12 of the best major label debut albums

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Every musician has dreamed about what it would be like to hit the big time – the tour bus, the stadium shows, the screaming fans, making money hand over fist (though in 2016 this last one should probably be dialled down to “being able to earn a semi-respectable living”).

Only a small number of artists ever get the opportunity to achieve this kind of success, and signing a major label deal really is no guarantee of anything. You have to deliver an album that takes you to that next level. Most fail. Some buy themselves a second opportunity. But every now and then an artist comes along that takes their shot at immortality and absolutely crushes it. Here are 12 of the best major label debuts.


Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

Brand New were able to break out of their pop-punk niche in a major way with 2003’s Deja Entendu, earning them newfound critical success and a more diverse fanbase. They were snapped up by Interscope Records shortly afterwards, and it took them a few years to release their follow up, causing tremendous anxiety to fans of the band who began to doubt that they’d ever get to hear new music.

The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me was finally released in 2006, expanding on the more diverse influences of Deja Entendu to truly transcend the band’s pop-punk roots. It became a sprawling, dark, modern alternative rock classic.

Brand New
Photo: Brand New