WDHA Morning Jolt

WDHA Morning Jolt

WDHA Morning Jolt

I was looking around the big wall of music in the WDHA studio over the weekend and started thinking of all the great debut rock albums that we have played over the years for you.

Specifically, those records that grabbed you from the very first song (side one/cut one) and held onto you all the way through.

Think Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham wanting to announce his presence with authority. BTW – this is probably my favorite scene in the movie…it’s also NSFW.

The cliché in the music business is that you have your entire lifetime to write and record your first album, and then about six months to get the material together for the follow up.

Feels like the first time

There is something special about an artist’s first record.

You often remember where you were and who you were with the first time you heard certain songs, and the way that music made you feel.

In going through some of my favorite debut albums of all time, I found myself going straight to records that grabbed you right from the start and simply wouldn’t let go.

Each of these records I’ve listed below fall right into that category.

But there’s more – every single one of these albums is strong from start to finish.

Maybe that goes back to the “lifetime to do your first album” theory, but these aren’t one-hit wonders with a load of filler tracks.

These are artists who have stood the test of time and continued to release incredible music throughout their respective careers.

The debut rock albums that aren’t here

Yeah, I know. Where’s Led Zeppelin’s debut? What about the Jimi Hendrix Experience? How could you leave (fill in the blank) out?

I took a long look at Van Halen’s debut and believe me, if “Eruption” had been side one/cut one, well that could very well have been the best opening track of all time.

Jimi Hendrix? God knows that Jimi did things in 1967 that we’re still trying to figure out more than 50 year later.

What about the Beatles? Without them, I’m pretty sure that rock music as we know it wouldn’t exist.

But quite honestly, I think you’re heard enough about the Beatles from me lately.

So let the debate(s) begin. Here is one man’s pick of the best debut albums that grabbed hold of you right from the very first song.

  • 1967 - The Doors

    Side one, cut one. In the 1960’s did anyone do it better than the Doors? Even though it was just 2:28 in length, this song jumped out of the speakers, announcing the Doors as a force to be reckoned with.

  • 1977 - Foreigner

    The were some amazing debut albums in the 1970’s – Bad Company, Boston, the Cars, the Police, the Ramones, and Van Halen to name just a few.

    But the first time you put the needle down on Foreigner’s first album, the combination of driving guitars and Lou Gramm’s vocals on “Feels Like the First Time” you knew this band would be around for awhile.

  • 1980 - The Pretenders

    The Pretenders debut album, released in January 1980 was an incredible combination of rock and roll, new wave, punk, and sheer attitude.

    The band had already achieved some success in 1979 with the release of a cover of the Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” but “Precious” was a statement as much as it was a song.

    Chrissie Hynde’s aggressive delivery of the lyrics was even more accentuated in the live performance, as captured at the Capitol Theater in Passaic when the band opened with this song in September 1980.

  • 1987 - Guns N' Roses

    When it comes to the first song on the first side of an album, few can rival the impact that “Welcome To the Jungle” had.

    Slash’s opening guitar riff DEMANDED that you pay attention to what was coming.

  • 1991 - Pearl Jam

    Ten isn’t just one of the greatest debut albums of the 1990’s.

    It’s one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

    While initially lumped into the Seattle grunge category, Pearl Jam was so much more than that. Listen closely and you’ll hear elements of punk and anthemic hard rock that evokes memories of the Who (Eddie Vedder is a HUGE fan of them) andLed Zeppelin.

    Pearl Jam took the unusual route of placing an unlisted track before “Once” kicks in.

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