Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
92.1k votes 5.9k voters 77.4k 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
1,323 520
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,549 724
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,033 486
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,078 620
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
752 520
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
806 374
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
288 243
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
703 448
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
933 602
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
875 557
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
773 626
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
601 582
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
849 490
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
471 535
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
286 346
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
523 418
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
640 586
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

18
681 531
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

19
368 144
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
542 292
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

21
619 324
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

22
432 353
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

23
391 303
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

24
457 259
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
505 421
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
616 453
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
526 515
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
560 553
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
594 512
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
522 404
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
432 420
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
390 465
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

33
310 131
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

34
632 393
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
372 269
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
481 432
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
326 244
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
386 210
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
257 381
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

42
367 429
21 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

43
242 273
This Year's Model is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

44
354 326
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
303 146
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

47
288 266
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
274 373
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

49
289 478
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
293 117
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars