Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
53.8k votes 2.9k voters 17.8k views 291 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.

list ordered by

1
310 527
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

2
715 494
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin

3
205 326
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added Dr. Dre

4
112 286
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added 50 Cent

5
415 447
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

6
575 336
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors

7
530 481
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

8
577 525
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Guns N' Roses

9
446 330
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

10
363 340
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

11
544 340
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen

12
486 331
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars

13
131 187
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees

14
248 413
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

15
604 326
Boston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

16
333 265
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

17
257 315
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
395 500
Ten is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

19
308 397
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Nico, The Velvet Underground

20
174 181
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Pretenders

21
254 359
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

22
199 186
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Cream

23
225 382
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones

24
259 101
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company

25
333 171
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner

26
230 172
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

27
141 157
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

28
252 126
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival

29
199 287
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits

30
284 177
Queen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen

31
230 374
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash

32
229 379
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

33
165 155
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

34
158 80
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

35
268 204
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ozzy Osbourne

36
192 126
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads

37
197 137
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie

38
112 126
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Deep Purple

39
189 152
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith

40
256 360
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine

41
134 291
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges

42
125 158
Horses is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Patti Smith

43
73 35
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
stratopimp added Eric Clapton

44
87 53
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Darian G. Burns added Eagles

45
73 44
Texas Flood is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
stratopimp added Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble

46
210 57
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added AC/DC

47
168 267
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Police

48
109 99
Can't Buy a Thrill is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Steely Dan

49
117 296
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Television

50
136 257
My Aim Is True is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Elvis Costello