albums 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
+ - 783 311
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 Best Frontmen in Rock

2
+ - 639 242
Led Zeppelin II 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin

3
+ - 495 233
Paranoid 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paranoid Black Sabbath

4
+ - 463 195
The Bends 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Bends Radiohead

5
+ - 489 222
Siamese Dream 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Siamese Dream The Smashing Pumpkins

6
+ - 419 229
Dirt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dirt Alice in Chains

7
+ - 366 171
Queen II 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Queen II Queen

8
+ - 330 181
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
+ - 369 265
(What's the Story) Morning Glo... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

10
+ - 293 256
Paul's Boutique 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys

11
+ - 411 248
Ride the Lightning 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ride the Lightning Metallica

12
+ - 343 264
The Colour and the Shape 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

13
+ - 370 228
Ænima 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ænima Tool

14
+ - 331 200
The Downward Spiral 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

15
+ - 228 212
Back to Black 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Back to Black Amy Winehouse

The 300 Best Albums of the 00's 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
+ - 310 203
Vs. 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Vs. Pearl Jam

17
+ - 273 201
Pinkerton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Pinkerton Weezer

18
+ - 304 161
Strange Days 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Strange Days The Doors

19
+ - 282 242
Toxicity 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Toxicity System of a Down

20
+ - 264 182
Doolittle 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Doolittle Pixies

21
+ - 255 212
Beatlemania! With The Beatles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

22
+ - 223 139
Demon Days 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Demon Days Gorillaz

23
+ - 249 171
Sounds of Silence 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

24
+ - 234 232
Tragic Kingdom 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

25
+ - 144 153
The Band 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
The Band The Band

26
+ - 270 185
Evil Empire 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Evil Empire Rage Against the Machine

27
+ - 213 187
Piano Man 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Piano Man Billy Joel

28
+ - 177 164
A Rush of Blood to the Head 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

29
+ - 296 222
The Marshall Mathers LP 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

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30
+ - 196 123
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

31
+ - 128 133
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
+ - 306 164
Dookie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Dookie Green Day

33
+ - 157 106
Transformer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Transformer Lou Reed

34
+ - 139 162
Ritual de lo habitual 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Ritual de lo habitual Jane's Addiction

35
+ - 175 160
Everybody Knows This Is Nowher... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

36
+ - 178 128
Closer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Closer Joy Division

37
+ - 165 232
Origin of Symmetry 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

38
+ - 138 108
Vulgar Display of Power 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

39
+ - 152 118
More Songs About Buildings and... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

40
+ - 99 58
Disraeli Gears 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

41
+ - 441 107
Ranker Video v

42
+ - 85 80
This Year's Model 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
This Year's Model Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & The Attractions

43
+ - 152 136
Fashion Nugget 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

The Greatest Guitar Rock Albums of All Time The Greatest Former Child Stars

44
+ - 127 131
It Takes a Nation of Millions ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

45
+ - 107 53
Odelay 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Odelay Beck Hansen

46
+ - 85 120
Neon Bible 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Neon Bible Arcade Fire

47
+ - 130 136
Peace Sells... but Who's Buyin... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time

48
+ - 176 205
21 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
21 Adele

49
+ - 75 65
Reckoning 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Reckoning R.E.M.

50
+ - 142 108
Astral Weeks 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Sophomore Albums of All Time
Astral Weeks Van Morrison