Greatest Albums The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
93.7k votes 6k voters 77.9k views 310 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
1,356 525
Led Zeppelin II is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin

2
1,575 733
Nevermind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nirvana

3
1,059 490
Paranoid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Black Sabbath

4
1,093 637
The Bends is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Radiohead

5
765 535
The Marshall Mathers LP is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

6
825 381
Queen II is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen

7
297 253
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Elton John

8
724 456
Axis: Bold as Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
953 611
Siamese Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Smashing Pumpkins

10
895 562
Dirt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Alice in Chains

11
786 635
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
612 595
Paul's Boutique is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Beastie Boys

13
867 496
Ride the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Metallica

14
484 545
Back to Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Amy Winehouse

15
293 357
2001 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dr. Dre

16
536 427
Beatlemania! With The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

17
699 537
Ænima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tool

18
655 595
The Colour and the Shape is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

19
389 149
Disraeli Gears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

20
641 326
Strange Days is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Doors

21
554 299
Sounds of Silence is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel

22
443 363
Piano Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Billy Joel

23
406 310
The Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band

24
472 264
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

25
513 428
Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pixies

26
627 461
The Downward Spiral is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nine Inch Nails

27
531 524
Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Weezer

28
572 559
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
System of a Down

29
606 521
Vs. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pearl Jam

30
527 413
Demon Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Gorillaz

31
444 424
Tragic Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
No Doubt

32
394 473
A Rush of Blood to the Head is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

33
321 135
Imagine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
richerb added John Lennon

34
642 399
Dookie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Luke3 added Green Day

35
381 277
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
489 439
Evil Empire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rage Against the Machine

37
326 238
More Songs About Buildings and... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
335 251
Odelay is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
stubkar added Beck Hansen

39
355 307
Transformer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Lou Reed

40
394 215
Parallel Lines is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Blondie

41
260 389
Rated R is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queens of the Stone Age

42
374 440
21 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Adele

43
252 276
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
358 332
Closer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Joy Division

45
313 149
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
MohammadrezaAlihosseinybarzi added Queen

46
342 218
Astral Weeks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Van Morrison

47
297 270
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
277 378
Ritual de lo habitual is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Jane's Addiction

49
305 121
Candy-O is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
looksharp added The Cars

50
290 486
Origin of Symmetry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time