This is NME’s celebration of the best debut albums from the last 50 years. It's not a countdown. Instead, we've selected one album from each year.

Disagree with our choices? You can always vote your own favourites to the top via our debut albums reader poll, and share your thoughts on the office blog.

This article originally appeared in the November 6 issue of NME. Subscribe here, or get this week's digital issue.

0The Stooges (1969)

Formulating their attack in the basement of the Asheton’s childhood home, the band only had five tracks to include on their debut. The other three songs – ‘Real Cool Time’, ‘Not Right’ and ‘Little Doll’ – were written overnight and recorded the next day.

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0Black Sabbath (1970)

The record that invented heavy metal. Simple as that.

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0Thin Lizzy (1971)

Mellower than they’d become, this debut showcased Phil Lynott’s undervalued songwriting chops.

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0Neu! (1972)

The album that invented ‘motorik’, it rivals the Velvets for huge-influence-versus-tiny-sales torque.

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0New York Dolls (1973)

Morrissey’s favourite record is a screeching sideswipe at Manhattan oppression from some of the coolest scumbags the city retched up.

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0Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)

Roxy Music’s tech-nut creates the benchmark of avant-garde glam art-pop.

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0Horses (1975)

More poet than performer, Patti Smith intellectualised ’70s proto-punk, and in the process gave rock’n’roll a genuine feminist agenda. Which isn’t too bad for your first album.

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0Ramones (1976)

1-2-3-4: rewrite the rules of guitar pop, invent punk, dab more speed. Easy.

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0Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)

Modern guitar music’s Big Bang still sounds as if it was played on machine guns by pissed-off succubi and pressed onto discs of bile, speed’n’mucus.

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0Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978)

Flowerpot-wearing new wave madness that still sounds as strange today as it did in 1978.

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