My blogging friend at DiscConnected latched onto the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of all time at that bastion of taste and objectivity, Rolling Stone. He posted the first few of them as part of a 4-part look at their list, and one that he started a blog party with a while back. (You can see links to both if you click the link to his page.) I made the comment that as much as I love music, I would be woefully unqualified to play along, as much of my album buying had been of the greatest hits variety.
You see, it was few and far between when I was a kid that I got to go to what passed for a record store, and rarer yet that I got to buy anything. So it became a mortal sin to buy anything I didn't know what I was getting. If it wasn't a greatest hits collection, it almost had to be on its fourth single release before I stuck my neck out.
With training like that, it is no surprise that a huge bunch of the debuts I bought came from mine and KC's alternative era (1993-6).Many of them didn't have the lasting power of the greats- for example, Tracy Bonham ( a girl I saw on a free ticket at Pierre's), Sponge's Rotting Pinata (which I still love Molly (16 Candles), but barely remember the rest), or Smash Mouth's Fush Yu Mang (prior to Shrek making All Star such a hit). Still, I decided to figure out how many debuts I'd actually owned, or at least listened through. After I found a whopping 5 (count 'em) on the Rolling Stone list, and 6 more on DC's collected links, I did a little more digging and I found....
29. Yep, that's it. 29 debut lps. Let me give you my most significant entries, in no particular order, except:
The Five From Rolling Stone
Ten, Pearl Jam. In our crowd, it was "the album they issued you with your house."
Boston. I'm not sure how a rock and roll band could put together a more technically excellent album. The second album I ever bought, right between Eagles Greatest 1971-75 and Best of Bread.
Weezer's Blue Album. One of the many cassettes on the list that I have since lost. Damn it.\
Van Halen I. How many nights we drank at the party woods, with this one echoing through the trees.
The Cars. Bought this and a rocking chair at a garage sale for $5.
From the DiscConnected lists
Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf. File this under "one of the albums my old neighbor played at every party."
Counting Crows, August And Everything After. I played this a million times when I fell in love with Mr. Jones. And another million for Rain King. And another million for Anna Begins...
Get The Knack, The Knack. A seriously good album by an overperforming band.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I remember when nephew Troy got this for Christmas, none of us ever heard of them. Nephew Shawn says, "That guy looks like a fag," and walks away. Troy and I look at each other, saying "I thought it looked like Shawn!"
Asia. God how refreshing Heat Of The Moment, Only Time Will Tell, and Soul Survivor in an era of unremitting disco.
Ozzie Osbourne, Blizzard of Oz. See the comment on Van Halen I.
Stuff I Played The Crap Out Of
Travelling Wilburys, Vol. 1. Great talent, great album. My all time favorite Roy Orbison (Not Alone) and Bob Dylan (Congratulations) songs are on this.
Bush, Sixteen Stone. Though I rarely listen to it now, I did a lot then. Used to do Comedown and Little Things at karaoke.
CSN&Y, Deja Vu. I don't know if you can really classify this as a debut, but one list I saw did, so I said okay.
Hootie And The Blowfish, Cracked Rear View. The only one that would come close to Boston if I was doing a countdown. Plays like a greatest hits lp even now.
Everyone I Haven't Yet Mentioned
Alanis Morrisette, Jagged Little Pill. Actually, I could have put this on the "played the crap out of" list.
Third Eye Blind. Oddly enough, the song KC loves the best on this one- Jumper- is the one I never cared for.
Pablo Honey, Radiohead. I just bought this for Creep, like everyone else. That was my specialty at karaoke.
Brian Wilson. Love And Mercy is still one of his best.
Alannah Myles. The (ex) wife loved Black Velvet.
Everyone Else Is Doing It, Why Can't We?, The Cranberries. Truth be told, I didn't know we even had it until Zombie (on the next album) became such a big hit.
Toto. One of the best of the "my neighbor plays it at every party" lps. "You supply the night, baby, I'll supply the love..."
ELO, No Answer. The best self-titled album that got a name by accident in history. Only a fair debut, though.
Steppenwolf. Traded my sister 2 Andy Williams and a Nat King Cole for it after mom died. First time I played it, Born To Be Wild skipped. A cornflake fragment placed their by one of her kids was removed, and all was back to normal.
And finally, where would we be without Laurie's copy of The Monkees on vinyl?