Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D is for Debuts

It's often said a band's classic work comes together in their third album - think Radiohead 'OK Computer', Metallica 'Master of Puppets' and Manic Street Preachers 'Holy Bible'.

After testing the water with the debut and getting past that difficult second album, things usually come together to create a masterstroke the third time around.

Personally, I like the uncertainty of a debut, the sound of a band discovering themselves and in some cases a rawness that just can't be captured again.

Here's my list of debuts that defy the third album rule:

* The Clash - The Clash
Yes, I know 'London Calling' is cited as the classic here and while that album is a true work of art, there's something about 'The Clash' that just speaks to me. Edgy, stripped down and angry, the lyrics and sound just give me that same rush of adrenaline I felt the first time round. If you don't own it, you should.

* Killing Joke - Killing Joke
I own a few of these, including the just released 'MMXII', but their 1980 eponymously titled debut and its unmistakable brand of industrial post-punk simply can't be beaten. Want to know what the impending apocalypse will sound like? It's already been recorded here.

* Guns n Roses - Appetite For Destruction
It's got 'Welcome to the Jungle', 'Paradise City' and 'Sweet Child o' Mine' - how could a band possibly top that? Not to mention that Axl Rose was already well on his way to becoming an asshole the moment this album was released.

* Pearl Jam - Ten
Born into grunge and yet still going strong, Pearl Jame have successfully managed to dodge the curse of pigeon-holing and a passing music trend. This stunning collection has some awesome riffs and hasn't aged a day.

* Arcade Fire - Funeral
A modern classic with amazing moments throughout and completely captivating when performed live. Also one of the best albums of the last decade and while their later stuff is also worth a listen, I don't think this one can be topped.


  1. Great topic. And very much a NOW thing with bands. They don't get the chance to go three albums deep anymore.

    Mumford and Sons has that raw, awesome sound. I've been wondering for a long time if there was still magic out there. Nice to see that there still is some.

  2. Hey Taryn, thank you for your comment. Yeah, a lot of bands don't get the chance to mature now sadly, certainly not on major labels anyway. Glad you liked the tunes.