votes 4.8k voters 70.9k views 315 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
1,073 409
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

2
1,259 595
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
820 401
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
847 484
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
749 476
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
676 460
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

7
637 320
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

8
614 510
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
528 368
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
696 406
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
455 475
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
424 329
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
493 492
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
534 450
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

The Greatest Albums of All Time

15
376 432
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

16
422 409
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
460 454
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

18
485 388
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

19
510 257
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

20
461 407
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

21
445 324
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

The Best Rock Vocalists

22
274 242
The Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

23
412 247
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

24
344 201
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
404 348
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

26
343 358
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

27
333 285
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

28
538 394
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

29
308 375
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
240 111
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
395 357
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

32
271 223
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
223 88
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

34
204 312
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
302 359
21 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
503 327
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

37
286 274
Closer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

38
216 189
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

39
274 248
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

40
253 407
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
241 188
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
244 179
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

43
194 318
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

44
218 227
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

45
212 120
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

46
298 174
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

47
222 279
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
161 219
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
166 253
Discovery is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Discovery Daft Punk

50
255 267
Meat Is Murder is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Meat Is Murder The Smiths