100 Best Debut Albums of All Time

From the Beatles to Nas and beyond

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'She’s So Unusual'
Courtesy of Portrait Records63/100

63. 'She’s So Unusual'

Cyndi Lauper
Epic/Legacy, 1983

Lauper's first band had broken up, she had filed for bankruptcy, and she was singing in a Japanese restaurant. Then this debut album of exuberant, razor-sharp dance pop became the first by a female performer to score four Top Five hits, including "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." The Queens-bred singer looked like a punked up Betty Boop and her sound was admirably elastic – from here cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine" to the reggae tinged "Witness" to an amazing take on the Brains' "Money Changes Everything," which sounds at once like a pissed off song about careerist jerks and a anthem of pure now's-my-time ambition.

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