7 Incredible Artists Whose Debut Albums Failed
If at first you don't succeed, pick yourself up and try again - and we're so glad they did! Here are the first albums from famous music stars that you might not know about...
1. Billy Joel – Cold Spring Harbor (1971)
Even Joel himself was disgusted with the results of his first album on which left him sounding like a chipmunk! Because of a fault during mastering, the songs are played too fast making Joel’s voice higher than it should be. Joel fell out with record label owner Arthur Ripp as a result. We don't blame him!
2. David Bowie – David Bowie (1967)
Bowie’s debut offering has been described by a biographer as “the vinyl equivalent of the madwoman in the attic” and it’s true to say the style of this album is incomparable to the glam-rock sound he became known for. The album didn’t even chart in the US or UK but randomly went to no.1 in New Zealand and Austria?!
3. Elton John – Empty Sky (1969)
Many thought Elton's self-titled LP released in 1970 was his first but actually Elton had released ‘Empty Sky’ the summer before and it was a total flop. "Making the Empty Sky album still holds the nicest memories for me," John said years later. "I suppose it's difficult to explain the enthusiasm we felt as the album began to take shape." Pity this enthusiasm wasn't shared by critics!
4. The Carpenters - Offering / Ticket To Ride (1969)
The debut album from these musical siblings was originally released under the name ‘Offering’ and was a commercial failure, reaching only No. 150 in the US. The only minor hit from the album was a cover of ‘Ticket to Ride' so the album was later re-released with that song as the title.
5. Prince – For You (1978)
Prince convinced his record label to let him self-produce this debt album but later admitted, “It wasn’t really me, it was like a machine.”
6. Genesis – From Genesis To Revelation (1969)
Jonathan King was the producer behind this first album. He wanted to make the music as marketable as possible, much to the group’s annoyance. This conflict of interest can be heard in the music and it only went to No. 120 in the U.S.
7. Janet Jackson – Janet Jackson (1982)
This is a good example of somebody very young being controlled by the record label. Released when Janet was just 17, it was her father Joe Jackson who set the deal up with the label. A critic said she “demonstrates no musical personality of her own.” Not so true any more!