Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
85.8k votes 5.6k voters 75.5k views 309 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
1,229 477
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,457 680
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
956 454
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,021 566
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
676 466
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
884 555
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

7
824 514
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

8
742 351
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

9
630 420
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

10
715 581
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

11
566 539
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

12
798 456
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

13
482 383
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
436 495
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
255 207
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

16
601 551
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
645 496
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

18
252 302
2001 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

19
490 270
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

20
571 304
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

21
477 390
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

22
345 275
The Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

23
587 426
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

24
500 478
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

25
528 518
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

26
558 474
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

27
395 326
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

28
315 128
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
414 231
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
494 371
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
401 393
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
364 428
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

33
276 115
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

34
594 368
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
331 249
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
456 407
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
301 221
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

38
245 346
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

39
324 278
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
284 219
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
345 399
21 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

42
354 194
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

43
333 302
Closer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

44
210 253
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
255 357
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

46
301 197
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

47
266 248
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
266 136
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

49
274 455
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
269 308
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time