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
999 368
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

2
1,157 545
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
751 362
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
776 426
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
699 431
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
586 284
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
631 421
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
568 464
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
485 336
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
650 373
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
431 435
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
387 303
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
462 453
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
507 412
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
348 396
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

16
390 377
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
464 359
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
428 418
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

19
475 241
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

20
432 372
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

21
395 295
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

22
248 221
The Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

23
377 230
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
373 319
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

25
315 183
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
328 327
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

27
290 335
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
308 264
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

29
487 364
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
215 97
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
385 329
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

32
250 207
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
191 284
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

34
190 76
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

35
471 298
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

36
273 342
21 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

37
262 251
Closer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

38
195 168
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

39
238 382
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
249 231
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

41
209 209
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
221 176
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

43
182 297
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
222 167
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

45
186 101
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
211 256
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

47
271 165
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

48
149 196
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
152 229
Discovery is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Discovery Daft Punk

50
208 238
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time