Greatest Albums The Best Albums Released Posthumously  

Ranker Music
Originally by
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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.

list ordered by

1
198 77
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
132 64
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
129 61
Pearl is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Janis Joplin - Released on January 11, 1971: Joplin died on October 4, 1970

4
101 39
American V: A Hundred Highways is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Johnny Cash - Released July 4, 2006: Cash died Sept. 12, 2003

5
103 52
Closer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Joy Division - Released July 18, 1980: Ian Curtis died May 18, 1980

6
98 52
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
59 39
The Sky Is Crying is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Arthur Williams added Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Released November 5, 1991: Vaughan died Aug. 27, 1990

8
57 28
Double Fantasy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
John Lennon, Yoko Ono

9
64 45
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
115 82
Sublime: 10th Anniversary Delu... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Sublime - Released on July 30, 1996: Bradley Nowell died on May 25, 1996

11
118 83
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Tupac Shakur - Nov. 5, 1996: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

12
107 73
Life After Death is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Notorious B.I.G. - Released March 25, 1997: Biggie died March 9, 1997

13
62 51
Coda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
gamedemon24 added Led Zeppelin - Released Nov. 19, 1982: John Bonham died Sept. 25, 1980

14
63 55
First Rays of the New Rising S... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Jimi Hendrix - Released April 22, 1997: Hendrix died Sept. 18, 1970

15
61 53
From a Basement on the Hill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Elliott Smith - Released Oct. 18, 2004: Smith died Oct. 21, 2003

16
47 33
Mystery Girl is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Roy Orbison - Released Feb. 7, 1989: Orbison died Dec. 6, 1988

17
48 45
Grievous Angel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Gram Parsons - Released January 1974: Parsons died Sept. 19, 1973

18
49 45
The Immortal Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Otis Redding - Released June 1968: Redding died Dec. 10, 1967

19
41 47
Confrontation is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Released May 23, 1983: Marley died May 11, 1981

20
32 41
Shake is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Sam Cooke - Released Jan. 1965: Cooke died Dec. 11, 1964

21
40 48
Genius Loves Company is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Ray Charles - Released Aug. 31, 2004: Charles died June 10, 2004

22
32 38
Vulnerable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Marvin Gaye - Released April 22, 1997: Gaye died April 1, 1984

23
43 47
Milk and Honey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
John Lennon, Yoko Ono - Released Jan. 27, 1984: Lennon died Dec. 8, 1980

24
30 23
My Mother's Hymn Book is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Johnny Cash - Released Nov. 25, 2003: Cash died Sept. 12, 2003

25
52 59
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Tupac Shakur - Released Nov. 25, 1997: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

26
40 50
Lioness: Hidden Treasures is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Lioness: Hidden Treasures Amy Winehouse - Released Dec. 2, 2011: Winehouse died July 23, 2011

27
55 64
Until the End of Time is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Tupac Shakur - Released March 27, 2001: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

28
27 28
People, Hell, and Angels is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
46 45
Sketches for My Sweetheart the... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Jeff Buckley - Released May 26th, 1998: Buckley died May 29, 1997

30
30 35
Streetcore is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Released Oct. 21 2003: Strummer died Dec. 22, 2002

31
47 59
Better Dayz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Tupac Shakur - Released Nov. 26, 2002: Shakur died Sept. 13, 1996

32
28 38
Love Man is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Otis Redding - Released June 1969: Redding died Dec. 10, 1967

33
6 1
Brainwashed is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Phil Marsh added George Harrison -

All things Must Pass, My Sweet Lord

34
7 11
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Ferry73 added Johnny Winter - Johnny Winter

35
22 37
Don’t Worry About Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Joey Ramone - Released Feb. 19, 2002: Ramone died April 15, 2001

36
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

37
4 12
Soldier on the Wall is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
punksnotdead added Alex Harvey

38
1 1
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Piano & A Microphone 1983 Prince -

Released September 21, 2018: Prince died April 21, 20

39
1 3
I Care 4 U is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
I Care 4 U Aaliyah

40
30 56
Born Again is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
The Notorious B.I.G. - Released Dec. 7, 1999: Biggie died March 9, 1997

41
0 2
Michael is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Michael

42
0 1
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindl... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously

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

44
18 38
Michael Hutchence is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Michael Hutchence - Released December 14, 1999: Hutchence died Nov. 22, 1997

45
16 42
Dark Night of the Soul is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse - Released July 12, 2010: Mark Linkous died March 6, 2010

46
3 8
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

47
21 37
I Am the Cosmos is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Chris Bell - Released Feb. 21, 1992: Bell died Dec. 27, 1978

48
21 37
The Big Picture is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Big L - Released Aug. 1, 2000: Big L died Feb. 15, 1999

49
16 39
Dreaming of You is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Selena - Released July 18, 1995: Selena died March 31, 1995

50
14 37
The Night is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Albums Released Posthumously
Morphine - Released Feb. 1, 2000: Mark Sandman died July 3, 1999