Albums The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
26.3k votes 1.5k voters 9.4k views 278 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.

1
327 355
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin

2
270 210
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Doors The Doors

3
209 305
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath

4
294 374
Appetite for Destruction is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Appetite for Destruction Guns N' Roses

5
244 193
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Cars The Cars

6
202 197
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

7
257 332
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
276 243
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Van Halen Van Halen

9
183 174
My Generation is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
My Generation The Who

10
308 222
Boston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boston Boston

11
182 228
Please Please Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Please Please Me The Beatles

12
144 196
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

13
151 88
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Foreigner Foreigner

14
231 314
Ten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ten Pearl Jam

The Best Songs on The Doors' Self-Titled Debut Album

15
174 232
The Velvet Underground & Nico is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Velvet Underground & Nico Nico, The Velvet Underground

16
143 200
In the Court of the Crimson Ki... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

17
96 60
Talking Heads: 77 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Talking Heads: 77 Talking Heads

18
149 126
Blizzard of Ozz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blizzard of Ozz Ozzy Osbourne

19
103 74
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Blondie Blondie

20
140 120
Queen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Queen Queen

21
100 73
Music From Big Pink is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

The Best Luggage Brands

22
119 98
Crosby, Stills & Nash is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

23
75 92
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Pretenders The Pretenders

24
102 111
Fresh Cream is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Fresh Cream Cream

25
66 85
Emerson, Lake and Palmer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer

26
100 82
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Aerosmith Aerosmith

27
123 235
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Ramones Ramones

28
99 45
Cuts Like a Knife is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Cuts Like a Knife Bryan Adams

All Queen Albums Ranked Best To Worst

29
140 224
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here'... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

30
98 46
Get the Knack is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Twiggsy added Get the Knack The Knack

31
71 78
Horses is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Horses Patti Smith

32
79 30
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
chris-dagosta added Bad Company Bad Company

33
88 79
Boy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Boy U2

34
132 230
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Clash The Clash

35
111 69
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival

21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs

36
43 48
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Monkees The Monkees

37
65 56
The B-52’s is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The B-52’s The B-52's

38
140 215
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine

39
100 72
Out of the Cellar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

40
103 79
Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked

41
79 165
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Stooges The Stooges

42
77 167
Marquee Moon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Marquee Moon Television

Rappers with the Best Album Discography, Ranked

43
91 162
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Dire Straits Dire Straits

44
52 65
Shades of Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Shades of Deep Purple Deep Purple

45
90 133
Tomorrow Is Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Tomorrow Is Yesterday

46
43 19
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Bill Little added Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

47
101 149
Outlandos d'Amour is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Outlandos d'Amour The Police

48
77 111
Too Fast for Love is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Too Fast for Love Mötley Crüe

49
90 173
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
The Smiths The Smiths

50
64 48
Surrealistic Pillow is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked
Surrealistic Pillow Jefferson Airplane