albums 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
206 277
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

2
139 109
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

3
152 150
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

4
107 123
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

5
142 222
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

6
164 182
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

7
161 216
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
111 130
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

9
49 8
Tomorrow Is Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Tomorrow Is Yesterday

10
80 83
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

11
183 304
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Appetite for Destruction Guns N' Roses

12
100 76
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

13
152 168
Boston is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

14
53 32
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads: 77 Talking Heads

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15
96 122
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
115 172
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Please Please Me The Beatles

17
97 143
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
58 40
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

19
45 46
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

20
41 32
Horses is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

21
73 73
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

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22
83 74
Queen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

23
73 64
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

24
50 39
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

25
70 43
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival

26
55 46
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

27
51 42
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

28
42 50
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

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29
19 13
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

30
86 114
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

31
70 49
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

32
35 28
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's

33
80 130
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

34
48 65
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges

35
49 66
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Marquee Moon Television

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36
48 44
Boy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boy U2

37
37 32
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Shades of Deep Purple Deep Purple

38
60 61
Definitely Maybe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

39
39 36
Unknown Pleasures is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Unknown Pleasures Joy Division

40
135 201
Ten is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

41
63 67
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

42
24 19
Yes is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Yes Yes

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43
52 66
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Smiths The Smiths

44
59 64
Too Fast for Love is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Too Fast for Love Mötley Crüe

45
84 130
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

46
94 113
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

47
47 64
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits Dire Straits

48
24 25
The Runaways is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Runaways The Runaways

49
34 40
Is This It is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Is This It The Strokes

50
18 19
Mr. Tambourine Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Mr. Tambourine Man