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Monday, February 28, 2011

Super 8 Debut Albums

           Be sure to check out all of the other lists by going to DiscConnected where you will find the Linky list.

            I thought that it would be difficult to come up with eight debut albums, but the difficult part as usual was in narrowing it down to only eight.  I didn't.   So what I did was come up with four upon which there would be probably be wide agreement on.   After that I have eight debut albums that are special to me.   You'll probably notice that most of these are from the late 1960s and early 70s--that's just the way it is.

Some No-Brainers:

     Steely Dan    Can't Buy a Thrill (1972)     This album first hit my radar when I saw Steely Dan performing "Reelin' in the Years" on The Midnight Special television show in 1972.  They blew me away.  And when I heard the album I was even more impressed.  Since that album, Steely Dan has been consistent in the quality of their releases.  But if this had been their only release, they would have still made musical history on the merits of this one alone.

King Crimson    In the Court of the Crimson King  (1969)     One of the early progressive rock albums remains one of the best of the prog rock genre.  It's an amazing album and the group has a reputation for cutting edge music.

    Blood, Sweat, and Tears  The Child Is the Father to the Man (1968)    Chicago II is probably my
 favorite of the horn band albums, but BS&T I think surpasses Chicago's debut effort.   Blood, Sweat, and Tears' debut is phenomenal jazz-rock fusion.


    The Band     Music from Big Pink (1968)     In my opinion one of the top ten best rock albums of all time.  I am not the only one with this opinion.

Some of My Favorite Debuts:

      Good Rats   The Good Rats (1969)     I recall that I was in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Undergraduate Library perusing a classical music magazine in 1970 and I found a review of this album.   I thought it odd that they would be reviewing a rock album in a magazine like that so I figured the album must be good.  I found a copy in the University Bookstore and bought it.   It was good and I enjoyed it.    Years later I was looking through cassettes in the cut-out bin of a record store and found several tapes by the Good Rats.  I had not realized that the band had continued recording after that debut album.    The first album is not my favorite, but it is an excellent album.  On hearing the later albums the Good Rats became one of my favorite groups.  The Rats still play primarily in the New Jersey area and maintain a solid base of hardcore fans.

        Crazy Horse     Crazy Horse  (1971)     Primarily known as a back-up band for Neil Young, Crazy Horse has been around with various line-ups for many years.  The original band members released a very fine album in 1968 when they were called The Rockets.   This Crazy Horse album is the first released under this group name (without being Young's back-up band) and I'm going to call it a debut, though in a way it's not.  It's a superb album that adds Nils Lofgren and  Jack Nitzsche to the line-up and includes support from Neil Young and Ry Cooder.     Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want to Talk About It" is included on this album and has since been covered by many artists including Rod Stewart and Rita Coolidge.

         Grin (Nils Lofgren)   Grin (1971)   Grin was a band headed up by the very talented singer, songwriter, and musician Nils Logren.  He has been a singer and guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band for about 25 years in addition to his solo work.   His debut with Grin displayed his diverse skills as a songwriter.   This is an outstanding album.

Seals and Crofts     Seals and Crofts   (1969)     This duo had a string of huge hits throughout the 1970s.  Though they had been veterans of hit bands since 1958, they didn't make a real name for themselves until they embarked as a duo.   Their many commercial hits were wonderful examples of some of the finest in pop music, but this debut album to me is their real masterpiece.  Heavenly harmonies and mystical songs make this album an absolute joy to listen to.

       Spirit    Spirit (1968)   This is hands down one of the best, most tasteful, most well-rounded, finest musicianship bands in the history of rock.  I'll put them up against Steely Dan any day.   Their debut is a musical masterpiece and I just don't think there is any reasonable argument otherwise.  Spirit ranks as one of my favorite bands.

     The Police     Outlandos d'Amour (1978).   Before Sting and the Police became absolutely huge they were an edgy band that rode in on the New Wave rock music movement.   The album includes the controversial hit "Roxanne".   The entire album is simple reggae influenced rock and it's all good.

        Judybats    Native Son (1990)    This alternative rock band comes from Knoxville, Tennessee.   I have four of their albums and they are all excellent.  This debut is a truly outstanding effort that includes the Roky Erikson song "She Lives" which was also included on the tribute album Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.

          Rich Mountain Tower    Rich Mountain Tower  (1971)  One of the earliest records released in quadraphonic stereo sound, this has the feel of the harmony bands like Crosby, Stills, and Nash.   The band came out of Knoxville, Tennessee and has a sweet country soft rock sound.   Of the three albums this group made, this is the only one I've heard.  The album is a real gem..



  1. great list... Judybats they are an awesome group, i got a chance to interview them 1996-ish... ahhh the memories.

  2. Great list though of course there were a coupleI didn't know, but it's the taking part that matters .

    Thanks for visiting me and comment much appreciated,

  3. The Police! Definitely. I'll have to check out some of your others... bet they're some groovy classics. :)

  4. oooh, I love Roxanne, especially in MOULIN ROUGE version!

  5. I have the Police album - does that count? LOL

  6. Man, I own 8 of those choices. Good taste, need I say more. Wish I had signed up for this one but life... :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. iZombie -- Judybats did not receive the recognition that they should have.

    Alex -- Since I don't keep up with the newer music that much it only makes sense that I'd dig back.

    Yvonne -- Thanks for being here.

    PK -- The Police really took off when they came onto the scene. Let me know what you think if you listen to any of the others.

    Dezmond - That's right! I forgot that the song was used in Moulin Rouge.

    L. Diane -- Sure it counts for something. That album is a must have for any classic 80s group collection.

    Jules -- I'd like to have seen your choices since I know you have good taste in music that seems similar to mine.

  8. Interesting set of albums. I haven't heard of one of them nor do I think I have heard a track from one of them. In the 80's I had taken a hiatus from radio and commercial music in favor of country gospel, so it is no surprise that I am ignorant of music in the period, even much of the so-called "country" music mass produced in cookie cutter fashion of that period.

  9. Sweet selection my good man! Lovin Steely Dan! Well pretty your entire list is great. That said, mine is completely different...LOL!

  10. Great list. I think. LOL. I only know The Police!

  11. Love "Roxanne" and I still like Sting.

  12. Love that Seals and Croft are on your list. They are by far one of my faves from the '70s! Great list!!

  13. great music choices love these

  14. Lee- Thanks for joining in, and for the many plugs for this event.

    I must confess-I am shocked to see the Judybats on your list! I was just listening to that CD on Saturday. I thought I was the only person on the planet who'd heard of them!

    The Police contended for a spot on my list as well.

    Grin is an interesting choice-I'd almost included Nils' solo debut on my list. And Spirit is one I've not listened to in ages, but I may have to drag it out.

    I do not own any Seals & Croft. I may have to check them out after I get done paying for my more recent CD buying indulgences.


  15. I used to have that Crazy Horse record back in the day. I traded it into one of those used vinyl places a long time back, silly me. Wish I had it back now. I've done that before, sold and then have to buy it back. I totally agree with your Spirit and King Crimson choices. Some of your picks I've not heard so I'll add them to my growing music research/ buy list. Good post, thanks.

  16. Love Seals and Crofts - Summerbreeze makes me feel fine!!!

  17. Hi Arlee!
    Just dropping by to say thank you for the warm words of congratulations you left on my blog last week. I'm definitely looking forward to the next phase in my writing life. Thanks also for starting the A-Z blog challenge. I'm excited to join the A-Z army this April .:P Have an awesome week!

  18. I still love that Police album.

  19. Great list! I've discovered several bands I was not aware of, though I'm sure my husband's heard of them all!


  20. BOID ~
    I was sure I would find CRAZY HORSE on your list, and definitely expected to find the first NEIL YOUNG album - you surprised me with that omission, just like DiscDude surprised me by leaving off Todd Rundgren and Utopia.

    Love your GRIN selection, as I still dig the "innocent" themes and sounds that Nils gave to those Grin albums.

    I don't know what's on that particular SEALS & CROFTS album, but I love their hits that I am familiar with.

    And BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS was a good choice that I had not even thought of.

    Good stuffs, my friend!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  21. Although I didn’t recognize all the albums, your list brought back some fun memories.

  22. Love the albums by Steely Dan and The Police, two my my favorite bands. A couple I'm not too familiar with, but overall a very good selection of tunes!

  23. I see King Crimson made a few lists!
    Don't know a few of these bands, but the Police is a great one!

  24. Gregg -- Most of my choices are pre-1972, but admittedly somewhat obscure I guess.

    Trevor -- I had to include Steely Dan since they are the ultimate in tasteful rock era music.

    Ellie -- There are some others that you are more familiar with than you think. You should check these out.

    Carol -- Sting and the Police have all put out some great music.

    Nicole -- Their debut was what they were before they become the commercial success they later became, which was still some great music.

    Becca -- Thanks for checking this out.

  25. Larry -- I'd heard about the Judybats when I was living in Knoxville, but did not hear any of their music until I heard the cut on the Roky Erikson tribute. They are an excellent group.
    I would recommend going back to Spirit--for me they never grow old and it's such pure music. The Seals and Crofts debut is less commercial than their later hits, but their harmonies are absolutely beautiful.

    El Vox -- I need to update my Crazy Horse to CD. They had so much to do with the great sound of many of the Neil Young albums.

    Halloween -- Seals and Crofts brings back some great memories for me.

    Nutschell -- Thanks for the kind words.

    MPax -- The first Police album is a classic with some great songs.

    Jen -- I'd like to hear what your husband's opinions are of these choices.

  26. StMc -- I definitely considered Neil Young's first but purposely avoided anything related to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young since they all had such a legacy prior to their solo outings. If anything the Buffalo Springfield debut maybe should have been on my list. The first Seals and Crofts album is a collection of beautifully wrought songs. I was only familiar with BS&T's 2nd album until fairly recently--I was amazed when I heard the debut album.

    Jane -- These albums certainly have great memories for me.

    Stephen Tremp -- Police and Steely Dan were two great groups with an incredible output of material.

    Kelly -- King Crimson was a very influential group and challenged rock fans with their debut.

  27. Well I didn't have time to properly participate in this challenge but my feedback is as followed. My list is really the most influenced albums, or the biggest impact on music.

    Top eight influential albums:

    J.S. Bach Well tempered clavier. Well Bach influenced music in general, how we write themes, tonality, even the music spectrum we listen to. See, Bach influenced so much. His music was written at a time when different means of tuning were being used. As a side note our world is actually slightly out of tune. No joke. You can't have a true perfect tonality system because when implemented it sounds out of tune (because the world it self is out of tune). This is mathmatical and is very interesting. So to make a long story short our musical universe is flawed.

    The Beatles have got to have one of the most influential debut albums and one of the most influential albums in general. I'll go with the Sgt Peppers. Not only have i personally heard musicians talk about this record but people within the music instrument industry talk about it. This is where many of the effects like flange, and such were first used. Now we have pedals and gadgets to make those sounds. The Beatles and their producer did it the first time. They had to do it the hard way.

    Metallica Kill em all. I actually don't care for this recording. However, they actually blew up amps to create distortion and were really the fathers of hard core metal. I put their influence above Black Sabbath and others. These guys are the reason guitar players now have distortion pedals.

    Nirvana's Bleach. Not only did this album start the grunge movement, it started Nirvana. Both are very bad things. I can't stand this band, or the subsequent trash they released.

    Miles Davis Four: If you don't own a recording by this man you can't call yourself a Jazz lover. I'm sure his debut recording (whatever it is) is just as influential. I don't look at the dates their released. Sorry, just know if I like it.

    Led Zeppelin: The band that changed rock and roll forever. Great stuff and still have a bigger impact on music than almost anyone pre 1970. (after all Zep did start in the 60's).

    I could come up with more. Of course my time is limited so I did adjust your rules as I saw fit. But hey, I'm kinda known for not follwing the rules anyway.

  28. MousieMarc-- I didn't include any classical since we were dealing with debut albums and I don't know much about which "classical" albums would be considered debut. Can't dispute the influence of Bach on music in general but I don't guess he was directly responsible for any specific debut albums other than maybe Walter/Wendy Carlos's synthesizer album.

    Beatles were certainly ground-breaking and influential, but maybe not musically based on there first album. Pepper came many albums later, but was certainly influential.

    Metallica and Nirvana I can't really comment on.

    I don't know what Miles Davis's debut was, but I think what I said about the Beatles might go for him. I didn't attempt to get into any purely jazz debuts.

    Zep -- Certainly shook the rock world with their first two albums. I really didn't start appreciating them until #3. I just wasn't blown away by the first two albums though they did catch my attention.

    So I think you've come up with albums and artists that were definely influential game changers, but we were dealing more with the debuts that were our favorites. I believe that was the real premise of Larry's challenge to us.

    Thanks for the input.


  29. Lee, thanks for posting. I have some Steely Dan as well as Seals & Croft on my big iPod, but feel like I need to dig deeper than just the hits, thanks to your list. I promise to do so.

  30. You're a true classic rock connoisseur, Lee....
    Those are some respectable choices.

  31. Police, Seals n' Crofts(saw in concert) they were amazing, and Steely Dan bring back fond memories for me. Fun to read!

  32. James-- Often an artists best material is not what has been the most popular material. Seals and Crofts had some great hits and later became more commercial, but their early work is much more interesting in many ways.

    Andrew -- Don't know about the connoiseur part but I know what I like.

    Ella-- I saw Police the early 80s when they were really hot--great arena concert; Seals and Crofts in a smaller concert after their 2nd album when they had not yet achieved their really big popularity--that concert was superb and intimate.

  33. Good choices Arlee. I've not heard of Judybats, I'll have to give them a listen. I do enjoy Alternative. Love Di ♥

  34. Diana -- If you like alt-rock Judybats are one of the best in my opinion.

  35. Yay! The Police!! Great list too.

  36. eeleenlee- Thanks! The Police really caught my attention when they first came out.


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