1. What is Punk Rock?
Punk rock, known as punk, is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s as a form of disco, progressive rock with fast-paced songs, stripped-down instrumentation, hard-edged melodies, and singing styles accompanied by shouting anti-establishment punk lyrics and disregarding anti-authoritarian ideologies they also followed a DIY (Do it yourself) work ethic which allowed them to produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels. Its roots are found in 1960’s garage rock; wherein punk bands rejected the excesses of mainstream 1970s rock.
American rock critics used “Punk Rock” in the early 1970s to describe the mid – 1960s garage bands. Punk was considered a musical movement against mainstream rock. It also developed into a subculture that rejected political idealism and identified itself with punk fashion like long spikes, tattoos, piercings, and metal-studded and spiked accessories that expressed outrage.
2. Brief History of Punk Band
Although punk rock bands emerged in the 1970s, it’s hard to deny that the 80s were the glorious years for punk rock. This decade saw punk rock at its peak. With a strong influence throughout the globe, the surge of the punk scene started in UK and New York. It fused many popular genres but with more aggressive and fast music.
The Punk bands were smaller than traditional Rock bands, and most belonged to the working-class background. Growing up, these people listened to and learned through traditional mainstream radio and were exposed to genres like country music, folk-rock, country music, rockabilly, and 60’s psychedelia.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, prolific punk rock bands such as MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges became influential in the US, and the New York Dolls from New York were one of the key influences on punk music.
The surge became more prominent with artists like Patti Smith and bands like Television, Blondies, and Ramones from New York City; The Germs, The Black Flag, X from Los Angeles; The Dead Kennedys and Flipper from San Francisco; Bad Brains and Minor Threat from Washington DC; Sex Pistols, The Damned, and The Clash from London.
Record labels were emerging in various locations like Washington’s Discord Records, Long Island’s Homestead Records, and San Francisco’s Alternative Tentacles Records. These labels provided strong support and were one of the key influences for the spread of Punk Rock Band and helped bands self-produce recordings.
Punk fashion was most outrageous. Punk songs featured artists with T-shirts, motorcycle jackets, ripped jeans, and boots. The punk looks shock people and influence them. The punk era hairstyles also had a unique style; they were originally short and choppy.
To make it easier, we have a list of the high-rated punk music, top artists, and chart performances of a Punk band that ruled over the 80s and late 70s.
3. Best 80s Punk Songs
1. Rise Above from Damaged —Black Flag, [December 5, 1981]
2. Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones, [February 1976]
3. Short Songs – Dead Kennedy, [June 1987]
4. Teenagers from Mars – Misfits [June 26, 1979]
5. New Rose —The Damned [October 22, 1976]
6. I want to Be Sedated —The Ramones [September 21, 1978]
7. She – Misfits [February 27, 1996]
8. Rock ‘N’ Roll High School – Ramone [June 1, 1979]
9. Teenage Lobotomy – Ramone [November 1977]
10. Whip It —Devo [August 13, 1980]
11. Moon Over Marin – Dead Kennedy 
12. Dancing With Myself —Billy Idol [October 1980]
13. Beat on the Brat – Ramone 
14. Die, Die My Darling – Misfits [May 1984]
15. Pet Sematary – Ramone 
16. Call Me —Blondie [January 29, 1980]
17. Cesspools in Eden – Dead Kennedys 
18. Blister in the Sun —The Violent Femmes 
19. Rockaway Beach – Ramone 
20. California Über Alles – Dead Kennedys [June 1979]
21. Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys [May 1980]
