Top 10 Best Punk Albums of All Time
There is something very un-punk about listing the top 10 best punk albums of all time, but even the hardest-core punkers have no problem debating the best of the best. In order to be considered one of the best punk albums, the album has to be one that was loud, fast and contained enough angst to fuel misunderstood kids across the world. The albums on this list were each influential in their own way. Bands like Green Day and Blink 182 owe their success and huge mansions to these 10 best punk albums, for without them they might have been stuck opening up for the Scorpions.
- "Ramones" by The Ramones. Released in 1976, the first release by The Ramones brought punk rock to the world. With the first riff of "Blitzkrieg Bop," you knew you were in for something different. This punk album was a rough and raw release by four equally raw guys from Queens that started the scene in every city they visited. The album has some surprising range, from hard rockers like "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Judy Is a Punk" to the somewhat tender "I Want to Be Your Boyfriend" and the rumored gritty autobiographical "53rd and 3rd."
- "London Calling" by The Clash. "London Calling" showed that a punk band could have a conscience as well as break away from the three-chord bang-fest that punk had been characterized as. The songs had a political slant that represented the working class struggle occurring in England at the time. Its popularity resulted in The Clash becoming the first punk band to get mainstream awareness and radio play.
- "Never Mind the Bollocks" by The Sex Pistols. The Pistols became more well-known for their antics on and off stage, but "Never Mind the Bollocks" is loaded with great songs that became the blueprint for many punk bands to come. Steve Jones' guitar roars throughout this punk album and is a perfect compliment to Johnny Rotten's snotty ranting. "Anarchy for the UK" and "God Save the Queen" show that not only did The Pistols have a sense of humor, but they also had an interest in social and political issues as well.
- "Damaged" by Black Flag. Representing the Los Angeles hardcore scene, "Damaged" came out in 1981 and blew away everything in its sight. The songs are heavy, fast and perfect for Henry Rollins' bark. When Rollins yells "We are tired of your abuse" on "Rise Above," a million disenfranchised kids shook their heads in understanding. "Damaged" was the album for the quiet, shy kid who was afraid to express himself. Black Flag gave him a voice.
- "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" by The Dead Kennedys. The seminal album for the punk kings out of San Francisco, this album is loaded with Jello Biafra's biting lyrical style and surf-inspired guitars. Songs like "Let's Lynch the Landlord" show that The Kennedys could deliver a political message with a sense of sarcasm and humor.
- "Double Nickels on the Dime" by The Minutemen. Considered too arty by many in the scene, this punk album by the three-piece Minutemen is an eclectic mix of punk with a splash of funk, and would inspire a number of later bands, including The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- "13 Songs" by Fugazi. The first full-length release by the DC band starts off with one of the greatest bass lines on the song "Waiting Room" and is followed by anthemic songs that show the greatness of Ian MacKaye.
- "Suffer" by Bad Religion. This LA band has been putting out albums for twenty years. "Suffer" was their first and launched a thousand copycat bands throughout Southern California. Intelligent, fast and rocking has been their staple, and you can hear the beginning here.
- "Mommy's Little Monster" by Social Distortion. Singer Mike Ness, the punk rock Johnny Cash, is at his best on this punk album full of songs about coming up short, losing love and booze.
- "Raw Power" by The Stooges. Iggy and The Stooges made music that nobody had heard and every early punk band lists them and this punk album as what got them to pick up a guitar and begin screaming.