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The new issue of Q celebrates a hand-picked selection of revolutionary sounds as we run through the greatest debut albums of all time, as chosen by Q’s writers (and some friends). As Q’s Ted Kessler explains in his introduction to the feature, it all began over an argument online about the merits of The Doors’ debut album. “It made me think about that opening musical statement,” he writes, “the moment a musician has been honing all of the short lives towards. The debut album. What were the debut albums that had the biggest impact, that changed the way I saw the world or most reflected it for the first time? As we started to debate the debuts that had flicked switches in each of us in the Q office, I scribbled down a list and soon had 50. Too many…” And so began the task of pulling together the mammoth feature. We speak to the creators of some of our favourite debuts, including exclusive interviews with The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Doors. James Oldham retraces the steps of The Strokes as they turned the world upside down with Is This It in 2001, Mark Blake has the inside story on Kate Bush’s The Kick Inside and Simon Goddard goes back to where it all began with Little Richard. There’s in-depth pieces on Portishead, Lady Gaga, Joy Division, The Specials, Arcade Fire and more. It’s a feature that will have you debating about the greatest debuts of all time and, trust us, the first ten you choose won’t be the ten you end up with.
Elsewhere in the issue, Sylvia Patterson pops round to Guy Garvey’s pad in Prestwich to hear how the Elbow singer is loved up and expecting his first child. He tells us about the miracle of love and the music it provokes. Simon Goddard also heads north as he braves a festival in Yorkshire in mid-January staged by Heavenly Recordings and the label’s “madman” boss Jeff Barratt. This month’s Q Maverick is Laura Marling, a veteran at just 27 of six richly philosophical albums. She tells Victoria Segal that “some artists are so ethereal they can’t function. I’m not that way inclined at all.” This month’s Cash For Questions subjects are Bastille, who are quizzed on their DIY dilemmas, embarrassing celebrity crushes and fan-fiction erotica. There’s a studio report from Future Islands, who give Dorian Lynskey an update on their forthcoming record, and James Blunt gives us his golden rules for living in 10 Commandments.
The Q Review runs the rule over new records by Sleaford Mods, The Shins, Laura Marling, Circa Waves and more, whilst Eve Barlow catches Kings Of Leon live in LA, Matt Mason is there to witness Drake become an honorary Londoner at the O2 Arena and Andrew Perry immerses himself in the chaos of feisty Mancunian punks Cabbage.