Greatest Debut Album for Rock Guitar
Posted by Michael Mueller on November 14, 2011 at 1:43 PM
Considering the incredible bodies of work put together by the top guitarists of the past 50 years or so, it's amazing that so many of them knocked the ball out of the park with their debut albums. From the blues-rock of Are You Experienced and Led Zeppelin I to the fretboard pyrotechnics of Van Halen I and Rising Force, every one of these albums forever changed the landscape of guitar playing. Vote for your favorite below.
To get official guitar tab for each artist, simply click on their name.
Are You Experienced Jimi Hendrix (1967)
Move over, Rover, and let Jimi take over. With his 1967 masterpiece, Hendrix set the bar so high for a debut album that few—if any—guitarists have ever matched it.
Led Zeppelin I Jimmy Page (1969)
Taking the electrified blues work of Hendrix and plugging it into a heavy rock structure tinged with psychedelia, punk, and folk music, Page took Cream's "riff-rock" to a whole new dimension.
Black Sabbath Tony Iommi (1970)
With Iommi's ominous tritone riff of the opening title track, heavy metal—in all its forms—was born.
Van Halen I Eddie Van Halen (1978)
Like Hendrix 10 years prior, Eddie Van Halen turned the guitar-playing world on its ear with his monster tone, frenetic lines, and what is still the greatest 1:42 of rock guitar playing in history.
Blizzard of Ozz Randy Rhoads (1980)
Combining Van Halen's highly saturated blues-based rock lines with neoclassical influence, Randy Rhoads set the table for the shred movement that would officially begin just four years later.
Texas Flood Stevie Ray Vaughan (1983)
With his stunning debut, Texas titan of tone Stevie Ray Vaughan essentially became the Eddie Van Halen of blues guitar. Though his lines were steeped in the work of Albert King, Lonnie Mack, and other blues greats, SRV added a fiery touch of rock attitude and singlehandedly revived the blues genre.
Rising Force Yngwie Malmsteen (1984)
The greatest shred guitar album by the greatest shred guitarist of all-time. Like Van Halen before him, Malmsteen did things on the guitar previously thought impossible.
Appetite for Destruction Slash (1987)
At a time when point-headstock guitars, spandex, Aqua Net, and high-octane quasi-shred guitar ruled the rock roost, along came a '70s-styled, top-hatted, Les Paul-wielding "anti-guitar hero" playing blues-based lines that harkened back to the days of Zeppelin and Aerosmith, reminding guitar players everywhere that it was OK if you weren't prettier than your girlfriend.