What is the best debut album ever?

Author Comments: 

This poll is rock albums only. It is based on the artists' debut full-length album. Also, as of this time of writing, the poll is not yet complete, as I am sure I will find more candidates worthy of inclusion. Feel free to make suggestions.

My vote is The Clash. Worthy additions could be Slanted and Enchanted by Pavement, Weezer, Live at the Witch Trials by The Fall.

Definitely Maybe is there.......yet no Please Please Me?
Though I always thought you disliked it very much, right?

Don't mean to bash my own poll or those who are voting so far, but how has Murmur been voted the best debut album so far? I don't get it. I barely even added it to this poll in the first place.

Better than The Doors????????

Are You Exp? The Velvet Underground & Nico??????????????????????????????

Marquee Moon????????

And there are a slew of lesser known albums listed here that, while I find superior to Murmur, I didn't expect them to win since they're not well known.

I'm not trying to sound like an ass and I'm not upset by this at all, what you vote for is what you vote for. I just really am very curious about this. Can someone who voted for Murmur please explain the logic behind it being picked the most on this poll. What makes it superior to the other albums? In my opinion it's one of the 5 weakest albums here, so seeing it lead the vote after all this time is a head-scratcher for me...

Dude, chill out. I'd be more curious to know why you think The Doors is one of the best ever. REM is one of my favorite bands, but I'm not a huge Murmur fan (yeah, I'd vote for Are You Experienced?, VU & Nico, and Marquee Moon over Murmur), so I'll leave the explaining to someone else.

I think it's clear that, while I probably enjoy many of the same albums you would, when we look at both of our favorites, we don't share the same idea as to what makes an ideal album. Most of the albums you've revealed to me as your favorites are albums I consider very good, non-masterpieces, and probably vice-versa from you to me. This was made clear in our discussion months ago on my "Overrated Albums List". Therefore, the results of my "greatest albums list" are unlikley to reflect your tastes.

As for what I see in The Doors' debut, here goes:

The Doors is profound, the arrangements are some of the most ingenius ever produced. It has a wild, reeling mixture of emotions both vocally and instrumentally, yet even though it's chaotic/wild, each song is perfectly organized into projecting the exact feelings intended. It boasts two of the greatest rock songs with Light My Fire and The End, not to mention 9 others--all of them near masterpieces or masterpieces. It culminates in dramatic fashion in its finale, making the whole a mesmerizing, hypnotic experience. It sustains a masterful song stretch for its entirety, and is one of the most consistent albums ever made. It has a sensual and emphatic, propulsive, invigorating, poetic, dreamy, angry, precious, powerful, dramatic vocal performance by Jim Morrison-one of the most dynamic vocal performances ever. That's all I have to say for now. At some point I'll write a longer review on it for my "greatest albums list". In the meantime, I'd also recommend reading Master Scaruff's interpretation which is a bit more detailed, and thoroughly explanatory--I wholly agree with his views on The Doors, so you can consider me to share what he says--he's just much better at saying it.

Well, The Doors isn't one of my favorites, but my question to you wasn't due to an evaluation of The Doors based on my standards. I'm very surprised it's one of your favorites based on your own standards. Profound? Ingenius? Every song a masterpiece? Really? I mean, I get why you like "The End," but "Twentieth Century Fox"? A song whose chorus is based on a pun and whose verses are describing a woman who, well, sounds pretty cool? Yeah? You're a back door man? The men don't know but the little girl understand? If you don't find the next whiskey bar, you tell me you must die? Really? What kind of emotions is all this expressing? I mean, clearly Jim Morrison really feels that a mutual look and smile means it's too late to turn back. And he seems pretty enthusiastic about getting to this next whiskey bar, as well as this next little girl. The album is great fun most of the time. But does this really add up to a masterpiece of profundity and power for you, Scaruff the Magic Dragon?

Scaruff the Magic Dragon swoops down and responds:

Well, I'm glad to surprise someone with my list...

