music The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

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List Rules Only debut studio albums allowed. No sophomore albums, EPs, mix tapes, or compilations.

It’s no coincidence that great bands and artists have some of the best debut albums of all time. You can tell a lot about a music artist from their first album, for better or worse. A debut album sets the stage for what audiences can expect, including genre, style, inventiveness, and many more details. For some talented artists, a debut album can be genre changing and influence pop culture. But what are the greatest debut albums of all time? See what music lovers have to say in the ranking below.

For some bands, a debut album may be their best work or even their only work. More than a few break up after their first effort. For many others, it may be their best work and they may end up being one-hit wonders. Not many artists continue to find more success after initial efforts.

For the purpose of this list however, we only care about that first seminal album. So vote for the artists that you think have the very best debut albums of all time. No sophomore albums allowed. If you don’t see a particularly great debut album listed, add it so that others may vote on it. All genres welcome.

list ordered by

1
185 253
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

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2
128 96
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

3
139 145
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

4
137 212
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

5
96 114
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

6
100 124
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

7
151 173
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

8
151 206
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Are You Experienced The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9
148 167
Boston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

10
171 288
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Appetite for Destruction Guns N' Roses

11
111 173
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Please Please Me The Beatles

12
48 31
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

13
88 136
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

14
68 74
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

15
130 199
Ten is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

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16
98 99
Kill 'Em All is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Kill 'Em All Metallica

17
71 127
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

18
39 48
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

19
67 65
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

20
85 117
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Velvet Underground & Nico Nico, The Velvet Underground

21
96 63
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

22
50 36
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

23
77 67
Queen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

24
43 29
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads: 77 Talking Heads

25
78 109
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

26
70 61
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

27
77 128
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

28
66 38
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival

29
54 64
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

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30
50 41
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

31
84 109
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

32
47 38
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

33
62 67
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Iron Maiden Iron Maiden

34
32 29
Horses is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

35
33 25
Legend: The Best of Toto is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Toto Toto

36
39 42
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

37
53 73
Pretty Hate Machine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretty Hate Machine Nine Inch Nails

38
66 46
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

39
13 9
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

40
72 107
Bleach is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bleach Nirvana

41
55 57
Too Fast for Love is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Too Fast for Love Mötley Crüe

42
43 62
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Marquee Moon Television

43
70 105
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

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44
59 74
Facelift is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Facelift Alice in Chains

45
48 60
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Smiths The Smiths

46
60 76
Core is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Core Stone Temple Pilots

47
48 60
My Aim Is True is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Aim Is True Elvis Costello

48
63 96
Licensed to Ill is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Licensed to Ill Beastie Boys

49
43 54
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges

50
27 24
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's