Let's put this in perspective. In 1985, the charts were encrusted with soulless, cynical commercialism (sound familiar?)and yet within the potent 'little underground' rock's consistent capacity for rebirth produced at least three of the greatest records of the decade - The Smiths 'Meat Is Murder', New Order's 'Lowlife' and this - certainly a candidate for the top 10 greatest debut albums. Like any perfect debut it draws the listener into a consistent, exhilirating new world that encapsulates a style, a sound and an attitude (black, black and er...black), in short, it blows you away.
The influences may now seem well worn - the quintessential cool of the Velvet Underground, the three chord simplicity and inventiveness of punk and the early 60's beat groups (The Strokes, anyone?), but the combination with elements of Spector's 'wall of sound' and the genius stroke of immersing elegantly constructed gems in shards of feedback was a revelation.
So, let's put this in perspective, back in 1985, I was 16 years old and this record (amongst those others mentioned above) dominated and drenched my life, so much so that I've been unable to return to it until now. I still marvel at the songwriting and amidst any of today's offerings, it more than hold's it's ground. In amongst The White Stripes, Eminem and Gareth Gates, I wonder how it sounds to 16 year old ears today? But this now, buy a guitar and be in black.