Top 10 Debut Rock Albums

artist: Misc date: 08/16/2013 category: wtf?
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Top 10 Debut Rock Albums
What are the best debut rock albums of all time? That's what we asked Ultimate Guitar readers this week, and it proved to be one of our most popular polls all year. While many bands take two or three albums to really hit their stride, some of these artists managed to make a mark on both history and the wider music culture with these stunning debut records. Whether you like the band or not, it's hard to deny that every entry in this list has had a huge impact on popular culture - and many of them still sound brand new. Let's dive into this week's playlist, and let us know what you think of the results in the comments. Enjoy!

10. System of a Down "System of a Down"

Before 1998, the nu-metal sound was all about Ross Robinson and his work with the likes of Korn. But amid any previous genre-defining work, System of a Down dived in and smashed apart any pre-conceptions about the new genre with a refreshingly barmy take on what metal could be.

9. The Beatles "Please Please Me"

It's fruitless to describe the legacy that the Beatles went on to leave in popular music and beyond, but it's fair to say that their debut shook the foundations of pop music and what it meant to be a rock band. Before this album, performers and songwriters were two very different things - the Beatles were among the first to make the world see them as one and the same.

8. Jimi Hendrix Experience "Are You Experienced?"

Jimi Hendrix was making all kinds of waves in the London underground before recording this debut album, but it took a collaboration with producer Chas Chandler to take his immense new rock ideas to tape. Along with his fellows in the experience - drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding - Hendrix invented the sleaziest rock sound to date.

7. The Doors "The Doors"

The Doors were originally signed to Columbia to record this debut, but found it difficult to secure a producer and moved on to Elektra where they finally found producer Paul Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick who helped shape their timeless recordings. They found room to innovate too; the album was released in both stereo and mono mixes at its launch.

6. Alice in Chains "Facelift"

The first grunge album to be certified platinum. Alice in Chains were perfectly primed to ride the '90s grunge wave - in fact, they pretty much co-invented it. What's more amazing is that drummer Sean Kinney reportedly recorded all his parts with a broken hand.

5. Metallica "Kill 'Em All"

Metallica remain one of the most authentically metal bands in existence, but this album almost wasn't to be. Tensions in the band could have forced the band apart, with guitarist Dave Mustaine reportedly at the center of many disputes - but he was replaced with Kirk Hammet, and they went on to write a definitive thrash metal record. Mustaine's contribution to their early songs was still credited, and he went on to form the equally-influential Megadeth.

4. Guns N' Roses "Appetite for Destruction"

In a world where glam rock and hair metal was becoming an unsightly parody of itself, Guns N' Roses were a welcome addition to the canon of musician stereotypes. They were young, brash, wore torn jeans and best of all played great rock music that had never been heard before. It was a collaboration of great minds, and to this day reminds of us what a great lineup the early Gn'R could be.

3. Pearl Jam "Ten"

Pearl Jam's debut album was a slow burner - it didn't take off in the same way that their grunge counterparts did. But by 1992, word of mouth and college radio helped propel it to number 2 on the Billboard charts, and went on to sell a stunning 10 million albums world wide, putting its members like Stone Gossard and Eddie Vedder among the most respected musicians in modern rock.

2. Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin"

Say what you like about the rampant theft of black blues musicians on this record - the end result is a triumph. Whether it's John Bonham's stampede of drums, Robert Plant's soaring vocals or Jimmy Page's timeless guitar licks, there's something for everyone on this album - and if you'd rather listen to a grainy old recording which Page reportedly stole riffs from, then go ahead. We'll be turing the volume to 11 with this incredible rock debut.

1. Rage Against the Machine "Rage Against the Machine"

Rap and metal can go awfully wrong, and there's plenty of examples in music history where that's been the case. But one band, more than any other, showed how it could be marries into not only an original style of rock but an explosive and politically charged force that would echo for decades. It's a remarkable 20 years since this album was released, and yet it sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday - maybe that's why it still manages to resonate with today's angst-charged youth as much as it used to.
That's the end of our top 10 debut albums list. Do you agree with the results? How would you tweak them, and what is your personal favorite of all time? Let us know in the comments, and hit 'like' to share this awesome playlist to your friends.
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