music The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

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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.

1
+ - 703 278
Nevermind 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Nevermind Nirvana

The Greatest Albums of All Time The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

2
+ - 579 216
Led Zeppelin II 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
+ - 439 210
Paranoid 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
+ - 393 167
The Bends 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
+ - 432 192
Siamese Dream 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
+ - 382 204
Dirt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

7
+ - 338 147
Queen II 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

8
+ - 306 159
Axis: Bold as Love 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Axis: Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
+ - 271 228
Paul's Boutique 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

10
+ - 362 225
Ride the Lightning 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

11
+ - 332 236
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

12
+ - 309 241
The Colour and the Shape 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
+ - 274 185
Vs. 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

14
+ - 249 175
Pinkerton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

15
+ - 331 206
Ænima 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

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16
+ - 279 144
Strange Days 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

17
+ - 201 186
Back to Black 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

18
+ - 235 162
Doolittle 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

19
+ - 259 212
Toxicity 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

20
+ - 294 175
The Downward Spiral 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

21
+ - 220 151
Sounds of Silence 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

22
+ - 234 191
Beatlemania! With The Beatles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

23
+ - 213 206
Tragic Kingdom 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

24
+ - 126 133
The Band 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

25
+ - 157 134
A Rush of Blood to the Head 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

26
+ - 194 164
Piano Man 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

27
+ - 172 105
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

28
+ - 275 201
The Marshall Mathers LP 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
+ - 236 165
Evil Empire 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

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30
+ - 192 119
Demon Days 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

31
+ - 111 114
Rated R 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Rated R Queens of the Stone Age

32
+ - 124 141
Ritual de lo habitual 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

33
+ - 159 144
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young, Crazy Horse Neil Young & Crazy Horse

34
+ - 165 101
Closer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

35
+ - 152 199
Origin of Symmetry 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

36
+ - 414 82
Ranker Video v

37
+ - 135 84
Transformer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

38
+ - 267 145
Dookie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dookie Green Day

39
+ - 74 33
Disraeli Gears 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
+ - 127 86
Astral Weeks 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

41
+ - 159 177
21 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

42
+ - 115 81
Vulgar Display of Power 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

43
+ - 165 112
Meat Is Murder 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Meat Is Murder The Smiths

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44
+ - 135 104
More Songs About Buildings and... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

45
+ - 72 100
Neon Bible 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Neon Bible Arcade Fire

46
+ - 120 115
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

47
+ - 91 86
Fun House 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Fun House The Stooges

48
+ - 91 84
A Saucerful of Secrets 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

49
+ - 109 117
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

50
+ - 73 62
This Year's Model 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions