Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
97.4k votes 6.3k voters 79.5k views 314 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
1,403 563
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,643 768
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,103 515
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,133 676
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
834 565
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
862 400
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
306 279
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
752 475
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
986 632
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
923 582
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
818 662
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
634 620
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
906 506
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
503 561
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
316 379
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
555 439
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
681 616
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

18
716 556
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

19
412 160
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
663 340
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

21
568 311
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

22
492 273
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

23
452 376
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

24
414 324
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

25
533 441
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
638 477
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
560 542
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
592 574
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
622 536
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
548 430
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
459 434
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
340 144
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

33
415 491
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

34
667 415
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
390 289
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
506 453
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
334 251
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
347 265
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

39
368 319
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
410 224
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
265 290
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
267 402
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

43
388 454
21 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

44
335 157
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

45
355 224
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

46
309 277
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

47
365 347
Closer is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

48
281 393
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

49
317 129
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars

50
300 500
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time