Rock n’ Roll debuts that changed music

Roseville, Calif.-  In music, rarely do the stars align for that magical coalescing of youth, talent, and craftsmanship that deliver a superior, iconic album on the very first try. However, when they do align, it often changes the musical landscape in a profound and lasting manner.

With that in mind, here is list of some of our absolute favorite debut albums.


Behind the Cellar Door

Behind the Cellar Door

Behind the Cellar Door

Behind the Cellar Door

8 Amazing Rock n’ Roll Debut Albums

1- Van Halen – Van Halen

Disco was thriving and rock n’ roll was thought headed for extinction in 1978, someone forgot to tell Van Halen. Arguably, the most kick-ass debut album ever created and one that spawned a million wannabees. The influence of Van Halen is unmistakable and permeated every big hair band and corner of popular music for years to come. It all began with Van Halen’s mega debut featuring a new, modern guitar virtuoso who perfectly blended a hard-edged sounds with catchy pop hooks. Topped off with a polished production, Van Halen’s first album sets the bar for debut albums.

2- Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page, the man with the musical Midas touch had a vision for a band. Led Zeppelin’s debut effort laid the groundwork for a dominance in the 1970s that’s difficult to overstate, especially when you consider the competitive landscape of the times. Although it’s more than half a century later and sounding a bit dated, fans remain dazed and confused.

3- The Doors – The Doors

Before the summer of love, The Doors debut album would usher in what would become some of the band’s most seminal work. Light My Fire, penned by Robbie Krieger, would help pave the way for The Doors meteoric, albeit, short-lived ascent. The Doors is a must have for any music fan collection.

4- The Cars – The Cars

1978 was an odd time and The Cars debut album skillfully walked the line between rock n’ roll and the new age music scene. In a perfect example of genre confusion, The Cars drew fans in from a wide variety of musical tastes and in the process delivered one of the greatest debut albums on vinyl. Delivering plenty of carefree vibes The Cars debut still remains amazing.

5- Bad Company – Bad Company

Released in the summer of 1974, Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and crew teamed up to create an catchy, rock sound with almost universal appeal. Listening to the Bad Co’s debut album in its entirety is musical bliss, even 50 years after it’s release.

6- Guns n’ Roses –  Appetite for Destruction

Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n’ Roses set off a buzz for a new generation of music fans not seen since Van Halen nine years prior. An incredible collection of high energy songs with tremendous crossover appeal in the the era of MTV, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

7- Pearl Jam – Ten

Sitting in a Palo Alto pub back in 1991, a brand new band, Pearl Jam played over the radio. Immediately, we rushed out to buy the CD, while spent the next few months incessantly spinning it up. A recent listen reminded these ears of all the youthful energy and terrific songs that ooze out of this album. Grunge? C’mon, let’s just call it what it really is — one of the best rock debut albums ever.

8 – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Deja Vu

With the addition of Neil Young, Deja Vu becomes a debut album of veterans with Crosby, Stills, & Nash. A cover-to-cover masterpiece incorporating the famed harmonies of CSN with Neil Young’s visceral guitar and coarse edge. Revisiting this album is like stepping into a time machine back to the beginning of the 1970’s. Capture the sound of the times, whether you were there or not. A true gem.

Agree, disagree? What amazing debut albums deserve to be on this list that we overlooked? Let us know!

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