The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time

I was looking over Rolling Stones list and thought it might be good conversation starter.

I haven’t heard most of them, and I dislike rap, so those are a nope for me, but some others I might give a sample, just to see. But what are the ones you agree or disagree with, what are the ones they left off? They went rock heavy but if you wanna to expand on that, I say go ahead on.


Ones I like that they left off?

Alice Cooper, Pretties for You - This underrated low-fi debut is not traditionally what you’d expect from this group, and while it’s often rejected by rockers, it’s been embraced by lovers of the avant-garde and psychedelic rock - a cult classic.

Melanie, Born to Be - Folkies didn’t receive much love from RS, too bad I think this is a fantastic debut - the first song impresses right off the bat, and its steady right down the line. Bobo’s Party, Momma, Momma and I Really Loved Harold are the musical/lyrical highlights for me

Miss Angie, 100 Million Eyeballs - it was Christian rock, so yeah, I wouldn’t expect it to be on their radar, but it had catchy melodies and great guitar work (for some reason she shifted over to soft, electronic music on the follow up, and I wasn’t a fan)

The Knack, Get the Knack

Oingo Boingo, Only a Lad

Tubeway Army (featuring Gary Numan)

Michael Penn, March

Blondie (self-titled) - A heck of a lot of fun, I really liked early Blondie, their first 3 albums were just straight forward rock, and I enjoyed them like that.

The Monkees (self-titled)

The Tubes (self-titled)

The La’s (or did they exclude one and dones?)


Several I like that they included
94: Arcade Fire, ‘Funeral’ (2004)
88: Violent Femmes, ‘Violent Femmes’ (1983)
87: Cyndi Lauper, ‘She’s So Unusual’ (1983)
73: Pink Floyd, ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ (1967)
60: The Go-Go’s, ‘Beauty and the Beat’ (1981)
57: Elvis Presley, ‘Elvis Presley’ (1956)
43: The B-52’s, ‘The B-52s’ (1979)
30: The Cars, ‘The Cars’ (1978)
21: The Beatles, ‘Please Please Me’ (1963)
3: The Velvet Underground, ‘The Velvet Underground and Nico’ (1967)
1: Ramones, ‘Ramones’ (1976)

My favorites that they included (with their write-ups)


Devo, ‘Q: Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!’ (1978)
Most bands try to go for a hot new sound on their debut album. Devo did them all one better with a hot new philosophy – impressing the gospel of societal “devolution” on a Seventies America that definitely needed to hear it. Billing themselves as “suburban robots here to entertain corporate life forms,” they played tight, torrid music that contorted the assembly line pulse of their native Akron, Ohio on songs like “Jocko Homo,” “Uncontrollable Urge” and a version of “Satisfaction” that stripped the Stones original down to its corroded chassis.


Roxy Music, ‘Roxy Music’ (1972)
In England in the early Seventies, there was nerdy art-rock and sexy glam-rock and rarely did the twain meet. Until this record, that is. Roxy Music mixed future-shock experimentalism in the form of Brian Eno‘s synth-doodles with Old-world charm in the form of Bryan Ferry’s tuxedoed croon. “2HB,” an ode to Humphrey Bogart, looked back to the grace of vintage Hollywood, while the storming electro-glitz of “Virginia Plain” proved they could write wham-bam hits and translucent cyber-rock like “Ladytron” laid the cloud-car highway to Radiohead and beyond.


Weezer, ‘Weezer’ (1994)
When it came out, Weezer’s debut was merely a cool, quirky power-pop album with a couple of hit singles: “Buddy Holly” and “Undone (The Sweater Song).” But Rivers Cuomo’s band became a major influence the young sad-sack punkers who today claim Weezer as one of emo’s pioneers. Mixing winking deadpan delivery with serious hooks, guarded sensitivity and a deep disinterest in alt-rock’s then-roiling culture wars, they came up with a record that’s aged much better than a lot of the serious indie-rock of the time – denizens of which dismissed the Weez as a bad, major-label joke. Well, who’s smirking now?


The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ‘Are You Experienced’ (1967)
Every idea we have of the guitarist as groundbreaking individual artist comes from this record. It’s what Britain sounded like in late 1966 and early 1967: ablaze with rainbow blues, orchestral guitar feedback and the personal cosmic vision of black American émigré Jimi Hendrix. Hendrixs incendiary guitar was historic in itself, the luminescent sum of his chitlin-circuit labors with Little Richard and the Isley Brothers and his melodic exploitation of amp howl. But it was the pictorial heat of songs like “Manic Depression” and “The Wind Cries Mary” that established the transcendent promise of psychedelia. Hendrix made soul music for inner space. “It’s a collection of free feeling and imagination,” he said of the album. “Imagination is very important.”


I doubt I could persuasively argue that any of the albums they named don’t belong on the list, but I definitely could make a case for including any of the following that I didn’t see:

Funkadelic — Funkadelic
The Allman Brothers Band — The Allman Brothers Band
Creedence Clearwater Revival — Creedence Clearwater Revival
Outlandos d’Amour — The Police
Can’t Buy a Thrill — Steely Dan
Freak Out — The Mothers of Invention
Just As I Am — Bill Withers


Two that I feel definitely belong on the list:

Contained “I Walk The Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!”, all songs he would be identified with for the rest of his life.

It reached Number One on the Pop Albums chart and won 2 Grammy Awards.


Oh man – how could they overlook this one too?


My favorites are R.E.M.‘s Murmur, Television’s Marquee Moon, Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and Are You Experienced, all of which are on there.

Off the top of my head I probably would add Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill and Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation.