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
936 335
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

The Greatest Albums of All Time The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

2
1,066 501
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
699 327
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
706 387
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
650 390
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
539 252
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
583 384
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
521 431
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
600 339
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

10
447 310
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

11
402 404
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
473 379
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

13
432 423
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
322 368
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

15
358 280
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

16
360 341
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
434 328
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
395 384
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

19
400 343
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

20
445 222
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

21
363 265
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

22
339 299
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

23
219 210
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

24
282 172
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
342 221
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
308 296
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

27
263 304
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
287 246
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

29
451 340
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 The Greatest Shower Thoughts Ever Thought

30
189 87
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
362 304
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

32
178 259
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

33
229 197
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

34
435 272
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

35
159 65
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added Imagine John Lennon

36
249 322
21 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

37
172 149
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Odelay Beck Hansen

38
175 274
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

39
220 363
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
208 162
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
191 192
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

42
227 215
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

43
167 82
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 Greatest Former Child Stars

44
196 236
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

45
200 158
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

46
254 147
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Parallel Lines Blondie

47
241 233
Closer is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

48
135 180
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
192 216
Vulgar Display of Power is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
146 129
A Saucerful of Secrets is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time