Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
91.9k votes 5.9k voters 77.2k views 308 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
1,319 517
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,540 718
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,030 483
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,073 615
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
746 517
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
798 371
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
288 240
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
703 445
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
929 599
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
871 554
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
769 623
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
600 577
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
847 487
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
467 533
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
283 344
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
521 417
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
681 529
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

18
638 583
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

19
367 143
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
539 290
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

21
617 323
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

22
429 352
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

23
390 302
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

24
456 258
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
505 420
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
615 452
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
523 514
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
558 551
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
591 510
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
518 403
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
429 419
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
309 130
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

33
387 465
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

34
628 392
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
372 268
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
480 430
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
318 235
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
325 244
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

39
349 300
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
385 210
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
257 379
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

42
241 272
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

43
364 429
21 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

44
352 325
Closer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

45
337 213
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

46
301 146
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

47
274 373
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

48
286 266
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

49
293 116
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars

50
287 478
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time