Great debut albums

NME has a special issue this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of “The Stone Roses”, hailing it as “the greatest debut album ever”. Now I have to say I have never been a big fan of the Roses anyway and never really got the whole Manchester “baggy” thing but I guess it was one of those albums which perfectly captured the moment, a bit like “Sgt Pepper” or “Never Mind The Bollocks”. But strip away all that and consider the album purely on its own merits and it’s, well, OK. Not bad. It has a few decent songs but only one great one (“I Am The Resurrection”). Greatest debut album ever? Hmm…I would humbly suggest the following nominations for that accolade

1. The Velvet Underground – “The Velvet Underground and Nico”
2. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Psychocandy”
3. The New York Dolls – “The New York Dolls”
4. Roxy Music – “Roxy Music”
5. Patti Smith – “Horses”

OK, maybe a bit narrow in terms of style and the timeframe but it’s not as though I stopped buying music in 1985, I just can’t think of any truly great debut albums since then which would stand up against those above, and I think you have to an extent consider works which have stood the test of time. Anyway, alternative suggestions greatfully received.

A couple of farewells…

First of all I would like to wish all Mutantblog readers a Happy New Year. Sorry for the lack of posts recently, this was due to a combination of home and work commitments and laziness, but mostly laziness.

Anyway, I have been stirred out of my stupor by a couple of sad pieces of news for us music lovers. Firstly, this week will see the closing of The Astoria, one of London’s best venues for gigs.

It has always been a favourie venue of mine – big enough to attract decent acts whilst still small enough to retain a good atmosphere, and easy (for me) to get to, being smack in the middle of the West End. I can’t possible remember every band I’ve seen there but off the top of my head I can recall great gigs by The Scissor Sisters, The Sleepy Jackson, The Cramps, Sparks, Alice Cooper, My Life Story, Flesh For Lulu, Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians, All About Eve, John Cale, Catatonia and many more. It will be sadly missed.

As will Ron Asheton, guitarist with The Stooges, who died last week. The first two Stooges albums were way ahead of their time, probably the first real “punk” records and very few others can match them for their sheer raw excitement, which this was down to a comination of Iggy Pop’s manic energy and Asheton’s raw and brutal guitar work. There is a good obituary here and below is a clip of the Stooges performing TV Eye on their comeback tour a couple of years ago – probably my favourite guitar riff of all time.