by Magnus Shaw: Like a quality wine, some bands take a while to mature and realise their potential. Others, however, come screaming out of the traps with several powerful fireworks unaccountably attached to their hind-quarters. These are the acts whose initial blaze of glory set them apart and the world ablaze. So let us salute the glory of the debut album with 20 of the best.
20. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
By 1979 punk was starting to look very tired – and unless Cockney Rejects were your idea of a good time, the party was pretty much over. Fortunately, in a cheap studio in Stockport one of the most extraordinary bands to ever grace a stage were recording this icy, industrial celebration of bleak isolation. And using Tony Wilson’s life savings to do it.
19. ABC – The Lexicon of Love
While we may recoil at the gaudy excesses of the 80s in the grip of 21st century austerity, at least we can brighten our benighted lives with this timelessly lush, peerlessly glamorous album out of Sheffield (surprisingly). When Trevor Horn’s production met Martin Fry’s wit, magic was in the air.
18. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
A couple of sulky Scots brothers with a Velvet Underground obsession and an enthusiasm for ear-bleeding feedback hardly sounds like a recipe for pleasure. But it was. The Spector-like layering of malfunctioning guitars over bubblegum pop tunes almost gave us another Sex Pistols moment. Great name too.