I’m often engaged in lively debate about music.  Over the last few days, someone I know wondered about my views on Punk music.   Well,  as we all know,  that’s asking a lot about a particular type of music respected by many.   In addition, punk music has several offshoot styles that further flavor its sound.

I will openly admit that I don’t know as many Punk bands as I should as my love for it is measured in variable ways.  I could argue that Sex Pistols were the greatest in their raw field.  But that’s the obvious choice.  Some have great love for The Ramones,  a band that I gave up to Pop/Punk after the second album.  Love them but not much after the second.

This,  of course,  makes me curious.   As readers, Which Punk bands are your favorites?  Is it hard core, Pop, or ‘mix and match’ Punk that catches your fancy?  And, since we’re here, an important album by a Punk band.

By MARowe

14 thoughts on “Days of Punk”
  1. There’s a long list of great punk bands and some of them were working before punk was “defined”. The Stooges, Redd Kross and I even can consider the MC5 in this category if you consider their DIY attitude. Black Flag, the Minutemen and almost the entire roster of the early SST records. Early “Punk” had the same problem “Grunge” would have later – once there was a break-out act everything had to fit that mold or be called something else. The Sex Pistols were the breakout but they stood on the shoulders of a lot of great bands.

  2. I could never embrace punk groups. After growing up with bands that got more and more accomplished musicianship wise, punk groups seemed like a step backward. A bunch of guys that didn’t know how to play their instruments just making noise. More interested in style and attitude than music.
    Don’t get me wrong, there are a few assorted punk songs that I am fond of but not whole albums (unless you consider Green Day punk). IMO, maybe at the beginning but certainly not after they got commercial success.

  3. There’s so many great punk bands throughout history it’s hard to choose just one. Just from the great national scenes alone you could pull out dozens of candidates (LA, DC, Boston, NY, Austin, etc, etc). Not to mention the international bands. Although I believe the Ramones are the godfathers of punk, my personal favorite would have to be the Germs just edging out Minor Threat for the top spot. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it, peace.

    p.s.- great question marowe, keep ’em comin

  4. While the Pistols rank at the top, there are a number of “punk” bands that spent time (and still do…) on my turntable/in my CD player: Ramones, Clash, Husker Du, Dead Boys, The Damned, The Misfits, Naked Raygun, Butthole Surfers (the list could go on and on…).
    I’m a sucker for loud, jangly guitars and bands with an attitude…

    Keep up the great work, Matt!

  5. The Clash, and Minor Threat come to mind. But my all time favorite is “The Shape of Punk to Come” by Refused. On that album they are miles ahead of any hardcore act out there. Easily the best the genre has had to offer in the past 15 years.

  6. One of my all-time favorites is MDC “Millions of Dead Cops” circa 1982. People tend to forget the Go-Go’s and Blondie were considered punk…and both were great.

    There was a really good series of CD’s that came out in 1993 called DIY that covered the punk scene from around the world.

  7. Honestly, I’ve always considered punk more of a fashion genre than a music genre. The number of bands that have been considered “punk” are so all over the map that it’s kind of a joke. And as far as what would be considered truly “punk” music, their musicianship is beside the point. It’s a thumb in the eye of the establishment more than anything else.

    That said, there are a great many punk bands that are awesome. The first Sex Pistols album is great in its way. The Clash is probably the best band that would be considered a bona fide punk band. MC5 is great. But if you consider Blondie, The Go-Gos and Talking Heads punk, and they all have been at some point or other, then this is a whole other conversation.

  8. I found this question difficult for me. To pick Punk, you have to define it, and I think The Sex Pistols represent the true essence of Punk and what it was. I went through my collection and realized that I have very few “true” Punk bands or albums. I think Wire’s Pink Flag (77) and Chairs Missing (78) are probably the only two I own that are what I would call Punk. Is the first Japan, Adolescent Sex (78), a pure Punk album or a hard rock album with Punk elements? The first Midnight Oil album (78) was defined by themselves as Surfer Punk, but they had a complexity that I would say veered away from true Punk. Magazine’s Real Life (78) was not Punk to me in its purest definition, nor was Police’s Outlandos d’ Amour. I could go on, so I guess in conclusion, I really wasn’t into Punk, but really got into the New Wave more as it gave me more substance than I found in most Punk. If we start talking about what Punk kick-started, then we have a whole pile of bands and artists that made music a true buffet.

  9. I appreciate lots of punk bands, and was just the right age for Sex Pistols and Ramones. But The Clash is my favorite, hands down. Nobody had the fury AND the range that they did. Listen to the London Calling CD and see what I mean. Thanks Matt!

  10. The Sex Pistols is primarily a case of hype over substance though they did have some good songs and were better musicians than people gave them credit for (With the exception of Sid Vicious).

    I agree with the comments about the Clash and would also add the Saints with their album (I’m) Stranded from 1976.

  11. I love punk music. I love just about every band that came out during the punk days. Lou Reed is the Godfather of all these little babies punkies. Lou Reed STILL remains….Oh, that unforgettable “Street Hassle”.

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