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
961 449
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

The Greatest Albums of All Time The Best Drummers of All Time

2
849 298
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
631 293
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
628 340
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
609 348
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
494 224
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
526 349
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
472 391
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
544 311
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
372 369
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
410 286
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

12
403 387
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
298 337
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

14
437 348
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

15
331 313
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's The Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
341 262
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
400 309
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
373 316
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

19
356 360
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

20
414 210
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
289 279
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

22
256 160
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

23
315 210
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
193 194
The Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
235 278
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
266 231
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

27
324 243
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

28
319 279
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

29
384 322
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album People We Wish Were Still Alive

30
338 291
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

31
164 238
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

32
209 191
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
398 257
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

34
231 307
21 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

35
157 82
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

36
162 259
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

37
188 148
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
202 340
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
210 194
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

40
173 179
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
242 139
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

42
137 57
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

43
147 78
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

The Greatest Guitar Rock Albums of All Time The Best Netflix Original Specials

44
181 150
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

45
169 220
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

46
223 216
Closer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

47
153 135
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

48
122 164
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
177 200
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
137 121
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time