The Best Punk Albums

What people don’t realize about punk is that it’s not all about righteous anger and the inability to play one’s instruments. There’s virtuosity there, intelligence and, perhaps most importantly, humor in the best of the genre.

Nothing released after 1985 was punk, in my humble opinionated opinion. It died after the Dead Kennedys released Frankenchrist which spawned that whole stupid PMRC, Tipper Gore HR Geiger poster (Penis Landscape) trial/controversy/bullshit in late ’85.

Nothing against Green Day (who I tolerate) or Rancid (who I love), or The Offspring (who I despise), but they never, ever came close to the angst and originality of the pioneers of punk. Post ’85 still birthed some classic thrash and hardcore, though. As allmusic so aptly states, “Punk Rock returned rock & roll to the basics — three chords and a simple melody. It just did it louder and faster and more abrasively than any other rock & roll in the past.”

Ok, so maybe there have been some albums worthy of making this list post ’85, now that I think about it. I’ll break it down into 3 sections: 1969-1975, 1976-1985 and 86 to current.

Nazz, Thom, etc, LET ME HAVE IT!

PUNK Pre-1975, or “Proto-Punk

The Stooges, The Stooges/Fun House/Raw Power.

MC5, Kick Out The Jams/Back In The USA.

The Velvet Underground, The VU and Nico.

New York Dolls, New York Dolls.

The Dictators, Go Girl Crazy!


Suicide, Suicide (The 1st Album).

The Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks.

The Ramones, The Ramones/Rocket To Russia.

SNFU, And No One Else Wanted To Play

Forgotten Rebels, In Love With The System.

Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables/Plastic Surgery Disasters/Frankenchrist

Black Flag, Damaged/My Way/Slip It In/In My Head.

Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady.

The Clash, The Clash.

The Meatmen, War Of The Superbikes.

DOA, War On 45 (Expanded Edition).

Minutemen, Double Nickels On The Dime.

The Misfits, Legacy Of Brutality.

The Damned, Damned Damned Damned.

The Stranglers, Rattus Norvegicus.

Television, Marquee Moon

Richard Hell, Blank Generation

Angry Samoans, Back From Samoa

The Exploited, Let’s Start A War



SNFU, If You Swear You’ll Catch No Fish

S.O.D., Speak English Or Die

Corrosion Of Conformity, Blind

Suicidal Tendencies, Suicidal Tendencies

Dayglo Abortions, Feed Us A Fetus

Rancid, And Out Came The Wolves