Punk Rock’s Greatest Hits!

“Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY (do it yourself) ethic, with many bands self-producing their recordings and distributing them through informal channels.”

Although I don’t talk about it here that often, “punk” music was, and still is, an integral part of my life. Imagine, if you will, a young E at a Clash concert in Toronto wearing torn, ratty jeans, an Eat The Rich T-shirt, army jacket with a big “A” anarchist logo on the back and authentic Yugoslavian army boots surrounded by a dozen or so Royal Canadian Mounted Police waiting for the crowd to riot. We didn’t, of course. Trashed a couple of hundred stadium seats during London Calling, but nothing serious.

I even published a short-lived news flyer in high school called the International Anarchist News. Pretty silly stuff, but fun as hell if only because it pissed off the vice principal, who was a dick of the first degree. Kid’s stuff too, but the music has endured, and although I’m not the angry young man I once was (I’m now an angry middle aged man) I still find the punk music of the 70’s and 80’s pretty thrilling. From the Beach Boys meets the Motor City 5 attack of the Ramones to the politically minded Reagan-era lyrics of Jello Biafra, there’s still plenty of room on my ipod for my old anarchist friends.

The albums on the below list are what I considered “punk” at the time (fast, loud, angry, edgy, etc) but sound kind of tame now to my aged ears. And some bands, like the Dayglo Abortions, Angry Samoans and SOD just sound plain hilarious and sometimes even disturbingly purile. I suppose humor, however misguided, was always part of the plot.

Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables & Plastic Surgery Disasters

The Damned: Damned Damned Damned

The Clash: The Clash (American version) & London Calling & Sandinista

SNFU: If You Swear You’ll Catch No Fish

Nomeansno: Wrong

Misfits: Legacy Of Brutality

Cramps: Bad Music For Bad People

Dayglo Abortions: Feed Us A Fetus

Angry Samoans: Back From Samoa

Exploited: Let’s Start A War

Black Flag: My War, Damaged & Slip It In

X: Los Angeles

Forgotten Rebels: In Love With The System

Teenage Head: Teenage Head & Frantic City

SOD: Speak English Or Die

Ramones: Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket To Russia and Road To Ruin

Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician

Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady

DOA: Anything before 1988…

Stooges: Every album by the original band.

New York Dolls: New York Dolls

Sex Pistols: The Great Rock and Roll Swindle & Bollocks