Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
30k votes 1.8k voters 11.1k views 280 items

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.

1
365 384
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

2
308 240
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

3
335 400
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Appetite for Destruction Guns N' Roses

4
280 223
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

5
231 331
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

6
231 225
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

7
290 366
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Are You Experienced The Jimi Hendrix Experience

8
300 264
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

9
351 243
Boston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

10
202 248
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Please Please Me The Beatles

11
196 192
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

12
156 223
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

13
179 106
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

14
257 356
Ten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

15
189 263
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Velvet Underground & Nico Nico, The Velvet Underground

16
88 104
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

17
136 191
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
127 82
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival

19
55 65
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

20
131 115
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

21
161 234
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

22
88 47
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company Bad Company

23
107 89
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

24
108 73
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
105 129
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

26
163 144
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

27
134 226
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

28
154 135
Queen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

29
110 87
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

30
66 88
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added The Chronic Dr. Dre

31
56 31
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

32
121 62
Cuts Like a Knife is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cuts Like a Knife Bryan Adams

33
108 98
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

34
70 100
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

35
117 64
Get the Knack is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Get the Knack The Knack

36
132 269
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

37
155 256
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

38
176 241
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

39
151 264
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

40
77 95
Horses is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

41
63 20
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added High Voltage AC/DC

42
108 192
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits Dire Straits

43
72 69
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's

44
93 98
Boy is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boy U2

45
52 47
Can't Buy a Thrill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Can't Buy a Thrill Steely Dan

46
56 76
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Shades of Deep Purple Deep Purple

47
110 86
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

48
109 173
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

49
50 18
Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cheap Trick Cheap Trick

50
91 191
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges