Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
36.9k votes 2.1k voters 13.5k views 278 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
470 418
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin

2
379 282
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors

3
202 263
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

4
306 257
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

5
280 366
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

6
359 396
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

7
399 444
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Guns N' Roses

8
346 256
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars

9
372 282
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen

10
427 267
Boston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

11
111 143
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added Dr. Dre

12
241 282
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

13
236 217
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

14
47 76
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added 50 Cent

15
173 278
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

16
231 130
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner

17
185 253
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
84 105
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees

19
143 67
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company

20
175 95
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival

21
302 395
Ten is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

22
226 305
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Nico, The Velvet Underground

23
167 135
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

24
111 129
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Pretenders

25
148 90
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads

26
192 266
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

27
135 147
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Cream

28
194 151
Queen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen

29
93 48
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

30
125 119
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

31
194 166
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ozzy Osbourne

32
111 33
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added AC/DC

33
95 119
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

34
132 108
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie

35
162 299
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones

36
137 122
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith

37
184 290
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

38
151 85
Cuts Like a Knife is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Bryan Adams

39
176 294
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash

40
201 275
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
75 63
Can't Buy a Thrill is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Steely Dan

42
132 224
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits

43
94 117
Horses is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Patti Smith

44
142 87
Get the Knack is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added The Knack

45
82 32
Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cheap Trick

46
68 94
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Deep Purple

47
103 116
Boy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
U2

48
82 89
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52's

49
127 198
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Police

50
59 61
Mr. Tambourine Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Mr. Tambourine Man