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
1,033 388
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

2
1,206 572
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
790 380
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
816 455
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
724 457
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
610 305
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
648 444
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
598 484
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
507 351
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
676 390
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
447 454
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
407 314
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
480 473
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
520 430
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
368 413
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

16
406 391
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
442 438
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

18
472 372
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
491 248
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

20
445 389
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

21
262 228
The Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

22
419 309
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

23
390 331
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

24
331 190
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
392 239
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

26
335 341
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

27
302 351
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
318 269
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
506 379
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
224 104
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
389 344
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

32
262 215
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
197 299
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
205 83
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

35
289 352
21 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
487 314
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

37
274 263
Closer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

38
205 181
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

39
248 396
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
264 240
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

41
233 183
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
191 307
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

43
213 220
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

44
231 174
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

45
214 269
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

46
197 113
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

47
287 171
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

48
155 210
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
160 243
Discovery is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Discovery Daft Punk

50
210 253
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time