Greatest Albums The Best Albums Released Posthumously  

Ranker Music
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List Rules Studio recordings only, or we'd be here all day...

This list of the best albums release posthumously represents some of the greatest musical accomplishments of artists who died way too soon. When you look at the individual albums listed here, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance. From Otis Redding to Amy Winehouse, artists who had albums released after they died live on through their music, forever. Some of these albums are among the greatest of all time, too. Vote for your favorite posthumous albums and certainly, add any that are missing. You also have the option of reranking this list in any order you choose.

No list of great albums albums released by dead musicians would be complete without Tupac Shakur. After his untimely death in 1996, a string of incredible 2Pac albums were released, including (arguably) his best: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. It's hard to find anyone who doesn't love this album, which was released under 2Pac's stage name, Makaveli. It is without a doubt one of the best hip hop albums ever recorded. It's just a shame that 2Pac didn't live to see its release.

Some of the greatest artists in music whose deaths were the most untimely had amazing posthumous album's released, in some cases long after their passing. One good example: Nick Drake. Drake died in 1974, never having gained great fame. In the decades since his death, however, his three albums have been adored by critics and fans alike (especially Pink Moon).

Artists who died young but continued to have a slew of posthumous albums released also include Jimi Hendrix (First Rays of the New Rising Sun is incredible), The Notorious B.I.G., Frank Zappa (a ton of live albums) and Amy Winehouse, whose compilation posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, certainly lives up to its name.

And then, there's Otis Redding. Redding was killed in a plane crash in 1967 (he was just 26 years old), and his sixth studio album, The Dock of the Bay, came out just months later. Anyone who argues that posthumous albums are always a bad thing need only take a listen to Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding, or any other albums in Otis Redding's discography to know they're wrong.

1
192 73
MTV Unplugged in New York is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
MTV Unplugged in New York Nirvana - Released on Nov. 1, 1994: Kurt Cobain died on April 5, 1994

2
128 61
The Dock of the Bay is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Dock of the Bay Otis Redding - Released Feb. 23, 1968: Redding died December 10, 1967

3
125 60
Pearl is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Pearl Janis Joplin - Released on January 11, 1971: Joplin died on October 4, 1970

4
98 38
American V: A Hundred Highways is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
American V: A Hundred Highways Johnny Cash - Released July 4, 2006: Cash died Sept. 12, 2003

5
102 49
Closer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Closer Joy Division - Released July 18, 1980: Ian Curtis died May 18, 1980

6
94 51
Live at the Fillmore East is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Live at the Fillmore East Jimi Hendrix - Released on Feb. 23, 1999: Hendrix died on Sept.18, 1970

7
57 37
The Sky Is Crying is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Arthur Williams added The Sky Is Crying Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Released November 5, 1991: Vaughan died Aug. 27, 1990

8
53 25
Double Fantasy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Double Fantasy John Lennon, Yoko Ono

9
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Live at Woodstock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
mwtv added Live at Woodstock Jimi Hendrix - Released July 6, 1999: Hendrix died Sept.18, 1970

10
111 79
Sublime: 10th Anniversary Delu... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Sublime Sublime - Released on July 30, 1996: Bradley Nowell died on May 25, 1996

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62 49
Coda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
gamedemon24 added Coda Led Zeppelin - Released Nov. 19, 1982: John Bonham died Sept. 25, 1980

12
101 70
Life After Death is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Life After Death The Notorious B.I.G. - Released March 25, 1997: Biggie died March 9, 1997

13
111 80
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory Tupac Shakur - Nov. 5, 1996: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

14
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First Rays of the New Rising S... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
First Rays of the New Rising Sun Jimi Hendrix - Released April 22, 1997: Hendrix died Sept. 18, 1970

15
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Grievous Angel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Grievous Angel Gram Parsons - Released January 1974: Parsons died Sept. 19, 1973

16
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From a Basement on the Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
From a Basement on the Hill Elliott Smith - Released Oct. 18, 2004: Smith died Oct. 21, 2003

