Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

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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
843 520
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
358 576
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
247 352
The Chronic is listed (or ranked) 3 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"

4
489 463
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath

"Black Sabbath"

"The Wizard"

"Behind the Wall of Sleep"

5
608 493
Are You Experienced is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

"Foxy Lady"

"Manic Depression"

"Red House"

6
655 530
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 6 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"

7
138 328
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Matt1345 added 50 Cent

"In da Club"

"21 Questions"

"Many Men (Wish Death)"

8
664 346
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 8 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"

9
425 354
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Beatles

"Love Me Do"

"Please Please Me"

"I Saw Her Standing There"

10
613 354
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 10 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"

11
550 347
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
497 348
(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
288 419
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
N.W.A

"Straight Outta Compton"

"Gangsta Gangsta"

"Express Yourself"

14
666 335
Boston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston

"More Than a Feeling"

"Long Time"

"Peace of Mind"

15
374 279
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Who

"My Generation"

"A Legal Matter"

"The Kids Are Alright" / "The Ox"

16
296 323
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pink Floyd

"Flaming" / "The Gnome"

"Lucifer Sam"

"Matilda Mother"

17
152 208
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 17 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"

18
353 403
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 18 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"

19
295 369
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 19 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"

20
228 199
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Cream

"Spoonful"

"Sweet Wine"

"Dreaming"

21
293 114
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company

"Can't Get Enough"

"Movin' On"

"Bad Company"

22
257 393
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones

"Blitzkrieg Bop"

"Loudmouth"

"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"

23
457 516
Ten is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pearl Jam

"Alive"

"Even Flow"

"Jeremy"

24
201 187
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Pretenders

"Stop Your Sobbing"

"Kid"

"Brass In Pocket"

25
324 187
Queen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen

"Keep Yourself Alive"

"Liar"

"The Night Comes Down"