Many artists get their feet wet in the music industry with their debut album and reach mainstream success a few releases later. However some bands and artists are lucky enough to achieve great success their first time around. Whilst there are certainly more than 7 great debut records, these are the first 7 that come to mind. In future, I may make another list and add to this with “Another 7 Great Debut Albums”.
7. Appetite For Destruction 
Guns N’ Roses
As one of the greatest rock albums in history, Guns N’ Roses’ debut release “Appetite For Destruction” is a very enjoyable collection of classic tunes that still hold up today as well as they did back in 1987. From the electrifying, upbeat rock track “Welcome to the Jungle,” to the fan-favourite anthem “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Appetite For Destruction” is an absolutely non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. The distinct lead vocals from Axl Rose, instantly hook the listener, while Slash’s intense guitar playing make sure that they stick around.
6. The Slim Shady LP 
Technically Eminem’s first album was 1996’s “Infinite,” however his 1999 release “The Slim Shady LP” was his major label debut. The record features production from Dr. Dre, The Bass Brothers and Eminem himself, and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The record’s lead single “My Name Is” is arguably Eminem’s most popular song, and was his first ever entry into the Official Billboard Hot 100. “The Slim Shady LP” includes occasional skits to break up the record into separate sections, and features some of Eminem’s greatest work to date.
5. Royal Blood 
Royal Blood’s self-titled debut album is a fantastic hard-rock album that truly displays the talent of bassist and vocalist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. The duo crafted an absolute powerhouse of a record in 2014, and it does a brilliant job of coming in, clutching your attention, blowing your mind and getting out without overstaying it’s welcome, at 32 minutes long. Tracks like “Out of the Black” feature heavy drums that propel the song even further and add a punch to keep it on your mind. “Little Monster” includes one of the most memorable riffs of the decade and definitely sticks around in the back of your mind.
4. Songs About Jane 
Back in 2002, before the the band was “The Adam Levine Show,” Maroon 5 actually created a fantastic pop-rock record, that’s a million miles away from the music they’re making now. The funky drums and bass on “This Love” are a perfect combination to hook the listener and “Sunday Morning” makes use of it’s slower tempo to extenuate the lyrical content. “She Will Be Loved” is still a nearly perfect pop song, that undoubtedly holds up today, 17 years later. While they still craft some great songs occasionally, it’s truly a shame that Maroon 5 didn’t carry carry on the path they set for themselves on “Songs About Jane”.
3. Is This It 
Rock and roll seemed dead and buried at the turn of the century, with “bubblegum-pop” taking over the mainstream. However New York based band “The Strokes” took the cliches of the genre, added their own personal flair and revitalised rock music for a new generation, even inspiring other massive bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Killers. Standout tracks like “Hard To Explain,” “Last Nite,” and “The Modern Age” are all fantastic alternative-rock tracks that served as a call to arms for a new era.
2. Hot Fuss 
And almost as if it was planned, at number two is The Killers. “Hot Fuss” is a fantastic collection of songs, especially for a band’s first ever release. This album actually hits a nostalgia nerve for me as I remember listening to some of these tracks at five years old. From the infectious “Somebody Told Me” to the anthemic “All These Things That I Have Done,” The Killers cited classic British rock music as an inspiration for the sound of “Hot Fuss”. And of course, the fan-favourite “Mr. Brightside” always makes the crowds go wild at any party or event.
1. Word Gets Around 
Some may disagree with me on this entry, not because “Word Gets Around” is a bad album, but Stereophonics aren’t a very well-known band. The Welsh group, originally a trio, released their debut release back in 1997 and my life was changed. I remember listening to the record’s standout tracks like “A Thousand Trees” and “Local Boy In the Photograph” when I was a child, and hearing them now, many years later is an odd experience as the lyrics take on new meaning. The albums closer “Billy Davey’s Daughter” is a slow, acoustic track that despite having a dark meaning behind it, serves as a great closer to the album.