10 Best Debut Albums: Rebekah Herzberg’s List

Reviewing music isn’t really my forte so if you see something you don’t like, remember that this is my opinion. You can have your own opinion and also – fuck you. On with the list…..

10. The Doors The Doors:
The Doors broke out with Light My Fire as the #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent a week on the Cash Box Top 100. The Doors album ranked #42 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest list. Light My Fire got the band into trouble on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. They were asked to change the lyrics of the song because of the reference to drug use but they did not comply. Break on Through (To the Other Side) became a huge hit in the UK, taking the #64 slot on the singles chart. It only hit #126 in the US. The End is nearly 12-minutes long. Morrison wrote the song about an ex girlfriend. It hit #336 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest list and #93 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time.

9. The Strokes Is This It:
Yet another album I listened to over and over again and continue to sing along to in my car. It hit #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #33 on US Billboard 200. The albums singles include Someday, Last Nite, and Hard to Explain but this is one of those albums where every song is so good, you just play the entire thing on repeat without skipping a track. It opens with Is This It then The Modern Age follows. Soma was a nice relaxing tune but my favorite track on this album is Trying Your Luck. I still believe it’s the best song by The Strokes.

8. Dreamboat Annie by Heart:
How can you have a debut album list without mentioning Heart? These girls knew how to rock. Dreamboat Annie had three hit singles that climbed the charts and two of those songs, Crazy on You and Magic Man, happen to be two of my favorite rock songs by a female group. Ann Wilson had pipes that could send chills up and down your spine. Nancy Wilson plays the guitar like nobodies business. Just listen to her guitar solos in both of those songs. Nobody does it like Ann and Nancy. Magic Man made it to the Top 10 on Billboards Hot 100 chart. Their music has has appeared in dozens of films throughout the years. The sad thing about Heart is that younger audiences today have no clue what they’re missing. If their songs are played at a bar, it’s usually by middle-aged drunk women. I saw them live and it was quite the experience. I almost cried when they played “Alone” but the acoustic version. Just beautiful and so powerful.

7. Weezer by Weezer:
This is also known as The Blue Album, am I right? It peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 chart and is a certified triple-platinum in America and double-platinum in Canada. Rolling Stone magazine placed it as #297 on their Top 500 List. The most memorable music video by Weezer will always be Buddy Holly. They meshed up the dance competition episode from Happy Days and MTV played the ever living shit out of this video. The gentlemen even wore cardinal sweaters in the video. Say It Aint So is another favorite, frequently played on the juke box and by musicians in bars along with Undone- The Sweater Song. These songs still remain popular throughout the years. My Name Is Jonas was a solid introduction to the album and Only in Dreams was the perfect finish on the album with that three minute crescendo building up to a spectacular guitar solo. Unfortunately, I have not seen Weezer live but I am told they usually finish with this song on tour and shoot out confetti onto the crowd during the final guitar solo. It’s 8-minutes long altogether but it certainly doesn’t seem that way. Weezer continues to make rock albums but none of them will ever compare to The Blue Album.

6. Boston by Boston:
I’ll always have love for Boston, thanks to my dad. I was raised on rock-n-roll music and my dad really loved his Boston albums. With hits like More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind, and Foreplay/Long Time, Boston reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and it has been certified as selling 17X Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003. It’s the second best-selling debut album of all time next to Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction. I know what you’re thinking, Appetite for Destruction isn’t on this list. Oh my God! I just didn’t want to make another typical list with the same albums and it’s not one of my favorites. I only liked a couple of the songs on that album and I despise Paradise City. Back to Boston, Foreplay/Long Time is my favorite track on this album. I use to play it and sing along to it almost every night I bartended. I still listen to Boston. Something About You=Awesomesauce!

5. The Cars by The Cars:
This album has been called a genuine masterpiece by Greg Prato and I have to agree with him on this one. My Best Friends Girl, Just What I Needed, Good Times Roll, and Moving in Stereo climbed the charts, peaking at #18 on the Billboard 200 chart. It also ranked #4 on Billboard’s Top Albums of the Year chart. The Cars remained on the album chart for 139 weeks. You may remember the song Moving In Stereo playing while Phoebe Cates removes the top of her red bathing suit in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. You’re All I’ve Got Tonight remains my favorite track on the CD. It was never released as a single but still gets plenty of airplay on classic rock stations.

4. Ramones By Ramones:
One of my favorite bands of all time! Judy Is a Punk was not one of their most successful songs on the album but it remains to be my favorite of all time. Blitzkrieg Bop and I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend became instant hits and the album also featured a fun cover of Lets Dance originally performed by Chris Montez. Blitzkrieg Bop hit number 92 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and it was named the 25th Greatest Hard Rock Song by VH1. Over the years, the band has gone through several members. There were a lot of problems between lead singer Joey and Johnny. Johnny was a huge fan of Adolf Hitler and tormented Joey constantly for being Jewish. Dee Dee was struggling with bipolar disorder and Tommy just couldn’t handle the two, along with the feeling of being ignored by Joey.

3. Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin:
I strongly believe that Led Zeppelin is the best rock band of all time. It’s the perfect combination of blues and rock. Their debut album featured artwork depicting the Hindenburg airship catching fire. Jimmy Page happens to be one of the best guitarists and song writers of all time. The album hit #6 on the UK Albums Chart and #10 on the US Billboard 200 Albums Chart in 1969. The opening track and hit single Good Times Bad Times ranked #80 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. This song gets me going every time. The lyrics, “In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man.” The drums by John Bonham is what made this song what it is today. He had a repeated use of two sixteenth-note triplets on a single bass drum. The other band mates praised him for his abilities and kick drum. Other hit singles include Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, and Dazed and Confused. I wonder how many joints were inhaled while listening to this rock masterpiece.

2. The Beatles Please Please Me:
I am surprised that this album didn’t make a lot of the Best Debut Album lists I have come across. This is an amazing album and debut for one of the greatest rock bands of all time. No, I don’t think it’s cliche of me to say because it’s the truth! I fucking love The Beatles and you know you do too! I play this album for my son all the time. He is only 4-months old and he digs The Beatles. The album peaked at #1 on the UK Albums Chart in 1963. I don’t even know where to begin with the tracks on this album! I Saw Her Standing There, the opening track, is my favorite. Please Please Me is another catchy tune. Shit, they’re all catchy. Love Me Do is overplayed on the radio and is recognized as the best song on this album but I disagree. It’s a good song, just not the best single on the album. I prefer Smith’s cover of Baby It’s You but The Beatles version of Baby It’s You is also pretty amazing. The Shirelles version of Baby It’s You also became a success. Then we have Twist and Shout, which is one of The Beatles best songs in my opinion. Those vocals by John Lennon get me every time! If the vocals were performed by frontman Paul, it wouldn’t have sounded the same. P.S. I Love You was another hit but not the best on the album. I can sit here and talk about The Beatles all day or I could move on to the next album…..

1. Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine:
The main reason why Pretty Hate Machine tops my list is because I have worn this album out, I cannot even get it to play anymore. I’ve had to buy it three times. When I was a teenager and angry at the world, I would turn off my lights and listen to this album in the dark while I imagined myself being somewhere else. Head Like a Hole is probably everyone’s favorite and their most successful single on the album but if I had to choose a favorite, I would have to say Something I Can Never Have. Ringfinger and Terrible Lie are two songs that you find yourself screaming along with while driving around with your friends. Yes, we did that. The Only Time has to be my second favorite song on the album. I’m confused that it doesn’t seem to get the respect that it deserves. It’s just so damn catchy. Pretty Hate Machine is platinum certified. In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album triple platinum.


  • JamesD

    Two lists I can never do and that is the ten best songs ever and the ten best cds ever….or even the ten most influencial cds..these lists are not fair to a music fan….maybe a top ten best one hit wonders…someday…

  • Rebekah Herzberg

    I do love The Smiths. It’s hard to just pick ten! I wanted to put Velvet Underground on here too but I had to take some off the list and I didn’t want to have the same list as everyone else!

  • Rebekah Herzberg

    Thanks for your comment Rodney! I was not aware of those things. Don’t hate on Boston! More Than a Feeling is an incredible classic and like I stated on the post, it’s one of the most successful debut albums of all time. It was more successful than the rest of the albums on this list.

  • JamesD

    ha ha ha..I love it what a way to start off a list, if you do not like it..fuck you..this is why I love Reb so much..The list I agree with your picks…my wife would have had the Weezer album number one as she worn that cd out so many times, and now the deluxe to it as well..We finally have some triples, we have had doubles in the past..but we have triples..Zeppelin we all three agree to..Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine amazing cd..I thought for sure Reb you would have gave major love to Nick Cave…or The Smiths..

  • Rodney Eastman

    Fun Fact: Hey Rebekah, did you know that the first Weezer record, number seven on your list, was produced by Ric Ocasek? Ric is the singer for the band checking in at number five on your list, The Cars! I HAVE been fortunate enough to have seen Weezer. They were practically the house band at The Gaslight, a little hole in the wall, in Hollywood. They played there pretty much once a week and their set list WAS the first album. The last time I saw the band at the Gaslight was their going away party, they were going back East to record their debut (at Electric Ladyland studios in NYC). I was standing right in front, taking pictures.. I told my friend, “This is gonna be the last time we ever get to see this band in a venue of this size, they’re gonna be huge.” I was right.. I thought about that night 20 years later as I watched the band rock out in front of 50,000 people on the main stage at Coachella.. Also, do you know where The Cars hailed from and where Rivers Cuomo went to school at Harvard? That’s right, number six on your list, Boston! LOL.. and we come full circle…