Worried about having an epic debut album and then failing to stay up to that same level of awesome? No sweat, here are twelve sophomore albums that did sufficiently better than the band's freshman attempt...
1. Nirvana - "Nevermind"
Is it a better album than "Bleach"? No, but let's face it - if not for Kurt Cobain and company's second release, grunge probably wouldn't even be a thing in the mainstream. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the soundtrack of 1991.
2. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"
Here's an album that almost definitely is an overall step up from the band's first try. Except the title song - can you say "overplayed"?
3. Poison - "Open Up And Say Aaaaahhhhh!"
If Poison frontman Bret Michaels can say he thinks "Look What the Cat Dragged In" sounds like a bunch of half-decent demo tracks, you know just about anything they could put out next is better. This album is considered by glambangers to be the highlight of Poison's career.
4. Tears For Fears - "Songs From the Big Chair"
This 1980s New Wave duo scored massive radio airplay with this album and it was so successful that I have seen a greatest hits CD that was basically just a rearranged version of this album and 2 other songs.
5. Cream - "Disraeli Gears"
"Sunshine of Your Love," "Tales of Brave Ulysses," "Strange Brew." Those are probably the first songs anybody who is not a Cream fan, but knows of the band will think of and they're all on this album.
6. Judas Priest - "Sad Wings of Destiny"
With their debut record, "Rocka Rolla," the young Judas Priest sounded like a rock band. With "Sad Wings," they sound like they were on the right road to being metal gods!
7. Foo Fighters - "The Colour and The Shape"
This is still considered the Foos best record by many of their fans and many radio DJs and it established them as a force to be reckoned with, as opposed to the Nirvana drummer doing a Trent Reznor thing.
8. New Order - "Power, Corruption & Lies"
Although I personally prefer this dance music group's debut album, "Movement," there's simply no denying the power of "Blue Monday" at a rave club!
9. Bon Jovi - "Slippery When Wet"
Back when Bon Jovi first started out, country-pop wasn't even existent and this band ROCKED. I doubt it will ever be possible to turn on any FM station playing rock music and not hear at least one song off this album, sometime during the day.
10. Fleetwood Mac - "Rumors"
I shouldn't need to say this, it should already be known to all Fleetwood Mac fans, but "Rumors" is this band's highest charting album and featured quite a few of their biggest tracks, including "Go Your Own Way."
11. Slayer - "Hell Awaits"
I don't really like Slayer, but the fact that this, the thrash metal group's second album is so widely cited as their best ever was enough for me to consider this worthy of inclusion on the list.
12. Smashing Pumpkins - "Siamese Dream"
This was the album that spawned the grunge act's two best-known songs, "Today" and "Cherub Rock" as well as effectively putting them on an even ground with fellow grungers, Nirvana.
I'm sure there's some awesome sophomore albums I missed, so, feel free to comment!