100 Best Debut Albums of All Time

From the Beatles to Nas and beyond

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'Exile In Guyville'
Courtesy Matador Records65/100

65. 'Exile In Guyville'

Liz Phair
Matador, 1993

It was pretty much impossible to hang around a cool girl's dorm room in the mid 1990s and not see this indie-rock landmark on the CD shelf. A studio expansion of Phair's homemade Girlysound tape, Exile was a stunning double album that sounded like its songs had gone from her firecracker brainstem straight to tape with the only slightest guitar-drums mediation. The barebones songcraft caused as much of a stir as her frank sex talk on "Flower" and "Glory." But it's the lacerating honesty of tracks such as "Divorce Song" that sticks, and "Fuck and Run" is one of the saddest songs ever written about dreaming of romance and settling for less.

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