Van Halen DebutWe haven’t had us a poll for quite some time. I think I have asked your opinion on just about everything that can be asked about. However, I’m fairly positive that I haven’t asked this one.

Over the course of recorded history, bands have been made (or broken) on the strength of their debut releases. One such powerful debut that I remember was the Van Halen 1978 Warner release. As a new band, they toured with Black Sabbath (saw this show in Chicago Amphitheatre (may it rot in venue hell), and Black Sabbath needed a full ten minutes or more to regain the audience after an explosive Van Halen set). After their initial support tour, sales of their debut sky-rocketed and is now heralded as one of the all time great albums. I concur!

But Van Halen wasn’t the only band with great beginnings. There are those that may bestow Appetite For Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses with that enviable award. Or Boston’s first. Or the first Beatles! The first Talking Heads album! I would also argue for Horses by Patti Smith, Marquee Moon by Television, the first New York Dolls album, even the debut from Ted Nugent.

Of course, there are many of the generally ignored or unknown ones. While it makes sense to include a debut from Carly Simon (1971), few would think of it. Or how about Angel and their stunning 1975 debut leading up to their rapid rise in fame? Of course we could go on all day. But more fun would be to hear every one else’s listings of great debut albums.

Your turn!


By MARowe

21 thoughts on “Poll: Great Debut Albums Of Rock (Or Any Other Genre)”
  1. Without even giving it much thought, Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Boston come to mind. But I agree, that first Van Halen album is hard to top.

  2. Great topic.

    Hendrix, Jimi Are You Experienced
    Doors The Doors
    Band Music From Big Pink
    Smith, Patti Horses
    Clash The Clash (UK)
    Talking Heads 77
    Costello, Elvis My Aim Is True
    Beck, Jeff Truth
    Mason, Dave Alone Together
    Dr. John Gris Gris
    Country Joe amp; the Fish Electric Music For The Mind amp; Body
    Television Marquee Moon
    Sidran, Ben Feel Your Groove
    Crosby, Stills amp; Nash Crosby, Stills amp; Nash
    Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground amp; Nico
    Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks
    Roches The Roches
    Cale, J.J. Naturally
    Parker, Graham Howlin Wind
    Pretenders The Pretenders
    Mothers Of Invention Freak Out
    Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man

  3. One that never gets mentioned but had a big impact on my friends and I was the debut from W.A.S.P. It had a bit of everything…from teen angst (School Daze) to social empowerment (I Wanna Be Somebody) over to sleaze (L.O.V.E. Machine) and right around to a demonic track (Sleeping In The Fire). For young metal heads it had it all!

  4. A few others,,,,
    Asia, Bad Company, The Band, Chicago, The Doors, Heart, Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pearl Jam.

  5. Kings Of The Sun, The Knack, Jet…so, so many. As the saying goes, the first is the easiest as that represents material the band had been working on for years, playing in clubs and seeing the audience react and knowing what to throw away and what to keep. Joe Jackson, The Police, The Cars…still so, so many debut albums that were/are awesome.

  6. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Doors.

    Metallica – Kill Em All
    Blue Oyster Cult – Blue Oyster Cult

  7. Kiss – Kiss
    Boston – Boston
    Pearl Jam – Ten
    The Black Crowes – Shake Your Moneymaker
    Montrose – Montrose
    Dio – Holy Diver
    Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz
    Led Zeppelin I

  8. AC/DC – High Voltage
    David Sanborn – Taking Off
    Deep Sea Skiving – Bananarama
    Johnny Winter – The Progressive Blues Experiment
    Steve Hackett – Please Don’t Touch (1st solo album)

  9. Too many to list, but a few that really changed my listening forever:

    Vanilla Fudge – Vanilla Fudge
    Mahavishnu Orchestra – The Inner Mounting Flame
    Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
    Cream – Fresh Cream
    The Doors – The Doors
    King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King

  10. My top 20 debuts:

    Jimi Hendrix– Are You Experienced? 1967
    The Clash– The Clash (US+UK) 1977
    Elvis Costello– My Aim Is True 1977
    Violent Femmes– Violent Femmes 1982
    The Band– Music From Big Pink 1968
    X– Los Angeles 1980
    Gomez– Bring It On 1998
    Supergrass– I Should Coco 1995
    Derek amp; The Dominos– Layla amp; Other Assorted Love Songs 1970
    Richard And Linda Thompson– I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight 1973

    The Police– Outlandos D’Amour 1978
    The Velvet Underground– The Velvet Underground And Nico 1967
    Joe Jackson– Look Sharp! 1979
    The Pretenders– The Pretenders 1980
    Television– Marquee Moon 1977
    Jellyfish– Bellybutton 1990
    Pearl Jam– Ten 1991
    Counting Crows– August And Everything After 1993
    Ben Folds Five– Ben Folds Five 1995
    Big Star– #1 Record 1972

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