25 of the Best Sophomore Albums Ever Made

You know how it goes: a band or a musician puts out a stellar first album, receives heaps of praise and success, and then goes back to the recording studio and turns out a second album. What a bummer, it’s not as good. But is this trend a real thing, or just a myth fueled by how disappointed we, as listeners and critics, can be when artists’ albums don’t live up to our expectations? What follows is in no way a definitive list, but it does show that plenty of great artists were able to avoid the sophomore slump — and, in some cases, turned out the best album of their careers. 

back to black

Back to Black, Amy Winehouse

Three years after her debut album, Frank, Winehouse defined her look and sound with the Mark Ronson-produced Back to Black, which singlehandedly made the late singer an icon and left an indelible mark on modern soul music.