Some bands debut album only hints at their later greatness (see The Beatles & Radiohead as a pair of obvious examples) while others burst out of the gates with their best effort that they never seem to be able to quite match again. Or in some cases don’t even come close to matching again.
The bands listed below had to pass the following two criteria in order to be considered for inclusion:
1. Their debut album must be their highest rated album at RateYourMusic.com, this shows the consensus among fans is that the band or artist’s debut album is also their best album.
2. Their debut album must have the most stars (or tied) at AllMusic.com, this shows a general consensus that music critics think that their debut album is their best album.
This is not to say that the following list is all inclusive of every single band that met that criteria only that it was a requirement for being considered for this list.
Weezer – Weezer (Blue Album.) This was a close call as their debut currently outscores their second album Pinkerton only 4.09 to 4.08 at RateYourMusic.com, it’s the huge drop in quality after those first two albums that has caused many of their fans this side of Mozart Breath to grow weary of the Weez. Weezer’s most well known songs are on their debut album including “Buddy Holly,” “Undone – The Sweater Song,” and “Say It Ain’t So.” Weezer is planning on releasing their 6th album in 2008. After their dreadful last album, 2005′s Make Believe, it’s hard to get too excited about that. If you are one of the few who likes Make Believe, be sure to check out Mozart Breath’s articles.
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses. This is an easy choice as The Stone Roses only released two albums their critically acclaimed self titled debut album in 1989 and their much less well received second album, Second Coming five years later. The Stone Roses are a classic example of a band that shot it’s load with their debut album.
The Strokes – Is This It. The Strokes were everywhere as the millennium got underway but haven’t lived up to the hype since their 2001 debut. Their 2nd and 3rd album have been not been nearly as well received by critics or by fans.
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico. While The Velvet Underground’s next three albums; 1967′s White Light/White Heat, 1969′s The Velvet Underground, and 1970′s have all received their share of critical acclaim and fan love it’s their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico that is still seen by a majority or at least a plurality as being their best album. It’s currently rated as the best album of 1967 and the 7th best album of all time at RateYourMusic.com, not too shabby.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction. Guns N’ Roses 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, is considered by almost all Guns N’ Roses fans to be their best album. While 1991′s Use Your Illusion I (& II) were reasonably well received, it clearly did not match the intensity of their debut. And then “Grunge” hit and it appears that 16 years later, Axl Rose has still not recovered.
Van Halen – Van Halen. Van Halen’s 1978 self titled debut is still seen by most VH fans as their best. It easily outdistances their second highest ranked album, 1984′s 1984, on RateYourMusic.com 4.07 to 3.79 and it includes many of their most famous songs like “Runnin’ With the Devil” and Eddie’s ultimate guitar wank “Eruption.”