2009 Countdown: Best Debut Albums

KEXP counted down 100 of the Best Debut Albums of all time voted by you, the listeners, yesterday. And, I can’t believe I’m actually able to say that the number one record was not Nirvana’s Bleach or any “grunge” album for that matter. Arcade Fire’s Funeral took first place, just stealing the spot from Seattle’s own Pearl Jam and their album, Ten. I guess we’re slowly but surely ready to accept the fact that the 90s are over.

Here is the rest of what you voted for:

Rank Artist Debut Album
100 The Verve A Storm in Heaven
99 Jose Gonzalez Veneer
98 Sugar Copper Blue
97 The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard in My Backyard
96 Oasis Definitely Maybe
95 Spoon Telephono
94 Coldplay Parachutes
93 Catherine Wheel Ferment
92 Iggy Pop The Idiot
91 Wire Pink Flag
90 The Cure Three Imaginary Boys
89 Morrissey Palomine
88 The The Soul Mining
87 Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets
86 Big Star #1 Record
85 Doves Lost Souls
84 The Stooges The Stooges
83 New York Dolls New York Dolls
82 Massive Attack Blue Lines
81 Chemical Brothers Exit Planet Dust
80 The Byrds Mr Tambourine Man
79 Blondie Blondie
78 A Tribe Called Quest People’s Instinctive Travels
77 Murder City Devils Murder City Devils
76 James Brown Please, Please, Please
75 The B-52s B-52s
74 Wu Tang Clan Enter the Wu: 36 Chambers
73 Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
72 Black Flag Damaged
71 Tom Waits Closing Time
70 The Undertones The Undertones
69 LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem
68 Rolling Stones England’s Newest Hit Makers
67 PJ Harvey Dry
66 Beastie Boys Licenced To Ill
65 The La’s The La’s
64 Jane’s Addiction Janes’s Addiction
63 X Los Angeles
62 Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
61 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
60 Beck Mellow Gold
59 Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
58 Public Enemy Yo Bum Rush the Show
57 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley
56 Eric B and Rakim Paid in Full
55 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes
54 Uncle Tupelo No Depression
53 Postal Service Give Up
52 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell
51 The Police Outlando d’Amour
50 The Smiths The Smiths
49 The Beatles Please Please Me
48 Pretenders Pretenders
47 Gang of Four Entertainment
46 Smashing Pumpkins Gish
45 The Shins Oh, Inverted World
44 Ryan Adams Heartbreaker
43 Talking Heads Talking Heads: 77
42 De La Soul 3 Feet High & Rising
41 The Doors The Doors
40 Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen
39 Nick Drake Five Leaves Left
38 Beirut Gulag Orkestar
37 The Jam In The City
36 Elliott Smith Elliott Smith
35 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
34 Devo Are We Not Men…
33 Elvis Costello My Aim Is True
32 Death Cab For Cutie Something About Airplanes
31 Bob Marley and the Wailers Catch a Fire
30 Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
29 Bjork Debut
28 DJ Shadow Endtroducing
27 Portishead Dummy
26 Strokes Is this It
25 Patti Smith Horses
24 Band of Horses Everything All The Time
23 Ramones Ramones
22 Television Marquee Moon
21 Nirvana Bleach
20 Sex Pistols Nevermind the Bollocks: Here’s the Sex Pistols
19 Modest Mouse This is a Long Drive…
18 Radiohead Pablo Honey
17 Pixes Come On Pilgrim
16 The Clash The Clash
15 Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced?
14 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico
13 Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
12 Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
11 Weezer Weezer (The Blue Album)
10 U2 Boy
9 Bon Iver For Emma Forever Ago
8 Liz Phair Exile in Guyville
7 Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
6 REM Murmur
5 Stone Roses Stone Roses
4 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin
3 Jeff Buckley Grace
2 Pearl Jam Ten
1 Arcade Fire Funeral

Dead Kennedys “California Über Alles” from Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables live 1979:

Beirut “The Gulag Orkestar” from Gulag Orkestar at Bowery Ballroom 2007:

Pixies live “Vamos” from Come On Pilgrim:

Bon Iver live “Skinny Love” from For Emma, Forever Ago at SXSW 2009:

Arcade Fire “Rebellion” from Funeral:

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6 Comments

  1. Jeff from NH
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Great list. I agree more with the content than the order, but there really is no perfect order. I think my #1 would be Led Zeppelin, followed by Clash, Ramones, Uncle Tupelo, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. I’d add Mission of Burma “Signals, Calls and Marches” (EP) or “Vs.” (LP)

    One correction, you have Arcade Fire at #1 and #62. I’d put it closer to 62 myself.

  2. Posted October 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The list has been updated to fix a few errors. Sorry, Jeff, but Arcade Fire landed at #1.

  3. Larry
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Looking at the list I discovered I have at least 20 of these albums. However, one debut must be mentioned, “Trailer Park” (1997) by Beth Orton. It is outstanding.

  4. Levi
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I really with Prince’s s/t were on there, but I have only myself to blame for not voting.

  5. Levi
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Um, wish.

  6. Levi
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    OK, and now I find out that Prince is not his debut. But hey, Elliott Smith wasn’t Elliott Smith’s either, so whatever.

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