The Riverboat Song Ocean Colour Scene Download 'The Riverboat Song' on iTunes
Some artists get it right first time round the block. We pick 25 of our favourite debut LPs.
The New York post-punk revivalists issued their excellent debut album in 2002, which included PDA, NYC, Untitled and Obstacle 1. Summer 2017 will see the band play the LP in full at a series of shows across Europe.
Effortlessly fusing dancefloor rhythms with classic jangle guitar, plus a soupçon of psychedelia, this supremely confident debut was an instant classic from the ponderous I Want To Be Adored to the closing I Am The Resurrection.
Weezer were almost a reaction to grunge. American rock made by the REAL outsiders – the nerds and the geeks, given a voice via the medium of power chords and singalong choruses. Rivers Cuomo’s persona was a fascinating meld of mathematics student and idiot savant and the hits (The Sweater Song, Buddy Holly) sit comfortably alongside some great album tracks (In The Garage, Surf Wax America).
Young Manchester punks lift off into space and create their own sonic landscape. Endlessly influential from the sparse, evocative cover to the looming baritone of the tragic singer Ian Curtis, the songs are dark thumbnail sketches.
Lots of people were recycling old post-punk Gang Of Four riffs in 2004, but when Take Me Out dropped that year, we knew we’d heard something special. The classic, choppy guitar action on the album is accompanied by Alex Kapranos’s gentlemanly vocals, investigating romantic affectation and social ennui perfectly on songs like The Dark Of The Matinee, Michael and This Fire.
Where it all began. Young Yorkshiremen with attitude fronted by the greatest lyrical talent since Morrissey. Top tune: I Bet That You Look Good On the Dancefloor.
Literally, a generation-defining debut album. It ushered in Britpop, Cool Britannia and took the country out from the shadow of American-dominated rock. And what tunes! Supersonic, Live Forever, Cigarettes And Alcohol, Slide Away…
Sometimes quiet and elliptical, sometimes tense and angry, Bloc Party’s opening salvo is a fully rounded creation with such great songs as Helicopter, So Here We Are and Banquet. The compositions are so strong, they released a remix album that’s every bit as good as the original.
We’d say that the Followills were “fresh-faced” when they made the aptly-named Youth And Young Manhood, but this is the Kings at their hairiest: leaving their Southern home behind, but wearing their roots on their sleeves. From the opening Red Morning Light, through Molly’s Chambers and California Waiting, this is classic rock and roll.
Having had success with their first two singles, producer George Martin bustled The Beatles into Abbey Road studios to record tracks that would complete their debut album and cash in on the rising wave of Beatlemania. In one day, they produced an epic memento of early 60s pop: from the stirring McCartney opener I Saw Her Standing There to Lennon's raw-throated take on Twist And Shout, this is the Fab Four's live show committed to vinyl.
Straight out of the traps came the Brighton duo with this ferocious collection of noise meeting melody. It hit the Number 1 spot in the album charts, too... Best moment: The swagger of Little Monster
The South West London trio lost a member (Baria Qureshi) while they birthed their debut album, but they gained an identity. Their low-key dream pop is impenetrable at first listen, but the interplay between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s voices is the key. Add to that a sparse, but precise musical soundscape from Jamie Smith and a whole world opens up. One of the most acclaimed debuts of recent times.
Apply Some Pressure was the big tune from this debut, but Paul Smith’s lyrical musings are worth investigating: songs such as Graffiti and The Coast Is Always Changing offer a depth that sets them above their peers… which is why they’re still in business a decade later.
One of the freshest talents to come of of Britain in recent years, the cocky, confident and instantly recognisable voice of young Bugg make this album a fully rounded debut. With a nod to the acoustic troubadours of folk rock history, the record has moments of romance and optimism, with the occasional observational gem (the wry Seen It All). Such experience from one so young…
The band weren’t entirely happy with the finished product, but as a statement of intent, this eponymous debut is pretty spot on. Out of tales of murder in Manchester and disfunctional relationships, Morrissey carves his unique worldview and Johnny Marr makes beautiful music to carry it.
Watching Florence Welch evolve from performance artist to genuine pop diva has been a fascinating phenomenon, with Lungs the first step on the journey. What started as a conceptual project gained form and substance with Welch’s distinctive voice. The multi-layered sounds on tracks like Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) and Cosmic Love make this a rewarding listen, with the excellent cover of You Got The Love a fine showstopper.
Tom Smith’s gruff baritone led many to pin Editors as some kind of gloom merchants, but this impressive debut is full of uplifting and athemic moments. The singles Bullets, Munich and Blood all ring with Chris Urbanowicz’s distinctive guitar and even at their bleakest – All Sparks, for instance – their music stirs the soul.
Nobody thought that the neo-folk revival would produce a stadium-sized band, but Marcus Mumford and company proved us all wrong. Their honest, passionate and frequently moving music polarises opinion: but all good art should provoke such a strong and genuine response. Little Lion Man, Roll Away Your Stone and Winter Winds are all great singles, but the baroque pop of songs like Timshel complete the picture.
When everyone was giving love to the new wave of post punk (or whatever we called it), Carl Barat and Pete Doherty gave a solid riposte to The Strokes and their ilk with this defiantly British album. The pair believed in a Time For Heroes and tapped into the dreams of the romantic poets and the low-rent appeal of punk, coupled with some peerless songwriting.
They’d previously tried and failed as Parva, so the Kaiser Chiefs project seemed like a last chance for the Leeds-based band. But with skilled producer Stephen Street, they produced an album of witty, keenly-observed and memorable tunes: Oh My God, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less are all great singles, while album tracks like Born To Be A Dancer and Saturday Night expand on their weary but often hilarious philosophy.
It was a debut, but it was also their swan song. A band as reviled and revered as much as the Sex Pistols were too volatile to live and they were on their way out by the time their debut appeared. It was almost a full stop after a string of epochal singles, but John Lydon’s lyrical preoccupations were given free reign on album tracks like Bodies, New York and the record industry-bashing EMI.
The Teignmouth trio were always going to go on to bigger things, but the confidence on their debut is astounding. Songs like Sunburn and Muscle Museum were written for stadiums when the band were actually playing clubs. The cut-price Storm Thorgerson cover artwork was replaced by the real thing on later albums… when they could afford him.
Suede were caught in the tidal wave of Britpop, but they always had that outsider vibe. Brett Anderson took the androgynous posturing of Bowie and the ambiguous lyricism of Morrissey and created something remarkable, with the help of guitar wunderkind Bernard Butler. Classic moments include So Young, Animal Nitrate and that provocative front cover.
Rock and roll seemed dead and buried at the turn of the century, but these New Yorkers took the codes and cliches of the genre and gave them a Chelsea-booted kick up the arse. Hard To Explain, Last Nite, The Modern Age… all calls to arms for a new era.
Cooped up in plastic Las Vegas, Brandon Flowers and his like-minded bandmates looked to the music of the UK for their inspiration. Hot Fuss is a compendium of the greatest moments of British rock through an American eye: sardonic, sincere, glamorous indie rock and roll. Songs include Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me and the anthemic All These Things That I Have Done.