albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

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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
204 273
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

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2
138 106
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

3
150 147
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

4
106 122
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

5
138 219
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

6
163 180
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

7
158 213
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
109 127
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

9
79 79
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

10
43 6
Tomorrow Is Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Tomorrow Is Yesterday

11
182 302
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Appetite for Destruction Guns N' Roses

12
100 74
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

13
150 167
Boston is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

14
51 30
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads: 77 Talking Heads

15
113 170
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Please Please Me The Beatles

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16
95 141
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

17
45 44
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

18
91 119
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Velvet Underground & Nico Nico, The Velvet Underground

19
56 38
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

20
72 71
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

21
38 31
Horses is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

22
82 73
Queen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

23
49 37
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

24
72 63
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

25
54 44
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

26
69 42
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival

27
50 40
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

28
41 49
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

29
17 11
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

All of The Beatles, Ranked Best to Worst Ranking All 24 Hours of the Day Best to Worst

30
85 112
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

31
47 62
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges

32
48 63
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Marquee Moon Television

33
68 48
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

34
78 128
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

35
46 42
Boy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boy U2

36
38 33
Unknown Pleasures is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Unknown Pleasures Joy Division

37
36 31
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Shades of Deep Purple Deep Purple

38
58 58
Definitely Maybe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

39
32 27
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's

40
62 64
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

41
52 64
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Smiths The Smiths

42
24 18
Yes is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Yes Yes

43
131 199
Ten is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

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44
83 128
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

45
58 63
Too Fast for Love is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Too Fast for Love Mötley Crüe

46
93 111
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

47
46 62
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits Dire Straits

48
24 24
The Runaways is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Runaways The Runaways

49
34 38
Is This It is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Is This It The Strokes

50
18 18
Mr. Tambourine Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Mr. Tambourine Man