Did you know that some of the biggest names in the music industry started their careers with an unforgettable debut single? These songs not only introduced the artists to the world but also set new trends and made history. In this article, we will explore some of the best debut singles ever released, from Britney Spears to The Clash. These songs have not only become classics but also transformed the music industry.
Britney Spears – ‘…Baby One More Time’ (1998)
When it comes to debut singles, Britney Spears‘ “…Baby One More Time” reigns supreme. Released in 1998, this iconic song not only introduced Britney to the world but also shaped the sound of pop music for years to come. With its catchy hooks and memorable chorus, it instantly became a pop cultural phenomenon. Britney Spears became an overnight sensation and went on to sell millions of records.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets – ‘That’ll Be The Day’ (1957)
Inspired by John Wayne’s famous phrase, Buddy Holly and the Crickets created their debut single “That’ll Be The Day.” Though success didn’t come right away, once it hit, it hit big. Unfortunately, Buddy Holly’s career was tragically cut short when he died in a plane crash at the age of 22. However, his legacy lives on through this timeless classic.
The Jackson 5 – ‘I Want You Back’ (1969)
Before Britney Spears, there were The Jackson 5. This group of five talented brothers from Indiana burst onto the music scene with their debut single “I Want You Back.” With its infectious rhythm and soulful vocals, the song defined the sound of the ’70s. Even today, over half a century later, “I Want You Back” remains a joyful and uplifting anthem.
Lady Gaga – ‘Just Dance’ (2008)
Lady Gaga’s debut single “Just Dance” marked the arrival of a unique and talented artist. The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. Lady Gaga’s fusion of music, fashion, and eccentricity became her trademark, and she instantly became a pop superstar. Truly, a star was born with “Just Dance.”
The Sex Pistols – ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ (1976)
If there’s one word to describe The Sex Pistols’ debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.,” it’s rebellion. This explosive song is a declaration of war, hitting the listener right in the face from the very beginning. With its raw energy and provocative lyrics, it became an instant breakthrough for the band and the seed of the original punk rock genre.
Run-DMC – ‘It’s Like That’ (1983)
Run-DMC’s debut single “It’s Like That” signaled a turning point in the world of hip-hop and rap. The trio from Queens crafted a catchy song that would go on to define the sound of the ’80s. The song gained a second life in 1997 when DJ Jason Nevins remixed it, cementing its status as a hip-hop classic.
Katy Perry – ‘I Kissed a Girl’ (2008)
Katy Perry’s debut single “I Kissed a Girl” made waves for its bold and controversial theme. Despite some radio stations refusing to play it, the song soared to number one and stayed there for an impressive seven weeks. Its success showcased the influence of the LGBT+ community in pop culture and launched Katy Perry’s career to new heights.
Chuck Berry – ‘Maybellene’ (1955)
Chuck Berry’s first single “Maybellene” was a game-changer in the world of rock ‘n roll. Berry combined elements of blues and country music, speeding up the tempo and creating a sound that was uniquely his own. As the first African-American artist to dominate the Billboard charts, Chuck Berry cemented his status as a Rock ‘n Roll legend.
R.E.M. – ‘Radio Free Europe’ (1981)
R.E.M.’s debut single “Radio Free Europe” laid the foundations for indie rock and forever changed the music landscape. Lead vocalist Michael Stipe’s distinct voice and the band’s innovative instrumental sound set them apart from their peers. This song marked the beginning of R.E.M.’s influential career and their impact on alternative music.
Led Zeppelin – ‘Good Times Bad Times’ (1969)
Led Zeppelin’s debut single “Good Times Bad Times” showcased their unique brand of rock ‘n roll. Guitarist Jimmy Page’s innovative use of distorters created new and exciting sound effects, revolutionizing the genre. The song resonated with listeners, touching on the highs and lows of life, and became an instant hit for the band.
Elvis Presley – ‘That’s All Right’ (1954)
Elvis Presley’s first single “That’s All Right” marked the beginning of a cultural revolution. Taking a blues song by Arthur Crudup, Elvis changed the chords, lyrics, and tune, creating a whole new sound. This single launched Elvis Presley’s career and set him on the path to becoming the King of Rock ‘n Roll.
The Ramones – ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ (1976)
With just two seconds of the song, The Ramones’ debut single “Blitzkrieg Bop” became an instant classic. It became the anthem of the punk rock genre and a symbol of rebellion for a whole generation. Although it initially had a slow start in terms of sales, it has now become one of The Ramones’ most beloved and recognizable songs.
The Smiths – ‘Hand in Glove’ (1983)
The Smiths’ debut single “Hand in Glove” may not have been a hit at the time, but it has since become a cult favorite. With controversial lyrics and a masterful sound, Morrisey and Johnny Marr left a lasting impact on the music scene. This song was a promise of the success that was to come for The Smiths.
These debut singles have not only shaped the careers of some of the biggest names in the music industry but also left an indelible mark on pop culture. From Britney Spears to The Clash, each of these artists brought something unique to the table with their first single. These songs continue to be cherished and celebrated, making them the best debut singles ever released.