Contact Us

Alternative Rock’s 50 Greatest Debut Singles

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s an opportunity that the artists in this gallery didn’t waste. We’re exploring the 50 greatest debut singles in alt. rock.

Some of these singles launched incredible albums. Others marked the beginning of remarkable careers. A select few even started an entire genre of music.

There are acts in this gallery that never again delivered sounds as interesting as those found on their debut singles. Were the Damned ever again as potent as “New Rose?” Did Living Colour come up with another riff as memorable as the one that fuels “Cult of Personality”? Was Lily Allen’s “Smile” beginner’s luck more than an indication of future brilliance?

Then there are debut singles, great as they are, that only hinted at the remarkable music which would come from these artists in subsequent years and decades. “Creep” couldn’t possibly prognosticate how Radiohead would transform rock and, arguably, the music industry. “Radio Free Europe” wasn’t able to present all the shifts and meanderings to come in R.E.M.’s captivating career. And as epic as “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” is, it didn’t point to all that would explode out of Arcade Fire.

Regardless of what happened afterward, today we’re focusing solely on the debut single – the introduction, the reveal, those first two or three or… nine minutes (we’re looking at you, Bauhaus) in which new artists announced themselves for the first time. Let’s take a second glance at these first impressions.

Next: 10 Bands That Possibly Peaked on Their Debuts

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://diffuser.fm using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for Diffuser.fm quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!