Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
48.6k votes 2.6k voters 16.5k views 269 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
275 436
The Slim Shady LP is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

2
629 466
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin

3
172 263
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added Dr. Dre

4
89 218
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
375 416
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

6
510 317
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors

7
471 452
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

8
517 499
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Guns N' Roses

9
397 306
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

10
321 322
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

11
484 324
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen

12
439 313
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars

13
214 375
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

14
547 306
Boston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

15
304 251
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

16
114 164
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees

17
233 292
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

18
281 363
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Nico, The Velvet Underground

19
360 469
Ten is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

20
157 163
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Pretenders

21
227 332
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

22
180 173
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Cream

23
201 357
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones

24
221 92
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company

25
210 162
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

26
296 163
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner

27
127 146
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

28
227 122
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival

29
183 266
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits

30
264 169
Queen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen

31
213 348
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash

32
214 351
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

33
151 148
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

34
137 76
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
181 120
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads

36
244 195
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ozzy Osbourne

37
238 334
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine

38
101 117
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Deep Purple

39
172 134
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie

40
127 271
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges

41
170 144
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith

42
117 151
Horses is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Patti Smith

43
61 28
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
stratopimp added Eric Clapton

44
72 44
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Darian G. Burns added Eagles

45
109 275
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Television

46
155 247
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Police

47
57 37
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
98 95
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
177 51
High Voltage is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added AC/DC

50
126 239
My Aim Is True is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Elvis Costello