22. Green Hell – Misfits [1984.]
23. A Forest —The Cure [March 28, 1980]
24. Judy Is a Punk – Ramone 
25. Mercy Seat —Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds [June 1988]
26. Ghost on the Highway —The Gun Club [Jun 1982]
27. Pull My Strings – Dead Kennedy 
28. Psycho Therapy —The Ramones 
29. Punk Rock Girl —The Dead Milkmen [December 1988]
30. Bonzo goes to Bitburg – Ramone [June 1985]
31. The Prey – Dead Kennedy 
32. Mirror in the Bathroom—The Beat [25 April 1980]
33. Pinhead – Ramone 
34. I Fought The Law – Dead Kennedy 
35. Live Fast Die Young —Circle Jerks 
36. Domino —The Cramps 
37. The Passenger —Iggy Pop [March 16, 1987]
38. Can This Be —Wipers 
39. Totally Wired —The Fall [Sep 1980]
40. I Remember —Suicide [December 1977]
41. 1 2 X U —Wire 
42. Action Time Vision —Alternative TV 
43. Johnny Are You Queer —Josie Cotton 
44. Rob a Bank —The Pop Group [19 February 2016]
45. Heart of Glass —Blondie [January 1979]
46. Aliens Exist —Blink 182 
47. Meet the Creeper —Destroy All Monsters 
48. Full Moon in My Pocket —Swell Maps 
49. John Wayne Was a Nazi —MDC 
50. Linda Blair—Redd Cross 
51. See a Little Light—Bob Mould 
52. White Wedding —Billy Idol 
53. Bored —Destroy All Monsters 
54. I Don’t Need to Tell Her —The Lurkers 
55. Here Comes Your Man —Pixies [June 1, 1989]
56. Brainwash —Flipper 
57. Chinese Rock —The Ramones [March 1977]
58. A Town Called Malice —The Jam 
59. Vienna —Ultra Vox [9 January 1981]
60. Requiem —Killing Joke [26 September 1980]
61. Once in a Lifetime —Talking Heads [February 2, 1981]
62. Ghost of Princes in Towers [August 1978]
63. Berlin —Crawling Chaos 
64. Boys Don’t Cry —The Cure [15 June 1979]
65. Ant music —Adam and the Ants [28 November 1980]
66. Jeffrey, I Hear You —The Girls 
67. New Town —The Slits 
68. Man With the Dogs —Dead Kennedys 
69. Our Lips Are Sealed —The Go Go’s 
70. You’re Driving Me —The Cravats 
71. Don’t You —Simple Minds [20 February 1985]
72. Like Heaven —The Cure [1987 ]
73. Kill the Poor —The Dead Kennedys 
74. Police Truck —The Dead Kennedys 
75. Clavicle —Alkaline Trio 
76. Burning Down the House —The Talking Heads 
77. All Night Party —A Certain Ratio 
78. Pay to Cum —Bad Brains 
79. Rudie Can’t Fail – The Clash 
80. If the Kids Are United —Sham 69 
81. The KKK Took My Baby Away —The Ramones 
82. Atmosphere —Joy Division 
83. Rock the Casbah —The Clash 
84. Oh, Bondage Up Yours! —X-Ray Spex 
85. White Riot —The Clash 
86. Gary Gilmore’s Eyes —The Adverts 
87. London Calling —The Clash 
88. Video Killed the Radio Star —The Buggles 
89. Another Girl Another Planet —The Only Ones 
90. Suspect Device —Stiff Little Fingers 
91. Brand New Cadillac – The Clash 
92. One Way or Another —Blondie 
93. Sheena Is a Punk Rocker —The Ramones 
94. Alternative Ulster —Stiff Little Fingers [October 17, 1978]
95. Complete Control —The Clash 
96. Hanging on the Telephone —Blondie 
97. Your Generation —Generation X 
98. Call Me —Blondie 
99. Know Your Rights – The Clash 
100. Charlie Don’t Surf – The Clash 
4. Best Punk Rock band of the 80s
4.1. Black Flag
American punk band was formed in 1976 in California by Greg Ginn. Its members were Greg Ginn, Mike Vallely, Isaias Gill, and Joseph Noval. One of the best hardcore bands’ hits include Rise Above, Wasted, Revenge, Gimmie Gimmie, Gimmie, and Jealous Again.
