Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
29.6k votes 1.7k voters 10.9k 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
357 381
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

2
302 235
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

3
327 398
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
274 221
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

5
228 223
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

6
225 329
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

7
284 364
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
293 262
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

9
342 240
Boston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

10
195 190
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

11
199 245
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
155 220
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

13
176 104
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

14
252 351
Ten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

15
188 261
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
84 103
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

17
128 114
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

18
124 81
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
107 88
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

20
159 231
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

21
85 46
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company Bad Company

22
104 128
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

23
107 72
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads: 77 Talking Heads

24
153 133
Queen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

25
160 142
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

26
108 86
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

27
118 60
Cuts Like a Knife is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cuts Like a Knife Bryan Adams

28
107 96
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

29
116 62
Get the Knack is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Get the Knack The Knack

30
68 99
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

31
53 30
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
131 266
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

33
153 254
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

34
77 93
Horses is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

35
171 240
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

36
148 262
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

37
92 96
Boy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boy U2

38
105 190
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits Dire Straits

39
48 62
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

40
71 68
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's

41
51 46
Can't Buy a Thrill is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Can't Buy a Thrill Steely Dan

42
58 19
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added High Voltage AC/DC

43
56 75
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Shades of Deep Purple Deep Purple

44
109 85
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

45
107 171
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

46
103 82
Out of the Cellar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

47
89 188
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges

48
48 17
Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cheap Trick Cheap Trick

49
60 76
She's So Unusual is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
She's So Unusual Cyndi Lauper

50
84 189
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Marquee Moon Television