Music

The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin

"Good Times Bad Times"

"You Shook Me"

"Dazed and Confused"

2
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Eminem

"My Name Is"

"Guilty Conscience"

"Role Model"

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

"Break On Through (To the Other Side)"

"Light My Fire"

"Soul Kitchen"

4
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added Dr. Dre

"Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"

"Dre Day"

"Let Me Ride"

5
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Guns N' Roses

"It's So Easy"

"Welcome to the Jungle"

"Sweet Child o' Mine"

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

"Foxy Lady"

"Manic Depression"

"Red House"

7
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

"Black Sabbath"

"The Wizard"

"Behind the Wall of Sleep"

8
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

"Love Me Do"

"Please Please Me"

"I Saw Her Standing There"

9
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added 50 Cent

"In da Club"

"21 Questions"

"Many Men (Wish Death)"

10
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pink Floyd

"Flaming" / "The Gnome"

"Lucifer Sam"

"Matilda Mother"

11
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars

"Just What I Needed"

"My Best Friend's Girl"

"Good Times Roll"

12
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Gimme Three Steps"

"Free Bird"

"Simple Man"

13
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Nico, The Velvet Underground

"All Tomorrow's Parties" / "I'll Be Your Mirror"

"Sunday Morning" / "Femme Fatale"

"Heroin"

14
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen

"You Really Got Me"/"Atomic Punk"

"Runnin' with the Devil"/"Eruption"

"Jamie's Cryin'"/"I'm the One"

15
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
N.W.A

"Straight Outta Compton"

"Gangsta Gangsta"

"Express Yourself"

16
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
King Crimson

"The Court of the Crimson King"

"Epitaph" / "21st Century Schizoid Man"

"I Talk to the Wind"

17
Boston is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

"More Than a Feeling"

"Long Time"

"Peace of Mind"

18
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

"My Generation"

"A Legal Matter"

"The Kids Are Alright" / "The Ox"

19
Ten is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

"Alive"

"Even Flow"

"Jeremy"

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

"Keep Yourself Alive"

"Liar"

"The Night Comes Down"

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

"Spoonful"

"Sweet Wine"

"Dreaming"

22
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Band

"To Kingdom Come"

"In a Station"

"Caledonia Mission"

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

"Last Train to Clarksville" / "Take a Giant Step"

"This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day"

"Let's Dance On"

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

"White Riot"

"Remote Control"

"Hate and War"

25
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Sex Pistols

"Anarchy in the U.K."

"God Save the Queen"

"Pretty Vacant"