Profound: Yes. Particularly, the swinging momentum and tremendous force of the harsh songs (shown best by Break On Through, and almost as impressively by the sheer forces of will on Back Door Man, Take It As It Comes, Soul Kitchen) the melting dream of Crystal Ship, the hypnotic Light My Fire, which during it's incredible instrumental jam, evokes another, almost hallucinagenic world being torn open, and a relentless assault of tension, sexual innuendo and transcendant karma takes over. Here, the album becomes intensely ritualistic, taking ammoral values to an almost holy stratosphere. I think the profundity of The End is obvious so I won't explain (Master Scaruffi goes into great detail on The End, its poetry and meaning).

Ingenius: Absolutely, aside from other Doors stuff, there's really not anything much like it. Since the album is so damn catchy and was has been well received by the public, I think it's easy to forget the fact it is such a startlingly original work. It's ingenius mostly because its mixture of styles is so economically produced and well fortified into brilliantly conceived songs. Very, very few artists have managed to pack so much emotion into such small spaces. Through the entire album the band plays with immense passion and intensity, no matter what instrument, no matter if its vocal or not. The conviction outshines almost any album.

Additionally, the album has great, great continuity. The track placement and cumulative effect is amazing. If you notice how many of the songs end emphatically with the band continuously climaxing in huge rushes of cumulative, frenzied, simultaneous emotion, the album will eventually take on a flow, and a tremedous sense of immediacy and impact for you, that is, if you like that sort of thing. The tones, emotion and tension are very akin to Charles Mingus masterpiece Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, with the Doors still being it's own beast. But I love jazz and Mingus so The Doors sense of cumulative climax and emotion hits home for me.

All I can say other than that is to keep listening to it. Though I've always enjoyed the album a lot, I didn't love it quite as much as I do now for some time.

A BIG vote for "Ten" by Pearl Jam! Incredible!

I own "Ten" and I understand your enthusiasm, but I don't think it matches up so well with the others on here.

Let me listen to it again. It's been awhile. My decision isn't final (for now it's a "no") but I'll get back to ya.

If you want, feel free to describe its brilliance to me in an effort to get me to agree with you. In my opinion I own hundreds of albums I would consider superior to Ten so it may take a brick to my forhead to convince me to include it.

While your at it, any other suggestions aside from "Ten"?

Thanks for the suggestion!

I ended up putting Ten in.

Excellent! Did you give it another listen? I did the other day and it still blows me away.

I actually didn't. My memory served me well enough. It is a very good album, though contrary to popular opinions, I'd probably rate it as their 3rd best album (behind "No Code" and "Vitalogy").

Still, after I thought about it I realized it deserves to be included.

Thanks for reminding me of my Pearl Jam days. By the way, they are incredible in concert--way better than in the studio. I saw them back in '97. It was amazing!

I wholeheartedly agree with the Pearl Jam analysis...I gave the nod to Television since Marquee Moon is one of my top albums.

Solid, solid pick. Marquee Moon is a masterpiece.

A few more suggestions:

My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello
Music From Big Pink - The Band
The Clash - The Clash
The Pretenders - The Pretenders
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
The Ramones - The Ramones

My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello YES
Music From Big Pink - The Band YES
The Clash - The Clash YES
The Pretenders - The Pretenders NO
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison NO
The Ramones - The Ramones YES

I would love to add Astral Weeks but I can't since it's not actually his debut. blowin' Your Mind is from a year earlier.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Ah, I would have to add Pretenders...

...and Liz Phair's debut...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Exile In Guyville for sure.

Okay okay, I'll throw the Pretenders on there as well.

thanks LB

Oasis - Definitely maybe ?

I added Definitely Maybe to the poll. Thanks for the suggestion Rushmore. I would've never thought of it without that.

tough call...let me think it over (I'm not much of an Oasis fan so we'll see)

R.E.M.'s Murmur?

yes, thanks Wezzo.

A few suggestions: Safe as Milk, Kick Out the Jams, Entertainment!

First two are no contest...I love Entertainment but let me think about that one for a bit.