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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Jun 2019 - The Stone Roses > THE 6O GREATEST DEBUT ALBUMS OF ALL TIME!

THE 6O GREATEST DEBUT ALBUMS OF ALL TIME!

Some artists develop their sound over the course of a long career, working gradually towards a creative peak, while others hit the ground running and deliver a fully realised masterwork at the first time of asking. And it’s the latter group we pay tribute to here as Gary Tipp names vinyl’s greatest debut albums

Debut albums have several advantages over what follows in a band’s catalogue. Not least that the songs making the cut for the final tracklisting have been honed over time, forged in the fire of live gigging. The downside is that the artist might be unfamiliar with the recording studio environment and unable to realise their potential amid an unfamiliar world of faders, knobs and mic placements. In some cases, they haven’t yet found ‘their sound’ or been given the freedom by a wary record company to make ‘their record’.

There are many reasons why so many bands’ finest record is also their first. And many examples of acts who’ve never managed to scale those heights again throughout lengthy careers. We’ll leave the question of ‘why?’ for another day – we’re here to celebrate the great debut album. Over the next eight pages, we’re in the heady thrall of artists who’ve delivered a fully realised work from the outset – and in some cases things went downhill from there…

60 THE STREETS

ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL 2002

59 BEASTIE BOYS

LICENSED TO ILL 1986

58 ERYKAH BADU

BADUIZM 1997

57 MIKE OLDFIELD

TUBULAR BELLS 1973

56 THE CONGOS

HEART OF THE CONGOS 1977

55 WIRE

PINK FLAG 1977

54 RUN DMC

RUN DMC 1984

53 ARCADE FIRE

FUNERAL 2004

52 ELVIS PRESLEY

ELVIS PRESLEY 1956

51 MINNIE RIPERTON

COME TO MY GARDEN 1970

50 LEONARD COHEN

THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN 1967

49 LFO

FREQUENCIES 1991

48 NEU!

NEU! 1972

47 EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING

DONNY HATHAWAY 1970

46 ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN

CROCODILES 1980

45PINK FLOYD

THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN

EMI 1967

With its crazy, experimental blend of whimsical acid pop (Lucifer Sam) and freak-out space rock (Interstellar Overdrive), Pink Floyd’s first album is one of the great psychedelic debuts. The title is borrowed from Syd Barrett’s favourite book, The Wind In The Willows and his maniacal vision makes for one hell of a ride.

44THE BYRDS

MR TAMBOURINE MAN

CBS 1965

Before The Byrds thrillingly added the jingle-jangle of Roger McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker to the titular Bob Dylan track, the words ‘intelligent’ and ‘pop’ were almost mutually exclusive. Mr Tambourine Man brought the two together. This fantastic debut also succeeded in dragging folk-rock out of the shadows and into the mainstream spotlight.

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About Long Live Vinyl

In our cover story, we look back at The Stones Roses' classic 1989 debut album 30 years on from its release. Producer John Leckie takes us inside the making of the record and Peter Hook reveals how he would have made it sound even better. We also count down the 60 greatest debut albums of all time, from Are You Experienced to Unknown Pleasures. Elsewhere, the irrepressible Bobby Gillespie guides us through Primal Scream’s new best-of collection, Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll, Kevin Morby explains why a concept album about religion might be the best record he’s ever made, and we meet the outrageously talented Aldous Harding to hear about joyful new LP Designer. We also profile the legendary Stiff Records and take an in-depth look at The Cure’s Disintegration – which turns 30 this year as the band prepare to headline Glastonbury. Legendary photographer Norman Seeff recalls shooting Blondie, Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones, and if that's not enough we bring you the widest range of new album, reissue, turntable and accessory reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.