Gr8 – Debut Albums

Debut albums, the first to come out, often the benchmark for all others. Here are eight that can’t be forgotten, no matter what came after for their bands.

The Stone Roses by The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses

From the gradual opening beats of ‘I Wanna be Adored’ that build to join in perfect synchronicity, it’s clear you are listening to something very, very, special. The indie alchemy glides on with favourites such as ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Made of Stone’ making an appearance before ending with guitar-riff classic ‘I am the Resurrection’. The initial brilliance of this exceptional album couldn’t last of course, and things got very messy with a less than enthusiastic response to the band’s second album from the critics and long break before their comeback tour. Still, they achieved more with the 11 songs debuted here than most bands do in a lifetime.

Funeral by Arcade Fire

Arcade-Fire - Funeral

Think Canadian music and Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams and Barenaked Ladies will come to mind. Luckily our Canadian friends also have a band in a different stratosphere of cool who emerged with the astonishing ‘Funeral’, the morbid title coming from a set of untimely deaths of relatives whilst making the album. Definitely a classic – sombre, evocative, pensive and quite brilliant.

Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Detruction

Guns n' Roses - Appetite for DestructionStill the biggest selling debut album in the US with 18m copies sold stateside, and even now it remains bursting with attitude. Hell-raising tunes like ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, ‘Paradise City’, ‘Night Train’ and ‘My Michelle’ reflect the chaotic craziness of the life of the LA band growing up in the city, on the road and with old friends. There’s even a traditional ballad ‘November Rain’ to show just much talent Axl, Slash and co had to spare before they imploded.

Grace by Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley- GraceUS drama and reality TV has done all it could to try and erode the poignant beauty of Hallelujah, but this is an album that rises above. Causing barely a ripple when it was first released in 1994, its true class has lasted to grow, Shawshank Redemption like through the musical ages, outlasting Buckley’s untimely death. If you don’t feel a shiver as opening track Mojo Pin begins, your soul needs resuscitating.

The Doors by The Doors

The Doors - The DoorsStill maybe the coolest band ever. Released in early 1967, Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore (and no bass player!) showcased the talent that had made them stand out from their compatriots when performing as the house band at Whiskey A Go Go. With long keyboard solos, mystical lyrics, oedipal spoken word sections and references to getting high, this is an album that had a bit of everything.

The Velvet Underground and Nico by The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet UndergroundIf books shouldn’t get judged by their covers, then seminal albums like this one sure should allowed to be. For an album that explores drug addiction and S&M, that iconic banana, as thought up by everyone’s favourite Andy Warhol, put a cherry on top of an astonishing work of fearless musical art. As if the album could be any more unique, opening track Sunday Morning even uses a celesta as the leading instrument.

Boston by Boston

Boston by BostonIt’s just as well no one can count how many times we’ve played air guitar to More than a Feeling, but then these guitar-based rockers (from you’ve guessed it, Boston) certainly had magical dimensions right from the start. Selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and with highlights including ‘Peace of Mind’ and ‘Smokin’, it certainly made us wish frontman and all round talent Tom Schulz had given us guitar lessons.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of DawnThis is the album that seemingly defined and redefined the musical psychedelic movement, as Syd Barrett’s kaleidoscopic odyssey stays on the awesome side of creative brilliance. Who knows how Pink Floyd would have ended up if mental disintegration hadn’t forced Barrett to leave, but either way with song titles like ‘Lucifer Sam’, ‘The Gnome’ and ‘The Scacecrow’, he more than left his legacy on this one.

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12 thoughts on “Gr8 – Debut Albums

  1. Brilliant piece Alex. Wish I was around for all these albums to be official ‘debuts’ for me, alas I can appreciate most all of these on an incredibly deep level. Piper at the Gates of Dawn isn’t my favorite PF album (I’ll let you guess which one THAT might be ;), yet it’s a true classic. And Boston’s debut is obviously a notch above any other arena-rock kind of album. Fantastic post man, lvoe the diversity here too.

    • Thanks dude. It was tough limiting it to 8. I know what you mean. With Arcade Fire and The Stone Roses I listened in amazement as I hadn’t heard too much before, but with the others I’d already been told how great they were. It was toughest keeping Joy Division out.

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  4. Great post! That Stone Roses is such a classic. Add Oasis ‘Definitely Maybe’ as well 🙂

    I do actually think a lot of bands first albums are their best, when they’re raw and young and full of ambition, it’s what they’re “all about”!

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