So Rolling Stone has its own
list of 100 Greatest
Debut Albums, proving once again that there is less room
for controversy in a shorter list.
Here’s their top 10:
Beastie Boys – Licensed to Kill
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?
GNR – Appetite for Destruction
The Velvet Underground – and Nico
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bolllocks
The Strokes – Is This It
The Band – Music From Big Pink
Patti Smith - Horses
A 40% overlap, but the gap
is actually bigger than that. Led Zeppelin I, for example, comes in at
#72 on the RS list, despite the fact that they turned the world upside down,
and as RS itself admits “the template was here.”
Just a little confused by
RS’s logic. They claim it’s about debuts
“that gave you the thrill of an act arriving fully-formed, ready to reinvent
the world in its own image.” But they
also said they deducted points if an act went on to far greater
achievements. OK. No argument that Zep had many great albums
after, but Zep I is arguably their
best. The impact was immediate, the
excitement off the scale. They certainly
Similar gap with The Doors, by the way.
Scanning the longer list,
one thing that strikes me is the number of times you could say, “they could
have stopped there.” This is
acknowledged in a quote from Elliot Easton saying The Cars’ first album could
have been called The Cars Greatest Hits. You could say the same for The Band, Boston,
Oasis, or even Hendrix. They all went on
to make some great music, but did they ever really match that first effort?
The impetus for both
Gibson’s and Rolling Stone’s lists was the 50th anniversary of Please Please Me by The Beatles. In this case, you gotta wonder if the album
is on the list because subsequent masterpieces dictate the debut had to be included. OK, forget I said that. But it could
be true for Pink Floyd.
Labels: Beatles, boston, hendrix, led zeppelin, music, oasis, patti smith, Pink Floyd, rolling stone magazine, the band, the cars, the doors, the ramones