UK Music Celebrates Debut Albums With National Album Day

14.10.2022: The UK Music team have shared their favourite debut albums to mark National Album Day. 

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14.10.2022: UK Music staff have shared their favourite debut albums as part of National Album Day. 

Returning for its fifth year on October 15 2022 with the theme ‘Celebrating Debut Albums’, National Album Day is a day to acknowledge the impact the music – and especially albums – have on our lives.

Here’s what the UK Music team picked:

Director Education & Skills, Dr Oliver Morris

The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses  

“I think in terms of classic debut albums my choice is – whilst being a bit of a cliché I suppose – one that is just so full of quality I can’t deny it! The Stone Roses eponymous debut album not only contains banger after banger, but as a whole album, is a fantastic listening experience. I came to it a little after it was released, so missed the initial buzz around the band, but by the time me and my friends were teenagers obsessing over music this played a vital part in our lives in the early-90s. I still return to it regularly and it sounds as fresh as when I first heard it.

Director of Operations, Stephanie Haughton-Campbell

Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes 

“This was the first album I witnessed creative genius. I was (still am) an RnB girl at heart; however, Tori’s songs cut through any genre loyalty I had at the time. Songs exquisitely crafted; clinging to your skin like your favourite perfume. Silent All These Years still stops me in my tracks decades after hearing it for the first time in the press office of East West Records. Plus the art direction by Cindy Palmano for this project was beautiful.”

Parliamentary and Research Manager, Hannah McLennan

Self-Esteem – Compliments Please 

“While Self Esteem’s Prioritise Pleasure has rightfully got the attention it deserves since its release last year, it was Rebecca’s 2019 debut album Compliments Please, which cemented my position as a dyed-in-the-wool fan (or ‘steamer’, as we fondly call ourselves) from the very start.

Deputy CEO & Director of Public Affairs, Tom Kiehl

Suede – Suede 

“Suede’s eponymous debut album was one of the first albums I bought. It set the soundtrack for my early teen years and was an entry point for me with lots of other bands and music. It still has a very special place in my heart after all these years.” 

Policy and Campaigns Officer, Matt Bold

Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not 

“When I first heard Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not as a teenager it was aspirational; talking about life as I thought I wanted it – pubs, clubs and romance on dirty dancefloors. But, like any great coming of age album with retrospect this indie gem is shot through with the tragedy at being old enough to live, but too young to know what to do with it.”

Director of Research, Andy Edwards

Fiona Apple – Tidal 

“Before Lorde and Billie Eilish there was Fiona Apple, a prodigiously talented New Yorker who released her debut album Tidal in 1996. Tidal was a big hit in America but was a slow burn in the UK. Fiona Apple wrote her songs about love, loss, and mental health so close to the bone that perhaps was a bit too jarring for the Brit Pop era. Over the years, Tidal has become a classic and remains her most commercially successful album to date, allowing her the freedom to push the boundaries of the cutting edge even more, breaking down barriers for the next generation of women along the way.” 

Legal Consultant, Florian Koempel

dEUS – Worst Case Scenario 

“The outstanding first album of this Belgian band has aged so well. Every song is special, some more anguishing, some more positive. There is still nothing comparable to this album; even Taylor Swift cannot reach the profound depth of their music and the impact on my existence. I still remember the tape I had at the time – the other side was RATM. Worst Case Scenario still relevant in 2022. Maybe even more so given where the world is right now.

Director of Communications, Vincent Moss

The Pretenders – The Pretenders 

“I’m still listening to old debut albums like the Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), R.E.M. (Murmur 1983) and London Grammar (If You Wait 2013). Yard Act and Wet Leg’s debut albums this year are great.  However, my all-time favourite would be The Pretenders (The Pretenders 1979). The epitome of a great debut.

Communications Manager, Jennifer Geddes

Sampha – Process 

“A Mercury Prize- winning album, it’s just a remarkable piece of work. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.”  

Design and Events Officer, Beatriz Ribeiro

Adele -19 

“Adele saw her first album release go straight to number one when it debuted in 2008. 19 was warm and soulful with songs that spoke to everyone; it was nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Find out more about National Album Day here.

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