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The 30 Best Sophomore Albums of All-Time

For musicians, few things are more terrifying than releasing a stellar debut album and having label executives, critics, and fans anticipate an equally remarkable follow-up. Far too many artists and groups have fallen victim to this heightened awareness from the music community. There’s a reason why the “sophomore slump” is so feared. It happens to tons of artists.

While many artists stumble on album number two, some have looked down the barrel without flinching. Many of those on this list have gone on to have storied careers. Being able to ignore expectations, excitement, and buzz and create excellent music that realizes the promise of your debut is a sign of special talent. To celebrate artists who have avoided the sophomore slump, we gathered 30 of our favorite second albums, listed below in chronological order.