Releasing a monumental debut album can be a blessing and a curse.

Many artists toil in obscurity for years before they get their shot at the big leagues. They've had the luxury to hone their craft in private, to iron out the kinks of their sound and presentation at sparsely attended club shows before presenting their material on a global stage.

The result can be a fully realized debut album that establishes an artist's ethos and serves as a springboard for their career — the definitive starting point for any casual listener looking to dive into an artist's discography for the first time.

Sometimes, this fully articulated vision results in astronomical commercial success, such as Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction, the bestselling debut in history or the diamond-selling self-titled bows from Boston or Van Halen. Other times, these debut albums sell poorly but are lauded by critics and become pivotal in the development of entire genres or scenes, such as Ramones' and New York Dolls' self-titled debuts or Television's Marquee Moon.

READ MORE: Top 40 Debut Rock Albums

This type of critical and commercial success is the stuff of dreams, but when an artist gets it right the first time, it creates immense pressure for a follow-up.

Some artists take their newfound stardom in stride and continue churning out solid-to-remarkable albums at a steady clip. Others let the pressure get to them, agonizing and taking years to craft a follow-up, to diminishing returns.

In either case, it's important to remember that just because an artist's first work is their best doesn't mean the rest of their catalog isn't worthy. But it isn't a badge of shame to peak on their first go-round either. To make such an indelible mark on music history even once is an enormous honor.

You can see all sorts of examples below in our list of 20 Artists Who Peaked on Their Debut Album.

20 Rock Artists Who Peaked on Their Debut Album

Getting it right the first time can be a blessing and a curse.

Gallery Credit: Ultimate Classic Rock Staff

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