Led Zeppelin’s iconic self-titled debut album was released 47 years ago today (January 12th), and without question, it’s one of rock’s best debut albums ever. In honor of its anniversary, we take a look at the album’s impact, in addition to some other notable debut albums that gave rock a shot in the arm.
The only thing more explosive than Led Zeppelin arriving on the scene could be the album’s cover image of the Hindenburg. Rolling Stone may have called the album “weak” and “unimaginative,” but we’ll just chalk that up to them having an off day.
Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut is another album Rolling Stone didn’t seem to care for stating in their review, “Mark my words: in three years, Van Halen is going to be fat and self-indulgent and disgusting, and they'll follow Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin right into the toilet. In the meantime, they are likely to be a big deal.” Nearly 38 years later, this album is still a “big deal.”
Clocking in at 29:04, the 14-track debut from The Ramones is like a punk starter kit showing first-time listeners what punk should sound like (“Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Beat on the Brat,” “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue) and what it should look like (leather jacket, t-shirt, jeans.) It’s loud. It’s fast. It’s absolutely devastating the four men on the album’s cover are no longer with us, but what an incredible legacy they left.
Blizzard Of Ozz
In the case of Ozzy Osbourne’s debut solo album, it didn’t mark an arrival so much as a rebirth. After being fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy got his act together thanks to his new manager/soon-to-be future wife, Sharon, and put together a backing band that included the ridiculously talented guitarist Randy Rhoads, who cemented his legend with the now classic opening riff to “Crazy Train.”
Are You Experienced?
If Ramones was a punk starter kit, the same could be said about Are You Experienced? and psychedelic rock. The Jimi Hendrix Experience arrived in 1967, and with now classics like “Fire” and “Foxy Lady,” they made a first impression like no one before them or after.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.