We 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.
21 thoughts on “Poll: Great Debut Albums Of Rock (Or Any Other Genre)”
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.
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
The Doors debut and In The Court of the Zcrimson King spring to mind.
Chicago Transit Authority
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!
Other great debut albums: Boston, Dire Straits and The Cars.
A few others,,,,
Asia, Bad Company, The Band, Chicago, The Doors, Heart, Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pearl Jam.
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.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn!!! Also, VU amp; Nico…
Steely Dan – Can’t Buy A Thrill
Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Doors.
Metallica – Kill Em All
Blue Oyster Cult – Blue Oyster Cult
Boston, ELP, Chicago, Moody Blues Days of Future Passed (which I consider their debut!)
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
One debut that blew me away was The Corrs’ “Forgiven, Not Forgotten”.
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)
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
No one’s mentioned the Allman Brothers Band’s debut?
REM- Murmur anyone?
Oasis- Definitely, Maybe
Weezer – Blue Album
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
Very good list!
Comments are closed.