greatest albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
1,035 389
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

2
1,207 575
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

3
794 380
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
818 457
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
730 457
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
612 305
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

7
652 445
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

8
598 487
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

9
509 353
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
678 390
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
447 455
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

12
407 316
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
482 474
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

14
521 430
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

Old Celebrities You Didn't Realize Are Still Alive

15
369 413
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

16
407 391
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

17
443 438
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

18
473 372
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
448 389
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

21
263 228
The Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

The Best R.E.M. Albums

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
332 190
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
393 239
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 Best Beatles Albums

29
507 379
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

30
226 104
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
263 215
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 Best Rock Vocalists

36
488 314
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Dookie Green Day

37
274 264
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
265 240
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

Breaking The Law: Weird And Wild Stories About Judas Priest

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
232 174
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

45
198 113
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added A Night at the Opera Queen

46
214 270
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

47
288 172
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
250 255
Meat Is Murder is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Meat Is Murder The Smiths