Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
49.9k votes 2.6k voters 16.7k views 260 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
279 454
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

2
645 468
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin

3
175 275
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added Dr. Dre

4
91 229
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
385 418
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

6
487 456
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

7
524 318
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors

8
530 502
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Guns N' Roses

9
411 307
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

10
499 325
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen

11
331 324
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

12
450 315
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars

13
220 383
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

14
561 306
Boston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

15
309 254
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

16
117 168
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees

17
239 296
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
365 475
Ten is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

19
286 370
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
161 166
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Pretenders

21
232 337
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

22
186 175
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Cream

23
204 363
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones

24
233 94
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company

25
216 163
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

26
306 164
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner

27
131 149
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

28
236 122
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival

29
187 271
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits

30
271 169
Queen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen

31
214 354
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash

32
216 357
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

33
156 150
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

34
143 77
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
184 122
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads

36
249 198
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ozzy Osbourne

37
180 134
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie

38
105 119
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Deep Purple

39
179 144
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith

40
241 341
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
67 28
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
stratopimp added Eric Clapton

42
128 277
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges

43
118 154
Horses is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Patti Smith

44
78 44
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Darian G. Burns added Eagles

45
160 252
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Police

46
110 281
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Television

47
63 39
Texas Flood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
stratopimp added Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble

48
101 96
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
185 53
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added AC/DC

50
128 244
My Aim Is True is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Elvis Costello