Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Now that we’ve seen the entire Rolling Stone list, I thought it might be interesting to see the results of the blogfest we did a few years ago ( check out the post HERE.)

Here is the musical brain trust I am lining up against the editors of Rolling Stone…be afraid, Rolling Stone….be VERY afraid!

Yours truly
Stephen T. McCarthy
Arlee Bird
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Nicole Duclerior
PK Hrezo
Halloween Overkill
Kelly Polark
Love In The Truth
Eeleen Lee
Sober Chronic Fabulous
Yellow Matter Custard
Dance On Fire

Welcome To My World Of Poetry also participated, but it appears that her post was taken down (the link is no longer active), so her list is not represented in the results below.

Here are the top twenty debut albums ranked simply by the number of lists they appeared on.

GNR-Appetite For Destruction

Pearl Jam-Ten


King Crimson-In The Court Of The Crimson King

Nils Lofgren-ST

Rickie Lee Jones-ST

Christopher Cross-ST

Alanis Morrisette-Jagged Little Pill

The Doors-ST

Heart-Dreamboat Annie

Pat Benatar-In The Heat Of The Night

Kate Bush-The Kick Inside

Rage Against The Machine-ST

The Killers-Hot Fuss

Steve Forbert-Alive On Arrival

The Police-Outlandos d’Amour

Elvis Costello-My Aim Is True

Tori Amos-Little Earthquakes

Todd Snider-Songs For The Daily Planet

Marillion-Script For A Jester’s Tear

Now, I am a CPA, so you know I had to play around with the numbers.

I weighted the titles based on how high they were ranked on each participant's list. There was a little movement as a result of this, and I would think this is probably a better representation (even though it pains me that Nils Lofrgren and Marillion fall off of this list)...

Here are the top twenty adjusted to account for individual rankings: 

GNR Appetite For Destruction


Pearl Jam Ten

Kate Bush The Kick Inside

The Killers-Hot Fuss

King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King

Rickie Lee Jones-ST

Tori Amos-Little Earthquakes

Todd Snider Songs For The Daily Planet

Alanis Morrisette-Jagged Little Pill

David Crosby-If I Could Only Remember My Name

Steely Dan Can't Buy A Thrill

Pink Floyd-Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Beastie Boys-License To Ill

Van Halen-ST


Pantera-Cowboys From Hell

Maroon 5-Songs About Jane

Van Morrison Astral Weeks

Steve Forbert Alive On Arrival

My comments on the Rolling Stone list were alleging that the newer music was overrepresented, so I decided to test that theory.

The distribution by decade was as follows, with 61% of the debut albums coming from the 1980’s or later. 

This would have been even more lopsided, but many acts commonly attributed to the 80’s (The Police, B-52’s, The Cars, Joy Division, The Clash) managed to sneak in debut albums before the Seventies closed out.


I think, especially considering the variety and volume of new music in the late sixties through the seventies, that my comments have merit-that I suspect Rolling Stone skewed their list to more recent music to pacify their readers.

Or maybe I’m just disgruntled because Todd Rundgren isn’t on their list.


  1. Maybe you are!
    Cowboys From Hell definitely needed to be on that list. Nice to see G'n'R and Boston on top though.
    Outstanding debut albums are hard to find. Most bands don't hit their stride until a couple albums in. Such as Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime. (One of the most brilliant concept albums ever.)

    1. I didn't rank Todd's debut on my own list for that reason-it took him a while.

      I just saw the Geoff Tate "version" of Queensryche last weekend. Agree on "Mindcrime" although I was late to the party (did not discover it until late 90's).

      "Cowboys" omission is probably due to the average age of the participants...

  2. I guess they do have to stay with the times, even if it means erring on the side of selling out! And yet I have one friend in particular who pretty much lives in the 70s still, in terms of music, with the very rare occasional exception!

    1. I agree they need to keep up with the times, but I still think they failed to follow their own somewhat convoluted rules.

      Did your friend come of age in the seventies or is this a throwback situation?

      I still think the seventies provided the most variety of musical styles under the umbrella of "rock."

      There were so many diverse acts getting radio airplay, and the songs played were deep album cuts, not the same handful of singles you hear on today's stations.

  3. The comparison in the lists is interesting. Once again, I don't give much credence to anything Rolling Stone has to say (anymore).

  4. >>... I weighted the titles based on how high they were ranked on each participant's list.

    I listed my debut album choices in chronological order, oldest release first. Now I wish I had attempted to rank them according to my preferences, because I would have liked to boost David & David's 'BOOMTOWN' album a little higher, if possible.

    However, I would have found trying to rate them that way extremely difficult, because my order would probably change from year to year, and 'BOOMTOWN' still wouldn't have gotten the #1 spot on my list ever... although it would have probably been consistently amongst the top four.

    Regardless, ANY list that includes 'Rickie Lee Jones' and 'Todd Snider' is better than that mess Rolling Stone threw together.

    Hmmm... I did not realize that 'Can't Buy A Thrill' was Steely Dan's debut. They certainly came out of the chute impressively!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. my order would probably change from year to year

      I hear ya-I went from the Doors' debut being a runner-up to saying I might not include them in a top 100 list!

      Can't Buy A Thrill really was a pretty impressive first effort, huh? "Reeling In The Years" and "Do It Again" are not too shabby for your first two singles....