17
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Mystery Girl is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Mystery Girl Roy Orbison - Released Feb. 7, 1989: Orbison died Dec. 6, 1988

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The Immortal Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Immortal Otis Redding Otis Redding - Released June 1968: Redding died Dec. 10, 1967

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Confrontation is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Confrontation Bob Marley & The Wailers - Released May 23, 1983: Marley died May 11, 1981

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31 39
Shake is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Shake Sam Cooke - Released Jan. 1965: Cooke died Dec. 11, 1964

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40 46
Genius Loves Company is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Genius Loves Company Ray Charles - Released Aug. 31, 2004: Charles died June 10, 2004

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Milk and Honey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Milk and Honey John Lennon, Yoko Ono - Released Jan. 27, 1984: Lennon died Dec. 8, 1980

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31 37
Vulnerable is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Vulnerable Marvin Gaye - Released April 22, 1997: Gaye died April 1, 1984

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People, Hell, and Angels is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
gamedemon24 added People, Hell, and Angels Jimi Hendrix - Released March 5, 2013: Hendrix died Sept. 18, 1970

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40 50
Lioness: Hidden Treasures is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Lioness: Hidden Treasures Amy Winehouse - Released Dec. 2, 2011: Winehouse died July 23, 2011

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My Mother's Hymn Book is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
My Mother's Hymn Book Johnny Cash - Released Nov. 25, 2003: Cash died Sept. 12, 2003

27
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R U Still Down? (Remember Me) is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) Tupac Shakur - Released Nov. 25, 1997: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

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Until the End of Time is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Until the End of Time Tupac Shakur - Released March 27, 2001: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

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Streetcore is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Streetcore Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Released Oct. 21 2003: Strummer died Dec. 22, 2002

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45 44
Sketches for My Sweetheart the... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk Jeff Buckley - Released May 26th, 1998: Buckley died May 29, 1997

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Better Dayz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Better Dayz Tupac Shakur - Released Nov. 26, 2002: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

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Love Man is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Love Man Otis Redding - Released June 1969: Redding died Dec. 10, 1967

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7 11
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Ferry73 added Step Back Johnny Winter - Johnny Winter

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Brainwashed is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Phil Marsh added Brainwashed George Harrison - All things Must Pass, My Sweet Lord

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Don’t Worry About Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Don’t Worry About Me Joey Ramone - Released Feb. 19, 2002: Ramone died April 15, 2001

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20 26
Buffalo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Buffalo Frank Zappa - Released April 1, 2007: Zappa died Dec. 4, 1993

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1 0
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Piano & A Microphone 1983 Prince - Released September 21, 2018: Prince died April 21, 20

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Soldier on the Wall is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
punksnotdead added Soldier on the Wall Alex Harvey

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1 2
I Care 4 U is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
I Care 4 U Aaliyah

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0 2
Michael is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Michael

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0 1
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindl... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously

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Born Again is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Born Again The Notorious B.I.G. - Released Dec. 7, 1999: Biggie died March 9, 1997

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7 21
Elvis in Concert is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Elvis in Concert

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Dark Night of the Soul is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Dark Night of the Soul Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse - Released July 12, 2010: Mark Linkous died March 6, 2010

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Michael Hutchence is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Michael Hutchence Michael Hutchence - Released December 14, 1999: Hutchence died Nov. 22, 1997

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Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A,... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
stevan-ognenovski added Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622 Arranged for Two Clarinets by Tale Ognenovski

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The Idols With Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
punksnotdead added The Idols With Sid Vicious Live Concert Album of S. Vicious with The Idols  Rec. in Sep. '78, rel. '93, Sid Vicious died Feb. 2, '79

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I Am the Cosmos is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
I Am the Cosmos Chris Bell - Released Feb. 21, 1992: Bell died Dec. 27, 1978

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The Big Picture is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Big Picture Big L - Released Aug. 1, 2000: Big L died Feb. 15, 1999

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Cosmic Music is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Cosmic Music John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Alice and John Coltrane - Released 1968: Coltrane died July 17, 1967