It's never easy making your first record. After slogging it out playing one club after another, the idea of working on your first ever major piece of work tends to be a bit daunting. Though many have knocked it out of the park from the word go, it's not always that easy.
From the beginning of time, there have been thousands of bands that really haven't put their best foot forward on their debut. Whether it was because of a changing lineup or some random sound that wasn't coming together, these records are definitely not the best these guys have to offer. That's not to say that all of these records are misfires. While some of them have prepared bands for a lifetime of mediocrity, the reason why a lot of these records end up sounding bad is because the other material they would make down the line sounds so much better by comparison.
Even though these records tend to sound a bit like amateur hour at the best of times, it wasn't much longer until we heard what these bands could really do (or couldn't do). Regardless, this is far from the greatest look for these guys. There's hitting the ground running...and then there's just hitting the ground.
10. 39/Smooth - Green Day
In all of punk, no other band has been both loved and hated as much as Green Day. For all of the fans they earned off the strength of albums like Dookie and American Idiot, there have always been those who prefer their old stuff before they "sold out." Then again, it's not like these guys were necessarily great right off the bat.
Across their debut record 39/Smooth, you can tell that these guys are just having fun trying to figure out what the hell they are. Whereas Billie Joe Armstrong has an impressive knack for writing melodies on I Was There and Going to Pasalacqua, the rest of the record is a bit too slipshot to actually be taken seriously. Even though Mike Dirnt delivers a killer bass performance as to be expected, the sloppiness of original drummer Al Sobrante really shows, as he trips over fills and always sounds like he's racing to keep up with the rest of the guys.
Even though Tre Cool would be brought in later, there was pretty much no chance of this iteration of Green Day actually succeeding out of the Bay Area punk scene with Al still in their ranks. While most of this record is just a passable punk release, all great acts have to take their baby steps somewhere.