The punk band was formed in 1976 in New York City; all the band members adopted Ramone as their surname, with the original band members being Joey Ramone (lead singer), Dee Dee Ramone (bassist), Johnny Ramone (guitarist), and Tommy Ramone (drummer).
I Wanna Be Sedated, Blitzkrieg Bop, Sheena Is a Punk Rocker, Bonzo Goes to Bitburg, Beat on the Brat, and Rockaway Beach are some of the greatest albums of Ramones.
4.3. Dead Kennedys
Formed in 1978 in San Francisco, their lyrics usually focus on ridiculing political figures and authority; in general, their key members were Easy Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride, D.H. Peligro, and Ron Greer.
They merged revolutionary politics with Punk Rock which defined their music. The best band’s music was California Uber Alles, Holiday in Cambodia, The Prey, Halloween, and Moon over Marin.
Origin from New Jersey, in 1977, they were recognized as the masters of horror punk, a subgenre blending horror and punk that influenced people. The key and only long-term members were Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only; some of their biggest hits were Teenagers from Mars, She, and Horror Business.
4.5. The Clash
It was an English punk band formed in 1976 in London. Their key members were vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky Topper Headon.
Some of their greatest songs were White Riot, What’s My Name, Know Your Rights, Charlie Don’t Surf, Somebody Got Murdered, and Police on My Back.
4.6. Bad Brains
It originates from Washington DC, a hardcore band; in 1976, they were originally jazz fusion bands who were later regarded as pioneers of Hardcore Punk Rock.
Their key members were guitarist Dr. Know, singer H.R., bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson. Many regarded them as a source of inspiration. Banned in DC, Sallin On, Don’t Bother Me, Against, and Attitude are some of their best hits.
4.7. The Damned
An English punk band was formed in London in 1976, the first British punk band in the United Kingdom to release a single, a debut album, and a tour through the United States. Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Paul Gray, Monty Oxymoron, and Will Taylor were the key members. Don’t Cry Wolf, Elouise, Problem Child, Stretcher Case Baby, Nasty, New Rose, and Love Song are some of their greatest hits.
5. Punk Rock Fashion
Punk fashion is in a wide range and is compiled in a varying degree of style and designs and is influenced by many distinct social subcultures and art movements, including glam rock, skinheads, rude boys, greasers, and mods.
It has been commercialized by well-established fashion designers like Zandra Rhodes, Anna Sui, Paul Gaultier, Stephen Sprouse, and so many more. The early and pre-fame designer Vivienne Westwood pioneered early British punk style and established clothing shops in the mid-1970s with partner Malcolm McLaren.
The 1970s era witnessed an intentionally brutal punk fashion with short hairstyles, hippie looks, and disco styles. The fashion was usually T-shirts, jeans, the leather jacket looks, and studded or spiked bands.
Deliberately offensive T-shirts were influenced, such as the DESTROY T-shirt, which featured an inverted crucifix and a Nazi Swastik. Other items included customized blazers, dress shirts with blood patches, and controversial images.
Some other trends were spiked jewelry, safety pins, silver bracelets, and heavy eyeliners. Female fashionistas ruled out women’s stereotypical style and image by styling pretty delicate pieces with masculine pieces, like combining ballet tutus with clunky boots. There were purposely ripped clothes that were held together with safety pins and military and motorcycle boots and bowler hats.
The 1980s is the emergence of typical punk fashions in the British scene. The 1980s American scene was more or less raw, angry, and intimidating.
Some punk fashion elements were common in British and American styles: Dr. Martins’s boots, motorcycle and combat boots and bandanas, studded leather jackets, and belts.
Punk music has given rise to many subgenres like Hardcore punk, Noise punk, Glam punk, New wave, Pop Punk, and Post-punk and was a prominent movement that changed and shaped the course of the music industry throughout the globe.
It inspired countless bands and different kinds of music, developing alternative rock, and encompassing diverse styles like indie rock, dream pop, and grunge. It also developed a punk subculture and distinctive industrial niches. Punk music extended commercially and eventually developed a subculture.
also check out, What does the Black American Flag mean